Why you Should Let your Children Play in the Dirt
** This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission after you have clicked on my link.
Some parents cringe at the site of little ones playing in the sand. I have had people tell me to be careful as my boys could become sick from playing in sand. My reply to them is respectful in that I appreciate their concern and let them know that I am watching over them while they play. To be honest, my boys rarely ever get sick and when they do it is usually just a cold during the cold seasons. At this time they are no longer playing outside in the sand.
In today’s world, there is so much emphasis placed on the importance of good hygiene. Many parents attempt to ensure that their children live, breathe and play in a sanitized environment only. Most parents are of the opinion that if their kids play in the dirt, they will definitely get sick due to exposure to some germs or infections. However, new research is showing that while good hygiene is important, an overly sanitized environment does more harm to kids than good.
There are actually many benefits to letting children play in the sand. Sure they will get all dirty and need to be bathed but isn't that a normal part of childhood. We should always keep in mind that our children will only be little for a short time and let them partake in the simple joys of childhood. Just have a look at these great benefits.
1. Develop and strengthen the immune system. Research has shown that playing in any form of dirt including sand, gravel, or mud is will help boost a child's immune system.
2. Fights allergens and asthma. Children who spend time outside playing in the dirt are less likely to develop allergies, even when they grow older. The reason for this is that their developing immune system gets exposed to varieties of bacteria as compared to kids who do not play in mud and dirt.
3. Increased exposure to vitamin D. Playing outside for even just ten to fifteen minutes gives your children adequate exposure. If planning to stay out longer than this it is best to apply sunscreen.
5. Encourages creative thinking. Playing with open-ended materials like sand and mud stimulate creativity and imagination. It is easier for children to grasp these concepts at an earlier age than later in life.
7. Make them smarter. Studies have found that playing in the dirt can make you smarter. The same release of serotonin that occurs when playing in Mycobacterium vaccae dirt has been shown to improve their thinking.
8. Connects them with nature. Dirt is like an unexpected surprise as they are sure to find a wide variety of insects, roots, and different shapes and colors of rocks. They will also enjoy picking up leaves, flowers, and splashing in ponds.
9. Make them happier. Playing in the mud can brighten your mood. Recent studies have revealed that dirt contains microsopic bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae which increases the levels of seratonin in our brains, helping you to relax and be more calm.
Did you play in the dirt as a child? What is one of your best memories?