Kids in the dirt
It has been proven. Children who play in the soil are healthier. Kids who play with soil are building their immune system defenses. And it's all about the Soil Based Organisms, organisms that live in the soil that restore our gut beneficial bacteria which boosts immune function, reduce rates of allergies, digestive problems and improves our mood.
Interesting. Playing with dirt make us happier, less anxious, with a better mood and prone to learn. And what is responsible? Mycobacterium vaccae, a soil based bacteria who triggers the release of seratonine. Wow! I love this. I have been playing with soil all my life and I can tell you, I can feel it when I have been away for a long period of time. The M. vaccae thing makes sense.
But children are sage. They do not need scientific studies to know this. Children just love the dirt. And here are a few more reasons why we should too. Dirt is good for the body because of all the bacteria, viruses and worms that are necessary for the development of a healthy immune system. Dirt is good for the brain, thanks to M. vaccae who stimulates neuron growth and raise seratonine levels. Dirt is good for the skin, allergies and asthma, thanks to germs and microbes who helps the immune system to combat inflammations. Dirt implies being outside, hearing the birds, looking the plants, interacting with bugs, beng mindful and connected with our local surroundings and nature, which is important for social development. Of course Children do not KNOW all this. But their bodies know. Their instincts know. Their hearts know.
This is why they need to be in the dirt.
And we understand many people still feel their children are safer, healthier growing up in a clean, disinfected and sterile environment, but just remember that soil bacterias and germs have more of a benefit than a risk, and the early exposure to naturally occurring microbes in soil will help build stronger, more disease-resistant children :)
To garden is just one of the ways to let kids be in contact with the soil. And that is exactly what the Treasure Garden offers. To play with dirt! To learn while in contact with dirt!
Citations and further reading:
Wellness Mama. "Why Kids Need Dirt".
Therapeutic Landscapes Network. "Exploring the Connection Between Nature and Health".
Takepart. "5 Reasons to Let Your Kids Play in the Dirt".