Squelch, squelch, squish, squish... the sounds of slippery, slurppy, soft and cool mud in your hands. Do you remember making mud pies? Stomping around in bare feet, letting the mud squish up between your toes? When I was a young child, living in sunny California, my parents rented a house that had a big pile of dirt behind the garage space. And I have many, happy, memories digging in that dirt and in the summertime adding water to create a lovely, muddy play space for me and my brother to explore. Mud is a fantastic tool for play. It encourages imagination. It engages all of your senses. And although mothers and teachers may be appalled when mud play is over and it’s time to clean up, mud can be just the thing to tire those little children out for a good nights sleep.
It’s International Mud Day on June 29th. International Mud Day was started in Nepal with a group of orphans as a way of bringing joy to these children as well as getting them closer to Mother Nature. It’s success has continued to grow as it’s now a world-wide effort to bring children and nature closer together.
Here are some resources for creating a mud day in your child care center or program:
- Resources from the World Forum Foundation: http://www.worldforumfoundation.org/working-groups/nature/international-mud-day/mudday-resources/
- Mud Books for the Early Childhood Environment:
- And if you don’t have the option or resources to play with real mud, you can always make some CLEAN MUD (although there is no substitution for real earthy mud goodness)!
Also see ChildCareInfo's post from 2011: http://childcareinfo.com/ChildrensPlace/SpecialDaySeasonalEvent/InternationalMudDay.aspx#at_pco=cfd-1.0
Picture Courtesy: Mighty Mud Mania - Dru Bloomfield, on Flickr