Smell the Earth

Children dig in the dirt at Woodlawn Nature Center
  1. Smell the earth  

Have you ever driven in farm country in the spring with the car windows down? What is that wonderful smell? Become a soil smell detective. With permission, find several spots that are different (a woods, a garden, your yard, a wetland, a farmer’s field). Dig then record what you smell, try to describe it. Healthy soils should have a faint pleasant aroma of moisture and earth. What you smell is actually caused by the bacteria in soil, and it is what gives beets their “earthy” smell.

 Internet links to help you:

What is Soil? (Just for Kids)

What Causes the Characteristic Smell of Soil (Scientific answer)


Life in a Bucket of Soil by Alvin and Virginia Silverstein

A Perfect Day for Digging by Cari Best, Illustrated by Christine Davenier