Do You Let Your Littles Play In Dirt?

By Rebecca Jaciuk publisher of Macaroni Kid Downriver June 3, 2021

Do you let your kid play in the dirt?

It seems like my son flocks to playing with dirt, and he gets creative sometimes! In my eyes he can be cleaned up, so I encourage all kinds of dirt play for the many benefits. Here are some of the benefits to playing with dirt along with their sources: 

1. Boost their immune system

2. Provide stress relief

3. Playing outside = more vitamin D

4. Promotes creativity

5. Promotes sensory play: tactile skills, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, and decision making

According to these articles not only is dirt play beneficial but also most things involving nature. So how can you incorporate dirt, along with nature into play? 

-Gardening (letting them help plant your vegetable plants, seeds. Let them water your flowers. Get them their own plant or vegetable! Let them be responsible for it. Talk about it‘s progress and changes daily)

- Hiding items in the dirt to find

- Providing tools to play, shovels, rakes- doesn’t even have to be made for gardening! Spoons, bowls, they will figure out the rest

- Sometimes when it rains.. splashing in the puddles!
- Talking about how it feels, smells, looks

- Digging up rocks

- Build a dirt race track

- Make dirt castles

- Gather leaves. Make something out of them

- Gather sticks. Play a scavenger hunt in nature

- Watching the sunset/sunrise

- Bird watching, looking for airplanes, bugs

- Incorporating these items onto drawing them on paper