This Saturday (29 June) is one of our favourite days of the year. A day dedicated to getting as messy, squishy and dirty as possible… What are we talking about? International Mud Day, of course!
International Mud Day was created in 2009 when West Australian teacher Gillian McAuliffe and Bishnu Bhatta from Nepal met at the World Forum for Early Childhood Care and Education.
10 years later, International Mud Day is celebrated throughout the globe, with children (and adults) celebrating nature, being outdoors, and getting really, really dirty!
The feeling of mud on your toes, or in your hands, is unlike anything else. It’s dirty, gets everywhere and sometimes stains your clothes. It can be scary, and something that causes a sense of worry or even awe. Sometimes, even as an adult, you have to start slowly. Work yourself up. Dip one toe in. We guarantee you’ll finish with a smile on your face (even if it doesn’t start that way).
Playing in mud is fun. It’s also good for you!
Research suggests that mud play is a basic biological need, with a variety of benefits including:
- Boosting your immune system and follow on improvements to your mood through exposure to “friendly soil bacteria”.
- Mud play is an opportunity for children to use their senses, which increases brain activity.
- During mud play, children are not only exercising and being physically active, they are also forming ideas, problem solving and using critical thinking as they play.
- Development and use of fine and gross motor skills, sensory awareness, balance and coordination.
For children, it’s as plain and simple as this: mud is fun! Children will instinctively play in mud and get dirty. It’s our job – as parents, aunties, uncles, friends or educators, to provide children with the opportunities for children to play in mud. Let’s give them permission to get dirty!
Here are some suggestions for your celebration of International Mud Day this year:
- Make a mud sculpture
- Make a mud cake
- Make a homemade mud pit (a blow-up pool works a treat!)
Find out more information about International Mud Day, including mud play stories, photos and resources.
Here are some photos from some of our favourite mud events, each held in partnership with local Councils, including the Shire of York, City of Canning and City of Cockburn.
PS: Nature Play WA will be delivering more mud events soon… Keep an eye on our Facebook page and website!
Read the origin story of International Mud Day!