I’m going to take a wild guess here and bet that many of you don’t know that today, Friday, June 29, is International Mud Day.
No, seriously — it is!
In my humble opinion, it’s a genius idea. I mean, what better way to celebrate and experience the great outdoors than to get really dirty? Like, clothes-plastered-to-your-body, hair-caked-with-mud dirty. If you can let go of the clean-up anxiety that I admit is furiously coursing through this type-A mama’s blood, your kids will thank you for it. I promise! I’m reminded of my participation in the infamous mud slide incident on the “beach” (i.e. grassy field) at University of Delaware in spring of 1992… Boy, that was a LOT of fun!
Once you’ve mixed up some dirt and water, here are some ideas to get the kids started:
- grab a shovel and pail and start making mud pies
- construct mud houses using toy trucks
- water the garden without shoes on
- create a river in the dirt and build a dam
- find some paint brushes (or not) and let the kids decorate their bodies
- make mud balls and decorate with rocks, sticks, leaves, etc.
And in case you’re not convinced by the simple fact that playing in mud is fun, take note of some of the many benefits that mud play offers:
- tactile, sensory experiences are essential to children’s developing brains
- playing in mud can improve hand-eye coordination and the understanding of cause and effect
- playing in dirt supports the development of a stronger immune system (I love this one!)
Here’s the dirt (I couldn’t resist!): The World Forum Foundation started International Mud Day as part of its Nature Action Collaborative for Children initiative to “re-connect children with the natural world by making developmentally appropriate nature education a sustaining and enriching part of the daily lives of the world’s children.”
Photo Credit: Bill Dubreuil from Kaboom.