Last Monday was international mud day! Now that’s something to celebrate.
The creators of International Mud Day wanted to find a way to help all of the children of the Earth feel closer to each other…and what a better way to do it than through the Earth itself? International Mud Day began in 2009 at a World Forum event, when Gillian McAuliffe from Australia and Bishnu Bhatta from Nepal got together to talk about ways to encourage feelings of community and appreciation for the world around us. The collaboration that followed has inspired educators, children,and families across the globe, from Holland to Nepal to the United States, to celebrate International Mud Day together each year on June 29. Regardless of age, race and religion, covered in mud, we all look the same!
Here’s 10 reasons why we all need to embrace the mess and fall in love with mud.
1. Mud makes you happy. Bacteria found in mud increases the levels of serotonin in our brains which calms and relaxes us and makes us less anxious. I feel we may all need to be prescribed full immersion in a mud bath after 3 months of lockdown!
2. Mud makes you healthier. Yup that’s right. We have been living in such a sanitised world that childhood allergies and asthma have increased. Being exposed to different germs will boost your immunity.
3. It’s a sensory paradise. Sensory stimulation helps to develop different parts of the brain, building new neurological connections that help children take on more complex learning tasks.
4. Playing with mud enhances fine and gross motor skills. When I see my children in the mud kitchen, they use such a variety of tools, utensils and skills – scissors, graters, mashers, scooping, pouring, digging. Not to mention filling up and emptying heavy watering cans.
5. Mud is the perfect medium for nurturing early maths and science skills. Children will naturally start to explore, test, measure, predict, compare and analyse as they play and this is how all the best learning starts.
6. Mud play boosts problem-solving skills. In my experience, this kind of play is most often a social experience especially if you have a mud kitchen. You may create on your own, you may need someone to offer your food to, or you may concoct as a team. Either way children will be communicating and negotiating with each other which are vital skills for their development.
7. Believe it or not, mud is a brilliant art medium. You can paint with it, cook with it, sculpt with it, disguise yourself with it – the possibilities for self-expression with mud are as endless as your child’s imagination and how amazing is that!