We worry about germs and children getting sick, it’s only natural. However, it’s a good idea to allow for some mucky play and the summer is the ideal time for your child to go out in the back garden and get dirty. A recent study suggests that being exposes to microbes from an early age is essential for the immune system to develop normally. Without this exposure there’s an increased risk of autoimmune diseases and it lowers the chance of getting asthma in later life. This supports what many parents have already believed, that exposure to dirt is a great way of reducing allergies and strengthening the immune system.
If you’re still not keen on the idea of your little one spending the afternoon making mud pies and playing with snails or worms perhaps these other benefits will help persuade you.
- Encouraging outdoor play is an excellent way of getting children away from technology such as Tablets, television screens and laptops. While it’s great that kids are more tech savvy these days it’s not good if they spend the majority of their time on these devices. Too much use of technology can cause problems with sleep and there are possible links with depression and obesity.
- Life is full of risks and children that spend a lot of time outdoors are able to understand and assess risks more easily. They are more likely to challenge themselves and feel motivated and happy when they solve a problem or overcome a challenge.
- Playing outdoors is fun! When you’re having fun you smile and laugh more and laughing is brilliant for reducing stress levels and can help lower blood pressure. It’s a great idea for the parents to go out and have a laugh with their children too, the health benefits are for everyone.
- Dirt has been shown to be great for the brain. The bacterium that is found in soil can lift the mood by raising serotonin levels in the brain which also increases learning.
- Playing outdoors and experimenting with dirt helps us all to understand the world we live in. It’s interesting! Letting your children plant some seeds and watch them grow with some care is an excellent and fun way of learning about plants and life.
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