I ask that you take a moment to think about your experiences with mud, to really reach back to the sensory moments that evoked the giddy kind of happiness, excitement and even hilarious disgust that mud brought to your young life. The simple pleasure of playing in the mud extends into many parts of an individual’s growth.
The great thing about mud is that it can be washed off skin, hair and clothes. What cannot be washed away is the value each child and adult gets form playing in the mud. That joy and open ended learning, of getting into squelchy, gooey, messy, beautiful mud stays with a person throughout their lives.
Mud play helps develop sensory skills, social and emotional development, language skills and even helps to build a scientific mind. Discoveries such as how far mud will splatter is not only a moment of pure fascination and joy, it can be the beginning of understanding cause and effect in a child’s world.
Mud has been scientifically proven to improve health by increasing the immune system, which is vital for young children and adults. Playing in mud is also great for exploration and connection to the world, it allows children a chance to use their imagination and to experience earthing (being connected physically to the earth). In the past year I have noticed our children seem to be more resilient and resistant to common colds and flu. I believe this is in part due to the fact our children have regular contact with mud, dirt and the surrounding environment.
This weekend I encourage you to head outside in the rainy weather and take the time to jump in the muddy puddles with your children, sit in the mud and feel the exhilaration of mud squishing through your fingers and toes. I certainly will be.