The slogan reads ‘dirt is good,’ and the mother in me skipped a beat. I mean what mother would tolerate their precious toddlers and kids rolling in the dirt, playing with mud or making mud stoves, pots and pans, or even toy animals and planes?
But think about it, the mud dough is surely making their hands dirty; but on the other hand, it is helping to develop their mind and boosting their creativity. And science has proven that children who are exposed to the elements, and animals, develop a healthy immune system.
That’s just the start of the list of benefits. When your child plays with pets, they develop compassion for living beings. Or perhaps, when the little one is doing a bit of gardening in the terrace or rooftop, s/he is cultivating patience and a caring attitude.
Indeed, all these activities mean unclean hands and feet and dirty clothes. But when it comes to raising healthy children, there is no such thing as being too clean.
Exposure to dirt and pets is good for the body and the soul. The health benefits of “dirt” include a stronger immune system, fewer allergies, better digestion, lesser risk of heart disease, and better stress management. It also works as a natural anti-depressant agent.
Just make sure you serve more fresh fruits and vegetables! Boost their sleep time. Exercise as a family, but most importantly, banish secondhand smoke. And don’t forget to guard against germs by washing their hands properly, and also by washing their clothes.
During this winter break, a light jacket and socks are all they need before games time, so that they do not get affected by the cold. And indeed, the clothes will get dirty. But should that really stand in the way of all the fun and the physical and mental health benefits one can have?
The answer to that is an overwhelming “No!” And as for those dirty clothes, throw them in the laundry and let the washing machine do its magic.
Photo: LS Archive/ Sazzad Ibne Sayed