Get Outdoors: The Dirt on Earth Day

Earth Day Child &#169 Ann Weidemann

Earth Day Child © Ann Weidemann


Get dirty on your Florida Vacation during Earth Day

A new study that came out from the National Wildlife Federation, dispels the concerns parents have about children getting dirty  and covered with germs. From lowering stress levels to a goody bacteria that lives in soil and assists in producing serotonin, the “Dirt Report” has many reasons to get your kids outside. Yes, use common sense sanitation and still wash hands, but the report shows strong evidence for spending time outside.

The Study

In the report, “The Dirt on Dirt: How Getting Dirty Outdoors Benefits Kids”, highlights recent research that suggests playing outside and getting dirty actually boosts children’s physical health and makes them less vulnerable to obesity, ADHD and depression. Given the controversy around Disney’s Habit Heroes exhibit and the response from our readers, we know this is an important issue.

Where to get Dirty

There are many Earth Day activities throughout Florida that we’ve listed on our website:

How to get Dirty

If none of the events above are nearby, consider the following:
  • take a stick and draw an image in the dirt or sand
  • build a sandcastle
  • “bake” a mud pie
  • jump in a puddle (especially with all the rain we’re getting right now!)

An immunologist’s Advice

A leading immunologist, Dr Mary Ruebush, is also the author of: Why Dirt is Good: 5 Ways to Make Germs Your Friends. “Dirt is good,” says Ruebush. “If your child isn’t coming in dirty every day, they’re not doing their job. They’re not building their immunological army.”

Tell us…

Do you let your children get dirty when they’re playing outside?