Why it's healthy for children to play with mud!
It is so important that children, like all of us, have regular contact with nature, with proven benefits including enhanced brain development, improved concentration and mental health and a better developed immune system.
There’s lots you can do with mud: from making a mud kitchen with old pots and pans, through to mud pies, mud castles, mud cakes decorated with items found in nature and mud potions. You can even make a mud face with things you find on the ground. Remember: it’s not about doing something perfect, it’s about your child losing him or herself for a while in the sensation and joy of playing with nature and letting their imaginations run wild!
It doesn’t need to be raining either - you just need to get some good old soil or compost, make sure there is nothing nasty in it, mix in some water and you’re good to go and get muddy!
All three of my children (aged one, five and six) love playing in mud and nature. I find it has a calming effect on them when they get absorbed in imaginative nature play - the less toys involved the better! All three of them enjoy the squelchy feeling of playing with wet mud, but I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea! Playing in nature doesn’t always have to involve getting dirty you can also play and make things with dry items like pebbles, sand, grass, leaves and sticks, this will still have the same desired effect, although for some, it maybe won’t be quite as fun!
Mud & Bloom will be running a competition over the next week. Post a picture of your muddy project on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #mudandbloom by July 7th and you will be in with a chance of winning one of five Mud & Bloom July gardening and nature craft boxes – jammed full with growing and craft activities for getting your children into nature. The winners will be chosen at random, as the activity is about the process, not the finished product.