Have you ever imagined encouraging your child to jump in a pile of dirt or mud to play for hours? Well, you probably should!

Playing in the dirt, according to science, is an essential part of a healthy childhood. Not only is it endless amounts of fun; it’s also very good for you! In fact, the health benefits can include (but are not limited to) a stronger immune system, lowered stress levels, increased sensory development, increased creativity, improved mood, fewer allergies and easier digestion.

Dirt can even sometimes act as a natural antidepressant. How? You can thank Mycobacterium Vaccae, a natural substance found within soil, for the relieving stress and increasing happiness in humans. Studies have shown that it may even activate serotonin production within our brains which causes an “antidepressant” effect.

There are so many different ways to play in dirt or mud, especially here at WildRoots Nature School of North Raleigh! Some dirt play ideas include: creating a mud kitchen, muddy river play, creating a mud pit, mud soup, digging, mud painting, and so much more! Remember: dirt and mud play aren’t limited to only children, either – it equally benefits adults as well. Many gardeners will attest to this!

So, what are you waiting for? Let the kids enjoy some messy mud play or some interesting dirt play. Go get your hands dirty in some gardening or join your children in their dirt play and make some awesome lifelong memories!