Last week we had some friends over, and at one point there were eight kids playing in the backyard. What were they doing? They took turns on the trampoline and the swings, they ran around a bit and tossed balls back and forth. But mostly they played with the worms.
Red Chief's sandbox (devoid of sand since last fall, as Red Chief and Tiger Lily managed to slowly transfer every bit of the sand to various other places in the backyard) had been uncovered and moved out into the open from a past escapade of his, and it filled up with water—and worms—in the last rainstorm.
The kids took pails and shovels and started transferring worms and "worm soup" back and forth. The babies even took a few swigs of the worm water when we weren't looking (ew!).
And you know what? All three moms in the backyard were okay with it. We didn't really want our kids spilling worm water all over their clothes, and the general ick factor was more than usual, but we still let our kids have their play.
I try to let my kids have their dirty time. I think it's an important part of childhood to get your hands (and everything else) dirty every once in awhile. What do you think?