Blog: Carlita the Croc

I Like Dirt

It is great for many a-things.  I like to make my nest using dirt and water…aka mud.  I hear you humans have a bit of an affinity for it, too.  This week’s blog post is coming to us from Marilyn Brink, manager of early childhood experiences at Brookfield Zoo.  She is sharing a program Hamill Family Play Zoo did with kids and dirt.  Check it out!:

They arrived with big smiles and enthusiasm for a morning spent playing in nature at Hamill Family Play Zoo with their family.
They arrived with an interest in dirt-loving animals and their habitats.
They arrived with a variety of items from home that would become alternative planters in a re-use, re-cycle, re-purpose program.
They arrived for Kids Dig Dirt.

Kids Dig Dirt at Brookfield Zoo
This spring, our family play program, Kids Dig Dirt, invited families to join us in the family gardens at the Play Zoo, to help with planting and refreshing pots for the season.  As usual, meeting one of our Play Zoo animals starts our programs off.   Families met Raleigh, a screaming hairy armadillo who lives at the Play Zoo.  We learned that Raleigh is a burrowing animal who mostly feeds on insects and plants and he uses digging to get at his food. 
Kids Dig Dirt provides opportunities for children to experience nature through authentic, first hand experiences such as meeting this armadillo and watching his behaviors.  Children were invited to use their fingers like Raleigh used his claws to dig when they moved to the garden. This play behavior fosters empathy for animals that dig to find their food - an important first step to growing a caring child.

Kids Dig Dirt at Brookfield Zoo
The Family Gardens welcomed all to gather and become involved in activities.  Petunias were planted, planters were painted, the bottle garden was watered, and toad abodes were decorated.   Children soon discovered, too, that other animals live in the garden beds and enjoyed meeting their new-found friends, the worms. 
We finished Kids Dig Dirt by taking a trip out into the zoo in search of animals who love dirt.  We found rhinos and bison in their exhibits, walking, laying, and rolling in the dirt and very much enjoying themselves – as we did, too!
For more information on Family Play Programs, visit

Kids Dig Dirt at Brookfield Zoo

Posted: 6/11/2015 10:34:31 AM by Filed under: Family Play Programs, Hamill Family Play Zoo

Carlita the Croc

I'm Carlita the Croc, here to deliver my candid views on various topics, articles, news, and stories in conservation. For the latest news follow me on Twitter, for striking photos follow me on Instagram.


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