WHY PLAYING IN THE MUD IS MORE THAN JUST FUN

WHY PLAYING IN THE MUD IS MORE THAN JUST FUN

As a child, I was drawn to MUD.  Some of my
fondest childhood memories saw me covered in the stuff, head to toe.



Dirt and water… 2 very simple and basic ingredients have and
continue to be the source of so much activity, creativity, joy, and sensory fun
for children and adults.



Do you remember what it felt like to squelch mud
through your toes
? Do you remember standing on the edge of the mud
pit, looking in with hesitation, repulsion, wonder and awe.



Mud is amazing, how it can conjure up such polarizing
feelings, how this simple substance can make us feel disgusted and
revolted at the same time so joyous, inspired and alive
. Amazing.



This grubby, gooey, sticky substance always seemed to
have magical powers on me as a child.  In its
presence, so much is possible.  Simply standing in it fires up my
imagination! I become inspired.



Even when I am holding mud in my hands today, I still feel
as though I can create anything. I am transported very quickly into
a playful child-like state of mind. And there is no greater pleasure than
giving yourself permission to get dirty!



Now that I am a grown-up and a parent, I realized
that I no longer played in the mud. But I am changing that.



Over the past few years I have rediscovered my love for
playing in the mud and the Nature Play QLD Team has been on a mission to
bring Mud Play back!



Nature Play QLD has run many Mud
Events 
over the past 3 years and learnt so much from children about
the art of mud play. Thank you kids, you have been very inspiring….



Mud play is about fun, it engages all the senses, and should
be a normal part of outdoor play. H.Moser



I’ve also discovered these days it may take a little
longer to convince our kids to get dirty – possibly a side effect of our
cleanness-obsessed world – but when they do, kids just love it! They
begin with 1 toe dipped in the mud and I watch with huge satisfaction as they
work towards being total immersed. Covered from head to toe and
using it in so many ways.



Mud play is about fun, it engages all the senses, and should
be a normal part of outdoor play.



And, those childhood feelings I had about mud having magical
powers
?  Turns out they were correct!



Playing in the mud is not only fun, it’s good for
kids too!
  I have been researching mud play, and have uncovered some
surprising facts behind this magical material, as well as some amazing and
interesting statistics related to why our kids need to get their hands dirty.



THE SCIENCE OF MUD PLAY



There is a growing body of research into why kids have
an inbuilt need to play in the mud.



There is evidence suggesting that mud play is a basic
biological need, and this type of play has many physical, psychological, and
emotional benefits for children.



MUD MAKES YOU HAPPY – New research has shown
that exposure to friendly soil
bacteria 
(Mycobacterium Vaccae) stimulates the immune system causing
the brain to release serotonin, the endorphin used to regulate mood.



MUD INCREASES BRAIN ACTIVITY – When children
play with mud they use all of their senses, resulting in a highly stimulated
and active brain.



MUD INCREASES PHYSICAL ACTIVITY –  ​When
children play outdoors, and in mud, the incidental movement and physical
activity increases, helping children maintain a healthy lifestyle and develop
their physical literacy.



MUD REDUCES YOUR SUSCEPTABILITY TO DEPRESSION 
Given the link of the friendly bacteria in mud and its ability to make you
happy, scientists say that regular exposure to mud will reduce a child’s
vulnerability to depression.



MUD REDUCES ALLERGIES & ASTHMA SYMPTOMS 
There is increasing evidence that today’s society is “too clean”, and that this is a contributor to increased levels
of childhood illnesses, including immune disorders and allergies.



MUD PLAY BUILDS CREATIVITY – The open-ended
nature of mud play is perfect for the developing brain. There is no end to the
creations, ideas and games children will invent. During this type of
unstructured, outdoor play, children are not only exercising but are building
their ability to form ideas, problem solve, and think critically, as well as
be innovative and inventive.



KEY DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES ACHIEVED THROUGH MUD
PLAY 
– As children grow through their formative years, mud play will
help them achieve many key developmental milestones, such as fine and gross motor skills, sensory
awareness, balance and coordination.  Mud play will also create
opportunities to practice social skills and help children to make sense of the
world.



FOUNDATIONAL LEARNING THROUGH MUD PLAY – While
playing with mud, children are learning and testing theories, as well as
developing foundational understanding of maths and literacy.



MUD PLAY CAN REDUCE CHILDHOOD ANXIETY AND STRESS 
There is now scientific evidence linking the restorative effects of outdoor play, which can reduce levels of anxiety and stress in
children.



MUD PLAY CREATES CHILDHOOD MEMORIES – Positive
childhood experiences while playing outdoors will help to create and strengthen
kids’ concept of the outdoors, and reinforce the intrinsic benefits and
interest in playing outdoors and being active.



BUILDING AN ADVENTUREOUS SPIRIT THROUGH MUD PLAY 
While kids are braving the mud, sloshing and squelching around, they are
challenging themselves, expanding their experiences and in turn, their world.
Instilling and nurturing this constructive foundational style of critical
thinking and risk assessment in children builds and strengthens their values
and attitudes toward adventure, and develops important skills that can be
carried through to adulthood.



MUD BUILDS A CONNECTION WITH NATURE – Playing
with mud is a foundational activity that could lead to children further
developing a strong and empathetic connection with the natural environment.



MUD IS FUN!  For most children, mud play is
intrinsically fun, plain and simple.  While adults like to understand the
full sphere of why mud play is so good for our children, kids will just
instinctively play in it.  Especially when their parents encourage them
to!  Children don’t need to understand why this type of play is important
to their development.  What’s important is that we provide opportunities
for them to do it – and give them permission to get dirty!



Parents and carers know that how our children play is
important. We all know we need to find ways to get our kids moving.



Nature Play QLD is all about providing programs to get kids
off the couch, encouraging them to put down their devices and go back outside
to have fun with unstructured, active, outdoor play.



MUD PLAY is amazing, not only it delivers a great play
experience for our kids, but it’s easy and affordable to get involved.



You might have some extra washing…but your kids are going to
love it!  And don’t be surprised if you enjoy making mud pies as much as
they do!


Add a Comment *

Name

Email *

Post a Comment

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post