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Have children learning language through observing and exploring deserts.

Let's talk about deserts today!

Can the children tell you some facts about deserts? A desert is an excessively dry area of land that receives little rainfall. There are deserts all over the world. Desert regions contain plants and trees that do not require a lot of water. It is common to find cacti, succulents, feather grasses, and types of yucca trees in desert climates. Many of the plants in a desert have sharp points, so they need to be handled with care. 


For this activity you will need:

Dirt or sand

Baking pan Optional: crafts such as pipe cleaners, pompoms

Learning Outcomes




Expressive Language


Speaking, learning, observing and exploring deserts.


Step 1: 

Many deserts are composed of compact dirt or clay rather than sand. Enlist the children's help in packing some moist dirt in the bottom of a baking tray. 

Step 2:

Have children note how the dirt looks and feels. 

Step 3:

Leave the tray outside in direct sunlight for a day or two. Observe the dirt and talk about how it changed. The sun sucked all of the moisture out of it!  

Family Participation: Tell families that the children had the opportunity to talk about the concept of freedom and making choices today. Encourage them to offer choices for their children this evening at home, such as the choice of which vegetable to serve with supper, what pajamas to wear, and what book to read before bed.

Activity Author

Photo of  Mariana Carazo
Mariana Carazo| Early Childhood Educator

Mariana holds a MA Degree from Columbia University in Curriculum and Teaching. She is a passionate and keen educator looking to re-think education through Play Based Learning. She is also into curriculum and content development through developmentally appropriate practices.

Playful Questions

Man and woman holding two big question marks

What might you find in the Desert?

Is the desert hot or cold? What do you wear in the desert?

How do people and animals cool off in the hot desert? 

How could you make a river in the desert?