Let the children get soiled!

Let the children get soiled!

As the weather improves, parents do not miss the opportunity to hike with children in various parks, groves and mountains. Our contact, but even more so with the children, with nature is especially important for educational and especially recreational reasons. Unfortunately we are making a mistake!


In our anxiety about not getting our children dirty, not messing up their hands and then not paying attention, we are urging them in most cases not to play with the dirt. But it is not by accident that children are attracted to dirt and mud yet. This contact with nature is a special experience and we should not deprive it to our children.



Gardening, for example, is a particularly rewarding activity for both young and old. Not only is it a kind of exercise, it also connects us to the natural environment and healthy eating. Otherwise a child perceives the tomato when he or she sees it trimmed on the table - which may or may not be attracted to it - or else when it enters the process of planting it, taking care of it, carving its soil.


We are going through a period when, despite the serious difficulties of space and time, more and more of us realize these necessary links we must maintain with nature.


Let's see what the ground is


The more we know about the environment, the more we can explain to children and help them love and care about the environment.


Soil is not just soil. It is a complex habitat, alive and valuable. It contains a very large number of microorganisms and various animal organisms that play their own irreplaceable role in the water, carbon and nitrogen cycle. It offers very valuable services to the ecosystem, even contributing to the effects of climate change caused by human intervention.


Why do our children benefit from contact with the soil?


• Studies show that contact with living soil may be linked to reduced allergies and asthma in children. This is due to the huge diversity and biodiversity of soil microorganisms that boost their immune and nervous systems, while also preventing the uncontrolled proliferation of pathogenic microorganisms.


• There is also a microbe - among the millions in the soil - Mycobacterium vaccae, which has been found to contribute to the production of serotonin in the body. Serotonin improves mood, which can catalyze concentration and ability to learn.


Specifically, our body absorbs it through inhalation and into the skin and it in turn affects the neurons. It even works in the same way as various antidepressants.


There are therefore important reasons for us to push our children to play with the soil themselves, to play it fearlessly (with a focus on the places frequented by pets). Gardening, as we have said, is one way to start building that relationship. And the school is an appropriate place for children to begin this occupation.


Many schools are already implementing such programs in the context of environmental education, and there are farms that offer parents and children experiential experiences, with even wider knowledge and interesting experiences.



So seek effective contact with the natural environment and the soil. With your hands bare and soiled you will feel relaxed and happy, and push your children to not miss this experience.


Did you know that…


• Soils are a particularly difficult renewable resource, as it takes almost 1000 years to create a soil of only 2 cm thick!


• The natural micro-organisms of a fertile soil help plants not only nourish and grow properly, but also 'communicate' and exchange 'information' and nutrients among themselves.


• Vegetation prevents soil degradation, desertification, and stabilizes the soil while maintaining the necessary life cycles that occur in the soil.


• From a healthy soil after a rain, a characteristic odor arises due to the beneficial fungi found in the soil. That is, it is no more than a sample of life.




Dr Angel,

Aggeliki Koskeridou

Holistic Doctor – Counseling Psychotherapist

Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine

MSc Health Psychology


insta: dr_aggelikikoskeridou_official 





Van Den Berg A, Custers M, (2010), Gardening Promotes Neuroendocrine and Affective Restoration from Stress, Journal of Health Psychology, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1359105310365577.


Hoffman A, Thompson D et al, (2004), Gardening, self-efficacy and self-esteem, The Community College Enterprise, https://search.proquest.com/openview/6c5ea806b6f381876ccfd6456c440c92/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=26254 .


Colado S, Staats H et al, (2012), Experiencing nature in children's summer camps: Affective, cognitive, and behavioral consequences.




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