A lot of adults have associated the idea of dirt and their children playing into it with loads of washing up and a bad hygiene habits. In reality we should ask ourselves why kids get so excited plunging into the dirt and why adults usually do not allow their children get involved with muddy environments. Whether it is digging holes and making castles on a sandy beach or football on the grass, jumping through puddles full of mud on a rainy day or simply playing with clay; children somehow adore playing with dirt. So leave your taboos and preconceptions aside and read carefully the true benefits of dirt on your children’s health and wellbeing. HERE ARE 8 REASONS WHY DIRT HAS A POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOUR LITTLE ONE: 1. MORE DIRT, LESS VIDEOGAMES Running and rolling on the grass is definitely a better way for your child to spend their day, than starring at a screen all day long. Not only because they become more active and happier but also because that takes them out of the house and their room which means less TV plus less videogames. Most parents feel guilty for not having enough time to spend with their children so they buy the latest video game in order to make amends for their lack of devotion. This is the most common quilt trip that parents get into when they don’t spend enough time with their children. Replacing love and devotion with material goods is a very bad example for a kid, but if you allow your children to feel the freedom that the earth has to offer then at least you let them receive other, more beneficial knowledge and experience. 2. A STRONGER IMMUNE SYSTEM Most parents associate dirt with bacteria and harmful microorganisms but it turns out that these microbes can help built a better and stronger immune system. “What a child is doing when he puts things in his mouth is allowing his immune response to explore his environment. Not only does this allow for ‘practice’ of immune responses, which will be necessary for protection, but it also plays a critical role in teaching the immature immune response what is best ignored.” So when a child is exposed to bacteria from an early age their immune system learns how to fight them or not be affected by them. Dirt can help them become stronger against those germs you are so afraid of. Child Playing in the puddles
3. DIRT BOOSTS YOUR KID’S IMAGINATION AND CREATIVITY When playing with toys children tend to create games with simple narratives. They may give their dolls or superheroes names and imagine some of the character features their male or female doll could have. But what about trying to invent games from scratch? Outside, dirt is the only medium children can use as a toy and in order to create a game they have to put their imagination run wild. This process can boost their creative side as not only they would need to create game structures but maybe even use dirt as clay to create their own dolls, draw on the dirt or even create something new like a castle or a playhouse. 4. MORE VITAMIN D Playing out in the nature also means plenty more exposure to the sun. Under the right protection (hat, sun cream), children playing outside absorb a lot more vitamin D directly from the sun. Vitamin D is the most natural antidepressant and can only be absorbed from the sun rays or else provided by very particular nourishment, mostly in salmon and other similarly oily fish. Just be careful about the amount of time your children are exposed to the sun as a long exposure may also have negative effects. 5. KIDS LEARN MORE ABOUT NATURE When children are exposed to nature from a young age they learn a great deal about how this wonder works. They closely examine the small creatures that live in the dirt because they get fascinated by their size and body structure. The size of a bee or the way that ants work together can stimulate the imagination of your little one. One more benefit that your child can experience while playing in nature is the plants that grow in the soil. Witnessing the birth and every day development of the plant can help your child understand nature and engage more to their natural environment. A happy little boy child is smiling as he runs and plays outside on a summer day, while covered in mud and dirt.
6. A GOOD CHANCE TO MAKE FRIENDS Outdoor activities are also a good way to get your kid to socialize especially if they are an only child. Rolling around in the dirt and playing football with the other kids can help your child learn to engage in personal relationships. Slowly they can understand and grow into knowing important values such as friendship and trust. 7. PLAYING OUTDOORS CAN HELP RELEASE ANXIETY Children, in modern society, may suffer from stress and anxiety due to the pressure they sometimes experience in school or through their relationships with other kids or even sometimes through their relationship with their parents. It is very valuable for a child nowadays to have some stress-free time during the day, so they can unwind and feel the freedom of childhood. Nature is the best place for providing this sense of freedom. When a child plays outdoors it can get as dirty as possible, run as quick as possible, scream as loud as possible without feeling that there are any restrictions. 8. DIRT IS FUN! Last but not least, dirt is fun! You can always see a smile on your kid’s face after they have played for some time in the dirt. It is certainly an activity that can boost up their mood and make them feel happier and carefree. Maybe parents can consider getting involved from time to time and spend some quality family time with their children in a muddy playground. It can be an equally liberating experience for an adult as well as a child and also help the bond between the two grow stronger.