Three Cheers for Dirt!

I have to sing the praises of letting your kids get dirty. I mean really filthy, covered from head to toe with muddy, wet, slippery glop. I, like many parents I know have a house too full of every cool, interesting, and trendy toy available. And yesterday my five year old said, “I’m bored.” Hmm, I thought I could get angry and tell her she’s ungrateful for all her toys or I could listen to her and think: what playtime do I remember the most? What did I spend hour after hour doing with great concentration and glee? Hose, dirt, bucket: endless joy.

So this afternoon we headed to the back yard. There were fresh piles of soil dumped around the yard from a landscaping project in progress. My girls ran to the piles and sunk their hands into the soft fresh dirt. No directions, no right way to play, do predetermined story line. They were so excited. One grabbed a leaf and started burying her treasure. The other made pile after pile and then pushed them down patting the dirt with hard satisfying slaps. And then they asked for the hose . . . we got a bucket and started making the most slathery gooey “soup” in the world. They mixed and molded the mud plunging their hands into the muck with abandon. Then my five year old started rubbing her body with mud singing a made up song. She was covered, arms, legs and most of her clothes. Such freedom, such a tactile experience.

I noticed it was going to be time to go inside in about twenty minutes and thought about how to maybe get some of the caked on mud off in a fun way. Onto the swings! They swung and I sprayed their feet as they passed. Then legs and arms were offered. They were soaking, soaring and shrieking with each spray of the hose.

We peeled off muddy clothes in the laundry room and trooped upstairs for a bath. As we lay in bed saying goodnight my five year old said, “I’m going to play in the mud tomorrow!” “Yea!” said her little sister and they drifted off to sleep.

Hooray for getting dirty, really really dirty.

Author: Leyani Redditi

A teacher and teacher educator, mother of two and co-leader of API of Greater Atlanta.She is passionate about compassionate parenting. She blogs at Kids Outside Everyday.

One thought on “Three Cheers for Dirt!”

  1. What a fun post. Or should I say what a dirty post! ha ha. You are right, what I remember most from childhood was exploring and getting messy. The best toys are the imagination and creativity. As a child we played outside and ran from yard to yard.

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