MUD FUN GOOD FOR HEALTH
Study shows outdoor play good for kids
GROWING up in the west comes with its fair share of frolicking in the mud.
Now scientists have found that playing in the dirt is as important for children’s mental health as it is for building up immunity.
Mix worms, mud and add some hair of the dog and you have the recipe for busting stress, a study by the University of Colorado Boulder has found.
Children raised in rural environments, surrounded by animals and bacteria, grow up to have more stress-resilient immune systems and are likely to be at lower risk of mental illness than pet-free city dwellers, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Hyahno Moser, program manager for Nature Play Queensland, makes sure his son Ralphie, 2, gets dirty.
“Never before... have kids been so clean,” he said.
“We’re learning more and more about the benefits of kids playing outside. It is not just about having heaps of fun – nature is a wonder.”
MUDDY GOOD TIME: Liam Goodrich in the middle of a mud and seaweed fight with family members.
The Morton family enjoys fresh mud.
Lauren and Claire Harland make a splash.
Jake Goodrich enjoys digging for tadpoles.
Byron and Cailum aren’t afraid of the dirt.
A mud day for this little one.