The 5th Best Toy of all Time:

According to Wired magazine DIRT is the The 5th best toy of all time. It comes behind STICK, BOX, STRING, and CARDBOARD TUBE.
Of course, as a grown up, you may not agree but kids definitely are into the DIRT thing. Yesterday in my town of Croton on Hudson, NY we had the 12th annual Daffodil Bulb Planting Day. I organized this to make the village beautiful but who loves it? the Kids. And why do they love it? Because they can play with DIRT!
Kept in its proper place, Dirt can be loads of fun.  It's great for digging, making piles and moving around.  Use it with Stick to create mounds and grooves. Dirt also makes a great road surface for toy trucks and cars. 
And best yet,  playing with Dirt is actually good for you.Some studies have shown that kids who play with Dirt have stronger immune systems than those who don’t. 

One type of bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae (M. vaccae),  is especially abundant in soils rich in moist, organic matter. When we work in the soil, we breath it in. M. vaccae triggers the release of serotonin in our brains. Our mood improves; depression is allayed. Our immune system is strengthened; learning is boosted. 

So why not set up a Mud Pie Kitchen? The kids could learn about 'food preparation' at the same time...:-D.

Here are some ideas:

The Norwegians know this. Here is a playground for young children in Oslo:

Want something gloopier? Just add water and you’ve got Mud!

Have fun! ...Maybe next year in Croton I will organize a Mud Day....hmmm...


  1. Jan, I LOVE this post! I remember reading an article a couple of years ago listing all the reasons that kids should avoid playing in dirt, because they will get...wait for it...DIRTY. Germs live in dirt, and in today's sanitized world Heaven forbid we should allow children to come into contact with germs. I played in the dirt, my kids played in the dirt, now their kids play in the dirt, and it was good for all of us!

    1. Right On! what is better than mud pies when you are 5? My favorite book back then? A Hole is to Dig.

  2. I love good dirt. And yes, there was nothing better than mud pies when I was 5...or 6...or 7...I can't remember when mud pies stopped being fabulous (probably 13)
    Keep us posted on Mud Day next year in Croton!

    1. Hi Of Gardens! See how your mud pies led you to gardening? Its all 'of a piece'. Of course we gardeneres know that it is the soil that makes us such a happy bunch. :-).....I better warn the village manager about Mud Day 2014.


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