One of my favorite, early memories is playing in puddles behind our house on 22nd St. in Allentown, squishing the mud between my toes :-) And so began the life of another barefoot gypsy...
"Parents can expose their children to an array of microbes by encouraging them to spend time outside, like our friend Julia on her farm (but not necessarily with chicken and pig waste). Today children spend much less time outside than they did only 20 years ago.
Babies and toddlers often aren’t allowed to play in the dirt or sand, and when they are, they are wiped clean immediately. Phrases like, “Yuck! Don’t play in the mud!” or “Don’t touch that bug, it’s dirty!” have become second nature."
(inspired by an article from the WSJ Get Your Children Good and Dirty)