At Fitzgerald, students enjoy the first hour of their day in an unstructured outdoor play time. After lunch students spend another hour outdoors in a nature’s classroom setting.Students thoroughly enjoy getting dirty! There is a wealth of research that explains how dirt strengthens our immune system and positively affects our health in a myriad of ways.
According to the National Wildlife Federation’s The Dirt on Dirt report, dirt and germs are beneficial to one’s physical and mental health. Mycobacterium vaccae are soil microbes that improve mood and learning, while lessening the chances of allergies, asthma, and autoimmune conditions. Mud play improves problem solving skills, encourages creativity, and engages children in a full sensory experience. Dr. Christiane Northrup also shares how dirt strengthens our immune system and gives plenty of reasons to get dirty. Dr. Northrup states, “Children who play outside become more adventurous and self-motivated and use their imagination more. They are also better able to understand and assess risk because playing in nature lets them explore in ways that they can ask questions, make observations and see outcomes.”