Here are five reasons why messy play is important for kids. Bonus: We are also giving you a few tips on how you can let your worries go when it comes to dirt.
Gives Them an Immunity Boost
Dirt contains microbes, germs (good and bad) and lots of living organisms and that’s what probably freaks parents out the most about their children sitting in dirt, playing in dirt, and sometimes even eating it too. The reality is that the health benefits of dirt are numerous. When your child is exposed to these microbes and organisms, their immune systems are building up responses to them, making it stronger and more able to fight infection.
Develops Their Cognitive Brain
Children playing in the dirt equals children developing their brains. When they play outside, they learn to use their imagination because they are not being told what to see (as is the case when looking at screens or TVs). As they create delicious dinners or creative cakes from those mud pies or turn leaves and sticks into flying helicopters, their brains are being stimulated and developed as nature intended. A study revealed that students who spent more time outside as children had better critical thinking skills.
Gives Them Lots of Vitamin D
Sunlight is the best form of Vitamin D for us humans. When kids play in the dirt or outside, they are being exposed to sunlight which is being turned into Vitamin D in their bodies. Vitamin D is essential in their little bodies for bone development and can help enhance their mood too. Always make sure to put a hat on them and don’t forget the sunscreen.
Increases Their Happiness Factor
What triggers you the most when kids get messy?
Have you ever seen an unhappy child playing outside? Playing outside, in nature, boosts their mood by increasing their natural happy hormone, serotonin. Whether it’s playing imaginary games alone or playing running races with friends, being outside is a happy place to be.
It is FUN!
Children learn the most through play, so the biggest reason as to why is dirt important, must be the fun factor, right? When you have a happy child having fun outside, you have a child that is also learning, developing, and being exposed to all the good things that nature has to offer. After all, we all did it!
How to Cope With Dirt as a Parent
Knowing that dirt is good and being able to physically let your child get dirty, are two different things. Follow these easy tips on how to cope with children playing outside, it might ease your anxiety about dirt in general:
Set a time limit for outdoor play (usually 1 – 2 hours per day and more for older kids) to give you the peace of mind of knowing that it is for a certain time only.
Make it a ritual that they wash their hands every time they have finished playing outside and you can even include hand sanitising as part of this ritual too.
If you are worried about stains, set aside some outdoor play clothing options that they can choose from. These will be clothes that you are ok with getting dirty, so you don’t worry about their brand-new outfits getting soiled.
Invest in an excellent quality washing detergent, like OMO, to put your mind at ease knowing that no matter what dirt or stains come your way, you will be able to get rid of them.
Read more to understand why OMO believes that Dirt is Good. They believe that every stain represents an experience and encourage moms, dads, and caregivers to let children get messy in order to become happier and healthier kids. Want to know more stain removal tips? Read our Top Stain Removers For Your Laundry blog now.
Why do kids play in the dirt so much?
Kids just want to have fun and playing in the dirt is fun. When children play outside in the garden and in the dirt, they are not only having fun, but they are boosting their brains, their imaginations, their immune systems and their mood all at the same time.
Is it important for kids to play in the dirt?
It is essential for kids to play outside in the dirt every day. When they are exposed to dirt their bodies are able to develop their immune systems more strongly and they are able to learn and grow in their development too.
How often do you have to wash your child's clothes because of the dirt?
It depends on how much your child plays in the dirt. If they are constantly getting dirty, then you'll probably need to wash their clothes more often. But if they only get dirty occasionally, then you can probably wait until they have a few stains before washing them.
How does getting dirty help children learn and grow?
When children can get down and dirty, they are able to explore their environment in a whole new way. They can touch things, feel things, and really get a sense of their surroundings. This type of exploration is beneficial for helping children develop problem-solving skills and critical thinking skills.
What can parents do to help their children play in the dirt safely?
One of the best things parents can do is properly monitor their child’s playtime. Make sure you know what kinds of activities your child is engaging in and supervise accordingly. If possible, it is also a good idea to try and select a dirt area that is relatively free from environmental hazards like pesticides or toxic materials.