“If no pediatrician would deny that the healthiest adults spent their childhood rolling around in dirt, why obsess over keeping kids squeaky clean?”*
Learning happens in exploratory play. And it’s been going on for tens of thousands of years. It’s different than organized play. It’s play where kids have time to wander, to make up games, to use their imagination and to fall in love with the world around them.
So, what holds us back from allowing our children more unstructured time? Is it the lure of electronic devices? Safety, or space concerns? Are organized sports really more fun?
Consider this: while kids accrue immediate benefits, from unstructured time in nature, e.g. physical, mental, spiritual health, there’s also the long game. In addition to becoming happy, resilient, confident problem solvers, kids who grow up understanding how nature works and our connections with it, are better poised to thrive in a 21st century where change will be constant.
Isn’t that worth getting our hands dirty for? Let’s have some fun.
International Mud Day is here.*