For Kids, A Little Dirt Is A Good Thing

It's no secret that kids attract dirt like a magnet. They're always getting into something, and that something is all over them. For years parents have been struggling to keep their kids clean, encouraging hand washing and sanitization and avoiding "dirty" activities like playing in the mud. But is this really the best way? Research shows that, in fact, letting your kids get a little messy might be a good thing.

Your kid's resistance to bacteria, viruses, and other health conditions comes from being exposed to germs. This exposure lets the body build up resistances, which it can then call into action when a more serious threat shows up. If you keep your child away from dirt, you stop him or her from encountering those harmless viruses and bacteria that develop antibodies. The immune system can't develop itself fully, which leads it to be less effective later in life.

Studies have shown that kids allowed to play outside, get dirty, and be exposed to some germs early in life were less likely to develop allergies, asthma, and a host of other conditions later on. As it turns out, a lot of the germs that we encounter are actually harmless. They don't make children or adults sick because our immune systems are able to purge them easily, handling them without issue. But when we use antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer, we purge them just the same. This denies our children the opportunity to build up antibodies.

In light of this evidence, experts are encouraging parents to let their kids get a little messy. Playing on swingsets and other outdoor activities are among the most commonly recommended activities because they provide exercise and exposure to harmless germs. In short, outdoor playhouses for children offer the perfect combination for a child's health.

Woodplay has long known that swingsets and outdoor play are great for kids. We offer safe, sustainable, health-promoting outdoor playhouses for children of all ages to enjoy.