SO Kid loves being outdoors all year round, whatever the weather, but he has particularly enjoyed the last few weeks of sunshine and has been straight out in the garden after school every day. Even in the pouring rain he’s been running barefoot across the grass and bouncing on the trampoline. His current favourite thing to do is to make mud, sand and water concoctions in tubs, which he tells me are ‘swamps’ for bugs to live in. Another favourite pastime is digging in the mud with his hands and getting as messy as possible! In hindsight, I should probably persuade him to change out of his uniform first, but thankfully it is hard wearing and washable – as is he!
Mud play is a very open ended activity, it can be played with in many ways but there doesn’t have to be a specific goal or end product, it is all about the process. It could just be the gooey feel of the mud on a child’s hands or between their toes which is fulfilling enough – think of it like one of those squishy stress balls, allowing the child to just be ‘in the moment’. Although, there are also plenty of muddy ‘projects’ a child may enjoy, such as;
Making mud pies or potions
Drawing in the mud with a stick
Making sculptures or ‘mud pottery’
Painting with mud (as you can see, SO Kid enjoys painting the slide with his hands… before sliding down it of course!)
Digging holes in the mud – toy diggers and trucks can be useful for this!
Pretend cooking in a mud kitchen with some old pots and pans
Aside from the inevitable mess, there is so much to be gained from playing in the mud;
Time to have fun and just enjoy being a child
Unwinding after school, reducing stress and anxiety
Allowing scope to experiment
Being able to connect with nature
Providing a multi sensory experience – the feel and smell of the mud, along with the sounds of nature
Exposure to bacteria, helping to build up the immune system
Creating memories (do you remember making mud pies as a child?)
And the best bit?
…Mud is free!
SO Mum, SO Dad, SO Teen and SO Kid, blogging about family life in Hampshire.