Did you know? Letting children play in an outdoor soil garden area can improve their immune system in as little as one month!
The Natural Resources Institute Finland conducted a study where it was found that a forest-based yard improves children’s immunity. Exposure to natural elements of the outdoors world (at least five times a week) strengthens the immune system’s response to various microbes and disease-causing organisms. This finding reinforces comparative studies that inspected the probability of children from rural and urban areas falling prey to illnesses. Children who play with dirt and come in contact with nature lower their risk for diabetes, coeliac disease, and allergies.
Why is playing in a soil garden beneficial for children?
Here are a few reasons why children should be able to access a safe soil garden:
Playing in a gravel play area does not offer the same benefits as playing in a soil garden. Exposure to microbial diversity sharpens the immune system’s response to pathogens and disease-causing organisms. It lowers the likelihood of autoimmune conditions such as asthma, eczema, and type 1 diabetes.
Reduce stress levels
According to a study conducted at the University of Queensland, people who visit the park for 30 minutes or more each week have a lower risk of having a poor mental health condition or developing high blood pressure. They are more stress-free and relaxed because their body can meet their weekly ‘dose of nature.’
Absorb vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for developing strong bones and strengthening our immune system. Children’s bodies are developing, which means that they need vitamin D to grow into healthy adults. The sun is a crucial vitamin D source that can help your kids as vitamin D can modulate innate and adaptive immune system responses.
Avoid using medicines
Modern medicine is a miracle of science, but you should administer the use of medicinal products responsibly. Regular use of medication for the common cold or the standard flu can cause your children to begin dependent. Doing so will weaken their immune system and make their body susceptible to illnesses caused by other pathogens and bacteria in the future.
Want your kid to be able to boost their immunity and live a healthy life? Let them play in a soil garden!
How to build a soil garden play area?
Creating a soil garden for your little loved ones should not be seen as a chore! You do not have to put in much construction effort to ensure that your kids have a safe space where their soil digging and gardening activities can occur.
Find a soft and loamy section of your garden where children can dig up the soil and pile it around. You can outline the edges of this ‘garden play patch’ with bricks or stones (or any other edging) to mark a clear distinction between your garden and your kiddie play area. If your kids are toddlers, you may want to substitute the bricks with a safer alternative, such as tall fencing. Doing so will prevent them from wandering away near sharp objects in your garden or outdoor hazards. You can plant a few flowers in your play area and introduce plastic gardening tools that can be bought from a local store.
Building such a play area for your kids will help them with the following:
- Their body will be exposed to the oxygen-rich outdoors while having a safe environment to interact with the soil. Doing so will help strengthen their immune system.
- They will learn more about gardening and what goes into sowing a seed, waiting for germination, and nurturing a plant. Help them discover their green thumb!
- Your kids will be able to experience the outdoors when living off the grid without putting themselves in danger.
Introduce clever play tools
When living off the grid, you may or may not have access to a reliable toy store, so you will have to get creative! Go to the kitchen to grab a cupcake tray and let your child enjoy making mud cakes in the soil. Ensure that the edges of your cupcake tray are not sharp, as they might hurt your little one. Got an old bucket or a worn-out bowl? Add it to their garden play area! Kids love playing in the mud with such items.
Dabble in pot painting
Got a budding Picasso on your hands? Some children are more drawn to arts and crafts than others. If your kid is looking to channel creativity, you may want to put a few painting pots and art supplies in their outdoor garden play area. Painting pots in the sun can be a fun and exciting activity that encourages creativity and helps your little ones sharpen their artistic abilities. Use this activity to bond with them!
Teach them how to plant
Kids love growing plants! Buy them child-friendly plastic gardening tools such as a spade, trowel, hoe, rake, and watering can. Teach them the basics of sowing a seed, using their hands to gently cover the seed with soil, and patiently watching a plant grow. Use this activity to inform them about gardening basics such as soil, water, and sunlight. Choose high-interest plants and set up a little vegetable garden for your kids!
Living off the grid can be challenging, and keeping kids entertained can seem like a chore!
However, a soil garden play area is a budget-friendly and straightforward way of creating a safe environment for your kids to interact with the outdoors.
It offers incredible health benefits for your child’s immune system and gives you an outlet to bond with them.