Sometimes, we may feel our kids live in a world where they are constantly engaged in technology and trapped inside. It is nothing like we could have fathomed during our own childhood.
Sure, we take them to the park to ride scooters, bikes and to play on playgrounds but it is not the same as really rolling around in the mud and dirt like we used to when we were growing up.
So what are the benefits of kids getting dirty outside? If you put your washing worries to the side for one moment and read on, you might be inspired to push for more outdoor play in your own home.
Creative and Engaging Play
Playing outside is more tactile and engaging than lounging on the couch in front of a screen. It promotes kinaesthetic learning in children as they get down and dirty in the mud and dirt. A mud kitchen, a veggie patch, a hose and some dirt – all of these are avenues through which children can become involved in the kind of creative and engaging play that they just won’t get playing inside.
Encouraging a Love of the Outdoors
Encourage your children to become involved in gardening. It sounds simplistic enough but it’s truly something to see their eyes light up as they weed the garden, plant vegetables and flowers and watch the fruits of their labour come to life before their very eyes. Digging in a veggie patch, tending to flowers, bushes and trees and being involved in raking, hosing and all aspects of gardening might result in you having to put on an extra load of washing but it’s going to pay off dividends when it comes to their development.
Less Screen Time
Lastly, more time outdoors getting dirty means less reliance on screens as entertainment. Screen-based learning has its place, particularly in schooling, but a constant need to play games or use devices means that our children are becoming cloistered and cut off from the natural world. There are so many benefits to outdoor play.
Finding the benefits of children getting dirty outside means that the compulsion to pick up a device will lessen and you will begin to see the real child emerge. The confident, creative, resilient child who is trying to come out of their shell will show themselves as a direct result of you encouraging their interests and attention elsewhere.