See how we hunt cicada nymphs, watch them shed their skins, and then free the adults
Cicada Hunt!
Salt the Sandbox 
Helping children pursue their deep 
interests in the world around them

My kids' lives are ruled by their passionate interests. Fourteen-year-old Ethan has always loved things from nature -- fossils, rocks, bugs, leaves, shells, Pokémon, and more. He's currently in a birding phase. With twelve-year-old Aaron, it was cars, cars, and more cars for two-and-a-half years, until he developed an even stronger passion for trains, which lasted three years. Now Aaron loves birds and music most of all. 

The Salt the Sandbox websites are devoted to the interests our family shared when our kids were younger. To see what we're up to now, please visit:
Neighborhood Nature: Our Family’s Nature Blog

See the amazing variety of rocks found near our home -- and learn how to find your own
Neighborhood Rocks
Follow Aaron through his car-filled day
Aaron Likes

Neighborhood Nature is about the birds, other animals, plants, fungi, and rocks the boys and I encounter in our neighborhood.

We're also on Twitter: 
Our Twitter posts include updates on the nature in our neighborhood and information about parenting kids with deep interests, especially kids who are passionate about nature and science.

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Here are some smaller Web sites we have developed:

Ethan's Dinosaurs.  This site is about how seven-year-old Ethan relates to dinosaurs, rather than about dinosaurs themselves.  It's really about understanding -- and learning from -- one particular child's interest in these prehistoric animals.

Trees Near Our School.  This site has a photographic key to trees found near our school, plus links to many other Web sites about trees.

Dad has published two articles in Chicago Parent magazine.  One is about the Islands of Expertise that kids can develop about their passionate interests. The other is about kids' collections; it's called Aaron's Treasures.

We also maintain more-or-less archival websites related to our volunteer work with nature and science programs at Wonder Works, a Children's Museum in Oak Park, and the Nature and Science Club at Irving School.


Copyright 2000-2009 Eric D. Gyllenhaal                                         Salt the Sandbox Privacy Policy

This page was created on August 30, 2000, and it was last updated on June 9, 2009.