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Miscellaneous Physical Play Digging in the Dirt

Imaginary Play, Physical Play and Play with Equipment/Props
Alternative Names
  • Dirt Pit (At School 19)

Children use various tools to dig in the dirt in interesting areas of the playground.


At School 01

1) Players: 5
Boys and Girls
Age: 6-9
Props: broken bricks, rocks, dirt near old tree roots

Various different games were played in the area:

One pair of girls drew plans for re-assembling wooden seat removed on the weekend .Rock and brick scraped together to make sanding dust for sanding seat.

Two boys were observed digging out dirt around old metal 'fire hydrant'. Plans to wear bathers under clothes to school for when it 'bursts open' and showers them in water.

One boy seen digging at dirt around tree roots using red brick lump.

2) Players: 1
Age: 9
Props: sticks and concrete rubble, dirt near old tree roots

Digging with stick among tree roots. Stick and concrete rubble used. Digging discussion continued. Using the family's dog-poo-scooping spade, the child has started digging to the earth's core in his backyard. His friend in North America is apparently also digging and will meet him in the middle. Child has requested a lava-proof suit from his parents.

At School 02

Players: 2 - 5
Age: 9
Props: dirt and paper planes

Boys sitting playing with the soil/dust and drifting soil through their hands. They are then joined by at three other players who involve the small origami paper planes (presumedly made during Japanese class) in the play.

Children would also dig in the tan bark and play games with it. They were generally the younger children.

Another group of Age: 1 children (3, boys and girls) were playing with short sticks around the base of a large tree (B3). One boy had poked a stick into a hole in the tree, and arranged sticks in the roots of the tree. They were also scratching marks in the dirt.

At School 19

Players: 2
Age: 10-12
Props: Dirt and Sticks

These boys were playing here (B3) at his time but often played on the other side of the playground where much excavating had been undertaken the previous year (Y7). The previous year a number of boys (other informants) had undertaken a large project of pretend gold digging which converted into road making for actual toy vehicles, including Tonka trucks and then the activity converted into turning the excavations into a subversive city with caves and security cameras and wizards and spells. At this point in proceeding two of the boys were temporarily splintering to the location on the other side of the oval (B3) from the original site (Y7) and were make a solitary tower (photo included) with a double hump and two stick poining up (actually looked more like a rabbit). Another boy (also an informant) immediately built next to their tower but didn't mess up their tower (until the next day when he built a fort from the material they had used for their tower.

At School 18

Players: 1
Age: 9
Props: Dirt and Sticks

Digging in dirt patch.


Players: 1
Age: 9
Props: Dirt and Sticks

Idea is to build a road that water will be poured into

At School 13

Players: 2
Age: 7

Girls were playing in the dirt at the base of a tree, collecting and piling up stones.

Related Construction Play

Related Miscellaneous Activities

  • Gardening
  • Origami

    Some of the children at School 02 used paper planes and other origami objects in their digging games