I like dirt! Some of us do and some of us don't.
My older son, Joel, LOVED dirt and mud. He was always covered in it -- head to toe - whenever he had an opportunity. He would be a Mud Monster in the backyard and after he layered himself in mud he would add ferns and vines for decoration. He loved it. Even in high school he loved mud. I have a picture of him up at Warm Beach Family Camp after a trip to the mud flats! He, and several other highschoolers, went to the mudflats for some afternoon fun. They returned covered in thick, brown mud -- and giant smiles! They had a blast. The drain in our shower was a gooey mess .. and I did the laundry in the camp washer! haha!! It is a memory I cherish.
Nick on the other hand was far more 'neat and tidy'. He was game for adding to Joel's Mud Monster but he was not going to roll around in the mud, or participate in any other messy activity. We attended a memorial service when they were young. Joel was wearing navy blue and grey while Nick, 2 years old, was in a little white jacket and shorts. During the reception he walked past an older woman with his piece of chocolate cake. Later, the same woman came up to me and said "I see you took away that cake! I am not surprised!" I smiled and said, "Well, no. He ate every bit of it!"
Two little boys from the same family with completely different "clean genes"!
As you know, children come pre-wired with how they view the world and how they interact in that world. Some are very tactile while others are happy to just observe. Some want to touch everything and others are very particular as to what they want to touch. Give your child opportunities to explore their world but be sure to take their lead on how they want to interact with what you give them. Offer up the same opportunity several times -- they may just need to warm up to the activity or they may really not want to do it. Either way it is the opportunity to experience new things in their world that is important.
Have fun exploring the world through new eyes.