LET THEM GET DIRTY
Let them play in the mud and get dirt on their face.
Let them splash in puddles and get their clothes all wet.
Leave the shoes behind and let them go barefoot.
This is something I’ve been more conscious of the last few months. In a book I read recently titled There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather, she encourages parents to let go of the urge to keep their kids clean. I honestly didn’t realize how often Parker and I were discouraging messy play.
A lot of it is subconscious! We see a potential messy situation and we say “hey wait!” But if we catch ourselves before we speak, we’ll allow our kids to play the way that they were meant to play!
Outdoor messy play engages all of the five senses. Learning in this environment is more effective because it builds stronger connections in the brain and helps children retain information.
I’m also learning that dirt is actually necessary to keep to our children healthy.
As Maya Sherat-Klein writes in The Dirt Cure,
“It turns out that all the things that are messy and dirty in the world, the very things we thought we needed to control or even eliminate to stay alive, are actually the very elements necessary for robust health. Research says that bacteria, fungi, parasites, insects, weeds — and living, nutrient-dense soil full of all of those elements — play direct and critical roles in the health of our food, and by extension, the health of our children.”
I think that it’s important to become aware of how we discourage messy play. Like myself, you probably don’t even realize you’re doing it. Catch yourself before you speak. Give your children the freedom to get dirty. It will benefit their development, health and happiness.
Let’s challenge ourselves to let them get dirty. Tag us on your next messy outdoor adventure @withthewhitmores !