Get the Dirt on Dirt

How Getting Dirty Outdoors Benefits Kids

Muddy Boy

While many times getting our hands dirty is frowned upon, NWF has some new facts and figures that may have you throwing your kids into the nearest mud puddle.

In our latest report, we'll reveal how getting down and dirty in the great outdoors--far from being a bad thing-- helps children lead happier, healthier lives. Get in on our dirty little secret!

The Dirt on Dirt

For the Health of it

When we let our kids play in dirt we're not only allowing them to explore the wonders around them, we are also exposing them to healthy bacteria, parasites, and viruses that will inevitably create a much stronger immune system! 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.



The Joy of Dirt

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. Who knew, right? With antidepressant use in kids on the rise, an increasing number of experts are recognizing the role of nature in enhancing kids' mental health.  Dirt can even improve classroom performance.  It's easy to see the effect when you watch children play outside. 


(Dirty) Fun: Get elbow deep in some dirt! Try these activities your children will love!

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10 Million Kids Outside program photo by Nature Explore
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Kids and US Park Ranger photo by US National Park Service