Reasons Why you Should Let your Child Get Dirty

As parents, we consistently feel the pressure to present a good face.  A clean child, who looks healthy, is very polite, and never screams is the ideal.  Does it ever actually happen?  Maybe every now and then.  But for the most part, kids will get into things, they will get dirty.  They’ll take their shoes off in public, or occasionally throw a tantrum.  We don’t need them to be perfect – no matter how much we may want them to be. Here are a few reasons why letting your child get dirty may be a great thing!

Reasons Why you Should Let your Child Get Dirty

It boosts immune systems

Dirt has germs. When we have access to germs, we have access to health.  Every time our immune system encounters a pathogen, it has a reaction.  When you are consistently exposed to pathogens, your immune system is constantly on alert.  Contrary to what appears correct – constant reaction is healthier!  If your body becomes accustomed to not fighting off pathogens, when it finally does encounter one it won’t know what to do.  It will overreact and you may get much sicker than you would have otherwise. So let your kiddos get into that dirt!

It encourages imagination

If your child can view mud as a wonderful home, or as a delicious pie – they are imagining!  They are creating and learning how to use problem – solving skills to maintain the charade they have set up.  They also increase their ability to keep track of a variety of things while they play.


As children are growing and learning, they need to experience multiple things.  They need to feel new textures, taste new tastes, and see new things.  Without these variety of experiences, kids may grow up becoming overly sensitive. They may have a problem with textures that can make playtime less enjoyable.  They may not know what to do during playtime with other kids.


If you teach your child to fear germs, they will fear them.  If you insist on cleanliness at all times, your child will make a negative association with germs that can last them a lifetime.  Germophobia is a very real thing, and it is becoming more prevalent in our culture as cleanliness is stressed more and more. Instead, try to stress health – teach them how to get dirty responsibly!  Don’t eat the dirt, don’t pick up rusty nails – have fun playing in the dirt though!  Rub it all over your face, squish it in your hands.  Maybe get a little in your mouth accidentally and get a healthy amount under your fingernails.

Go out and enjoy getting dirty!  And then, and only then, come inside and learn how to get nice and clean after a fun day out in the mud.  Teach your kids why getting dirty can be fun, and when it is appropriate to do so – you’ll be helping their health, their mind, and their learning!  Don’t shelter your kids from the dirt – get out there with them and have a wonderful time!

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