I’ve been saying for years that nothing makes me happier than dirty toes.
(Did you feel that shudder? That was my mother cringing.) But it’s true – as far as I can tell really dirty children have been having a really good time. Happy children. Barefoot in the backyard climbing trees children.
According to a new report out by the National Wildlife Federation, there really is something to the dirty = happy equation. Studies have shown that simply having contact with dirt, whether it’s through gardening, digging holes, or making pies out of mud, can significantly improve a child’s mood and reduce their anxiety and stress.
What’s more, dirty children also means healthy children. Many kids who live in an ultraclean environment have a greater chance of suffering from allergies, asthma, and other autoimmune diseases that we would otherwise be protected from through the simple pleasure of playing with some nice common dirt.
No need to take my word for it – you can download the full study here.
So what are you waiting for? Go dig in the dirt! It’s good for you!
(And don’t worry, Mom. They’ve had a bath now.)