Honestly... I don't know what we'd do without the dirt pile that's out behind the day care. It is a little walk down our driveway but just far enough away that we've gone somewhere. The kids and I climb, jump, hunt, run, fall, throw, yell, and imagine. The pile they are on here is our space ship. I am on the ground looking for imaginary food. We get dirty and sometimes a little hot but in the mean time we are all learning a lot. This day we discovered bird prints and hundreds of tadpoles around the edge of the water. Fascinating. We are so lucky to have a big dirt pile in our world.
By the way, here's a book we read on pond life.