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Why Getting Messy is Good

Why Getting Messy is Good

(Family Features) – Playing outside and getting messy may just seem like fun to kids, but playtime actually has an important role in child development.

Research shows that various types of play and parental interaction are vital to the healthy development of children. That’s why award-winning child care author of “The Big Book of Parenting Solutions,” and mom of three, Dr. Michele Borba is teaming up with all® Oxi-Active(tm) laundry detergent to let moms know it’s okay to let their little ones get dirty and have a blast doing it, instead of fretting about the mess.

“By teaching kids that it’s okay to get messy sometimes and even encouraging it occasionally, we as parents show them that nobody is perfect, that accidents happen and most importantly, we teach them to be themselves,” said Borba. “Childhood is just too short to worry about getting dirty. Moreover, today’s advanced detergents, such as all®: Oxi-Active, can remove many tough stains in one wash, but the memories that come with making them can last a lifetime.”

“We’ve always known that kids and play are just a natural combo,” Borba said. “But new research also shows that letting kids engage in self-directed play has immense value for their social, emotional, cognitive and physical growth.”

  • Play expands kids’ minds and neurological development. Self-initiated play improves skills such as problem solving and interpreting and is important to brain development and learning.
  • Play boosts children’s creativity and imagination. Play gives children the chance to invent, build, expand, explore and develop a whole different part of the brain.
  • Play stretches our children’s attention spans. Playing outdoors just 30 minutes a day increases child’s ability to focus and pay attention.
  • Play boosts self-confidence and self-regulation. Kids learn to become masters of their own destiny without an adult directing, pushing, managing or scheduling
  • Play helps kids learn to enjoy just being in their own company, entertaining themselves and developing identity. Ease that guilt when your kid says, “I’m bored, Mom!” and wants to be amused by you.

Borba urges parents to ask these questions:

  • How much are your kids plugged into some kind of a digital device? (Did you know the average child is plugged in for 7 1/2 hours a day?)
  • How often are they glued to that TV or clicking that keypad?
  • How much free time do they have (unscheduled, unsupervised)?
  • How often do they go outdoors to just decompress?
  • Do your kids know how to entertain themselves and enjoy the great outdoors?
  • How do you respond when they get messy?

Visit for more information and to download a coupon and go to to share your favorite messy moments.