Let them eat dirt! Well- not really. But let them experience it. At events (both 18th & 19th Century) I often hear how well our daughter behaves and interacts with the environment full of visitors, fires, and loud guns. I often attribute it to the fact that she is being raised going to events. Her first outing was at seven weeks old when we day tripped to an event where she slept most of the day- even through the battle. Now, that she is three, my husband and I have learned a lot and are usually armed with tactics to keep her entertained at events.
Use Familiar Items
Another familiar item, dirt and water. I have entertained my child for hours with a bucket of water and a towel or spoon. Extra points if you are near dirt. She daily wants to go play outside, mostly because there is a spot in our yard where the grass does not grow, and she can “garden” as she calls it, bringing up clumps of black earth with her hands. Don’t be afraid to let them get dirty. They can be washed off, and so can their clothes (this is why multiple pinafores are our friends).
Use real items
Our daughter is one who usually wants to have the same thing you have and to help with the task at hand, so we provide her with her own versions of what we have, mostly. She does not have many reproduction toys in the traditional sense. You will not usually her with a yo-yo or expensive reproduction games, she will usually be digging in the dirt. In that dirt with her you will find wooden spoons, copper measuring cups, and a small stoneware pitcher (we do keep her actual eating utensils clean). She can look up from her pile of dirt and see me using the same items, just in larger form, and that makes her happy.
|Bowls & wooden spoon with leftover mud|
Keep them Involved in Interpretation
|The cutest flower seller!|
|Little Laundry Helper!|
These learning experiences are what I strive for. To get her hands dirty while going knee-deep in history, though to her she is just playing. I hope that one day, she will look back and be thankful for the days that I let her eat dirt.