Risky play & raising kids that aren’t afraid to get dirty
Who told parents that they should be afraid of a little dirt? It’s not like as kids we didn’t get down and dirty – quite the opposite – we rolled in it. Somewhere along the way, we forgot how much fun it is to squish mud between our toes.
The thrill of discovery of the texture of soil, and the smart risks and adventures that accompany the exploration seem up for debate. Childhood should be filled with dirt filled memories of ripped knees on pants, exploring with your friends and growing confidence. It’s time to take a step back helicopter parents with the wet wipes and embrace risky play. We need to let our kids get good and dirty, stretch their limits and not react quickly when they are dirty. Let them be dirty, to us, it’s a badge of honour of a day well played.
Here’s our stories about our kids who aren’t afraid to get dirty and our secret weapon in the battle of laundry from these well-played in clothes.
Holly & the Queen of the Dirt
To me, there’s no better day then one where I get to spend with my hands in dirt. In our quarter acre garden, we spend the majority of our time outside in spring and summer. Farm life just equates to mounds of dirt everywhere and there’s not much way around it. When the kids lose interest in gardening, they are balancing on logs, playing cars in the gravel, climbing trees, and sliding down the compost pile. A day well-played ends with mounds of laundry. The likelihood of my kids re-wearing their clothes the next day is usually slim to none.
Most people think my son is the leader of the pack on this front. I disagree. When it comes to risk taking and being first in line to try something new, my daughter has that covered. Although shy in public, this dynamo hasn’t met a challenge she won’t try. Even though she’s 2 years younger than her brother, this little risk taker can keep up without any problem.
Her favourite activity lately is jumping into our squash hill turned compost pile. She crows from the top of the pile, “I’m king of the castle” and then proceeds to jump from the highest peak.
Melanie & Oh Alma
We’re raising girls that aren’t afraid to get dirty over here too. If you ever spend any time at our place, the one phrase you’ll hear a lot is “Oh, Alma.” As in Oh Alma, how did you manage to get that much salsa on your shirt. Or “Oh, Alma”, were you rolling in the muddy puddles instead of jumping in them? Not that it matters!
Go for it! We’re actually thrilled that she’s managing a spoon(ish). We love that she’s doing her best to jump in muddy puddles. And we’re delighted that she’ll try to climb just about anything. Especially the big, uneven pile of dirt in the front lawn of the house under construction.
Take risks with dirt. Little A has to work twice as hard as most kids to master things, maybe more. She’s has enough standing in her way. And I’ve made a concerted effort to ensure that a desire to stay clean and proper isn’t one of them. To learn and grow she needs to take risks. But with risk comes trial and error. Or when it comes Allie and dirt, and lots of error.
Don’t take risks with laundry: our secret weapon
We love seeing our kids get dirty. Risky play also means more piles of laundry and and stained outfits. What we don’t love, is having to say goodbye to a favourite outfit because my kids wore their clothes out ‘kid’ing.
For years, Oxiclean has been my secret weapon laundry add-in. It’s not so secret anymore. Now it’s right in the new Arm & Hammer™ Plus OxiClean™ 3-IN- 1 Power Paks. No need to pretreat or spend money on any extras. Our kids’ clothes come out looking great every time – no matter how much dirt, mud and salsa they get into. That means less time doing laundry, and more time for risky play.
Disclosure: This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca and Arm & Hammer #AHFreshPerspective sponsored program. We received compensation as a thank you for our participation. This post reflects our personal opinion about a product we already love!
Melanie from mommydo.com writes about parenting, food, neat stuff and the unexpected beauty in life, all while juggling work, family life and spreading awareness and raising funds for Williams Syndrome.