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A world of creatures live in the dirt. It’s time to meet a few, up close and personal. We say the magnifying glass is optional, but Skip believes in taking along Explora-gear!

Girl with magnifying glass

What you need

  • shovel
  • newspaper
  • water bottle
  • magnifying glass (optional)

What you do

  1. Find an empty field, a spot in your garden, a place in the woods, or a clump of leaf litter with some soil underneath. Place your sheet of newspaper in bright light. Then grab a good-sized shovelful of dirt and spread it out on the paper.

  2. Tell your child that there’s a world of critters underfoot. Help him or her gently comb through the dirt to see who is living there.

  3. What can your child find? Ants? A snail? Worms? Centipedes? Beetles? Mites? Pill bugs?

  4. Show your child how to use the magnifying glass. Does this help him or her find even more creatures? Have your child use the glass to see each found animal more clearly. Ask: What is this creature like? How does it move? Does it have legs? If so, how many? Can you see any eyes? A mouth? What colors are these guys?

  5. Once you’re done, make sure to put the dirt back where you found it so these new friends can go back to their normal routines.

Some more fun critter facts to share:

  • No matter how many creatures you found, there are thousands more in that pile that are too small for you to see.

  • A worm crawls by using its muscles to shorten its body and then lengthen it.

  • Snails can live to be up to ten years old!


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