Boosting Kids Immune System Playing In Dirt

As a kid I spent most of my life outdoors playing in the dirt.

Literally, we played in the dirt a lot!
kids play in dirt
Within a short walk from our house was a sand-dirt quarry.

We spent many weekends and afternoons having fun playing in the dirt. From climbing dirt piles, to digging holes and tubing down huge piles of dirt or gravel we REALLY played in the dirt.

It seems like kids do not get as many opportunities to play in the dirt anymore. It is a shame!

Boosting Kids Immune System – Play In Dirt

Almost every kid has heard it from time to time; “Don’t play in the dirt!” but when you are a kid, your imagination takes off when you see that pile of dirt.

It may turn into a landing site for a large army or hospital helicopter. It may be a complete town with several little roads and several house sites. It could be the coolest drag strip where some of the most popular Nascar drivers go to practice.

Whatever their imagination dreams up, that pile of dirt can mean a full day’s play. However if you are a parent that pile of dirt means germs and bacteria, dirty clothes, and a messy child.

Regardless of what parents think, a child needs the dirt to play in.

Granted, it’s not the cleanest thing they can play in, but after all, it is dirt, right?

There are actually benefits to a child playing in dirt.

Healthy Kids Play In Dirt

When a child plays in dirt, they are exposed to several different types of bacteria that you cannot find anywhere else.

These tiny micro-size bacteria interlaced in the dirt can make your child stronger and build his or her immune system to build resistance to some colds and viruses.

That alone goes a long way toward boosting kids immune system and should be enough for most parents to consider allowing their child to play in the dirt, but there are other benefits.

Children Develop A Love Of Outdoors

It goes without saying: if a child has the chance to play outside, she will understand and respect nature more because she is around it so much. A child allowed to play in the dirt can see a butterfly or several different types of insects and out of natural curiosity, will want to learn more about it.

Dirty Kids Have More Motivation

Kids that play outside, whether in the dirt pile or not, tend show more self-motivation. Outdoor activities require creativity and stimulates the imagination. This helps kids to get up and get going. They can explore or create adventures in the dirt, sand box or just in the woods that they cannot duplicate anywhere else.

Dirt Help Fight Childhood Depression

You might wonder how this is possible. There are neurons that can produce serotonin. The serotonin does many things, including acting as a natural anti-depressant. When the hands touch the soil, there are certain types of bacteria that can encourage the neurons to begin producing serotonin. This will result in a happier child and reduce the chances of your child developing depression.

Happiness – Health In A Pile Of Dirt Outdoors

A child playing in dirt and outside in general tends to laugh more. Everyone knows that laughter is important, but it is also healthy because laughter can reduce stress, which can decrease the chance of obesity, high blood pressure, even juvenile diabetes.  Children who spend more time outdoors tend to be happier children.

Build A Sandbox

You may not have a quarry or a big pile of dirt in your neighborhood, so just build an inexpensive wooden sandbox and fill it with some cheap sand or dirt.  There are more ways to play in dirt than just sitting in it and digging with the hands. You can purchase a small shovel and pail at your local Dollar Store. Buy sand toys at a discount when summer is over and they can have several different ways to play and it will cost you very little.

Other Play In Dirt Ideas

Teach your child to garden. Growing your own food is wonderful and if you can interest your child, you are giving them the gift of a lifetime. Buy some seeds, find a spot to plant them and get down on your knees and work the soil to prepare it for the seeds.

Go on a nature hike and while you are out, take a picnic along so you can enjoy the wonderful sites. If you can’t go hiking, then your own backyard can be transformed into a hiking trail.


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Comment

    It is so important to get the children outside and play in the dirt or the woods or just get fresh air. I grew up in Brazil and I miss the great adventures we had as children in the vast forests. I plan to share outdoor activities with my children and hope to develop a passion in them for outdoor life and playing in the dirt. Good article! It reminded me of fun times.

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