Outdoor activity: The joys of messy mud play

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
Inspiring creativity
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.

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Photalife

22 thoughts on “Outdoor activity: The joys of messy mud play

  • May 27, 2017 at 8:27 am
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    We love playing in the mud! We live near the beach but our beach is muddy so there you go endless mud to play with hehe. Thanks for sharing this lovely mud play ideas. #countrykids

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  • May 27, 2017 at 10:53 am
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    Every child should have the opportunity to get good and muddy like this, I always worry when we have children here on the farm who fuss over a little paint on their hands at craft hour, never mind mud! On the other hand others will be splashing in the silt next to the river or playing in our mud kitchen without a care in the world. Like you I’m a big fan of letting them explore with this wonderful free resource from nature.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CoutnryKids

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  • May 27, 2017 at 7:25 pm
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    I think its great to get messy outdoors and I love how imaginative he is! Lily is really fussy with getting mud on her hands. haha #Countrykids

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  • May 27, 2017 at 11:08 pm
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    I have to admit that this is one of my worst nightmares! Great photos though šŸ™‚ #MySundayPhoto

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  • May 28, 2017 at 5:07 am
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    Exactly the kind of activities my kids like to get up to. Thing is, I always kinds want to join in. #MySundayphoto

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  • May 28, 2017 at 6:01 am
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    Doesn’t that look like great fun. Our dog loves the mud too – if there is one puddle left she will be in it, face first then everyting else to follow!

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  • May 28, 2017 at 6:15 am
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    You’ve got to love a bit of messy outdoor play haven’t you. I quite like using water for the kids as it’s a bit cleaner than mud, lol šŸ˜‰ #MySundayPhoto

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  • May 28, 2017 at 11:21 am
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    You can’t beat getting messy. Looks like your son has a fantastic time and of course he’s learning along the way too. Thanks for sharing #countrykids

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  • May 28, 2017 at 12:44 pm
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    My eldest hates it but my youngest loves anything messy and I think he’d gladly dive into it!

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  • May 28, 2017 at 1:51 pm
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    As the saying goes, a messy child is a happy child, I love watching the kids getting dirty and having fun, after all its nothing that wont wash off in the bath šŸ™‚ #MySundayPhoto

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  • May 29, 2017 at 1:09 am
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    Messy play is so important and fun! Making mudpies is one of the most fun activities as a child! Great photos!

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  • May 30, 2017 at 8:55 pm
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    I love these photos! My eldest daughter has a ‘mud kitchen’ in reception class. I love the idea. And messy play is the best even in a school uniform!! #CountryKids

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  • May 31, 2017 at 2:38 pm
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    Your comparison of clothing and your child had me giggle. Love outdoor play like this. #CountryKids

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  • June 1, 2017 at 8:08 am
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    SO Kid looks like he is getting wonderfully messy there and having a lot of fun doing so. Playing with mud is lots of fun – and clothes can always be washed, as my little ones are quick to remind me! šŸ™‚ #countrykids

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  • June 2, 2017 at 3:45 pm
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    I love it when kids get muddy and dirty. They should do it more even if it does make me cringe as a parent lol

    Look forward to seeing you this week #mysundayphoto

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  • June 4, 2017 at 7:57 pm
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    Gotta love a bit of messy play. Bet he had loads of fun! #mysundayphoto

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  • June 17, 2017 at 2:48 pm
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    Hi, a grubby child is a happy child and these days, with washing machines there is no reason not to let children go out and get dirty. It’s nice to let children just be. If nothing else building a stronger immune system should be reason enough to let children play in the mud!… Mud pie anyone?

    xx

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