At present, the generation is overly obsessive about germs, cleanliness, and hygiene. Parents are constantly washing their children’s hands. Playing in the dirt helps in building a strong immune system. Without this exposure, they are at a much-increased risk of the “western” diseases such as asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, etc. later in life.
Many parents see their child heading for mud puddle and see a potential mess, dirt-stained clothes, and hazardous germs, so they stop. Exploring can help bring children closer to nature and it is also a way of diverting children from playing with electronics. The feel of mud underneath bare feet, the sound of a bird, the smell of grass up close, these sensory experiences will help a child understand the world better.
When I was a child, I loved playing in the mud and enjoyed all the outdoor games with my friends, walked around barefoot and immersed myself in the natural environment. So, when I had my own baby, I reminded myself of this. I allow my boy to play in the dirt, this makes him happy and he uses his imagination to create whatever he wants. This also makes his senses stimulate the brain and he is more likely to remember what’s being learned. Teach numbers, colors and new words by using natural materials like flowers, sticks, rocks etc. Dig your hands into the rich soil, and then enjoy the earthy goodness of being outside.
1. It Makes Kids Think
Given a chance to climb, roll, crawl and jump freely, your little explorer can use their imagination to create anything they want. It also lets them test a “what if”, what if I dump some water in the dirt hole? What if I pull on some blades of grass? Here, your child can start asking questions, making observations and changing the situation to see if it changes the outcome.
2. It Makes Kids Better at Cleaning
First, create a zone where your child can make a mess and doesn’t have to clean up right away. Give them the materials that encourage dramatic and constructive play time.
After the playtime is over, next, help your child prepare for the transition from messy play to clean up.
What about Hand Sanitizer? Is it Good or Bad?
Usually bad, I never use for my child. I would rather wash with mildly warm and soapy water and it’s probably less damaging to the child’s overall health.
We can now relax and trust that our children will be healthier, the dirtier they get.
Take a deep breath and enjoy the joy your child experiences playing with dirt while knowing they are building their intuitive instincts and a strong immune system.
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