Mud is such a simple thing that sometimes as parents all we see is the after effect and the mess that follows. However, if we just stop and think about the benefits of playing in the mud we can realise that it can lead to hours of entertainment, unstructured play, endless imagination and even health benefits.
- MUD HELPS BUILD IMMUNITY: Think back to when you were a kid and the all the great time you had just getting muddy! I don't really remember ever being that sick from bugs and things as a kid as what my kids seem to pick up these days. Our immune systems were built up by allowing us to get muddy. Exposure to friendly soil bacteria (Mycobacterium Vaccae) helps our immune system. It causes the brain to release serotonin. This endorphin is used to regulate our mood.
- There is more evidence each day that society is ‘too clean” and may be a contributor to increased levels of childhood illness including immune disorders and allergies as well as asthma symptoms. Exposing your kids to regular mud play may assist with building up the immunity and help decrease these allergies. Natural Play QLD.”
- MUD MAKES YOU HAPPY: Seeing your kid play in the mud equals pure joy. The endorphin called Serotonin is released during this mud play helping them feel happy and boost mood. “Natural Play QLD”. Scientist have also express positive links between muddy play and a decrease in depression due to this release of serotonin.
- MUD IMPROVES WELL-BEING: Muddy play is a great social activity with siblings or friends and this type of play also has mental, physical, psychological and emotional benefits in our kids.
- Muddy play allows kids to use their creativity and is great for their mental health as it fires up the neural pathways and brain connectivity. Allowing them to problem solve and think about what they are creating and make connections from past experience. For example creating a house out of mud they may draw on experience from making a house out of lego blocks. They know that they need to build a strong foundation and work up from that. The brain is fully active when they are immersed in muddy play. They are using most of their senses; feel, touch, sight, sound hopefully not too much taste ;)
- Being outside will help their physical health as they are moving around in their play. Just being outdoors has its own health benefits and will help them develop physical literacy. You can read about them in my other blog “https://jumply.com.au/blogs/our-jumply-adventures/7-benefits-of-outdoor-play “
- MUD PROVIDES DEEPER CONNECTION TO NATURE: Think about the kinesthetic feel and touch that kids get from mud. They get to feel what it feels like to touch and squelch the mud in their hands and just dig in the dirt.
- It's a massive learning experience on a deeper level. They can explore their natural surroundings looking for flowers, pebbles, leaves to help their muddy creations come to life. Mud can also help kids develop strong empathetic connections with their natural environment by looking deeper at how things grow and exist in their habitat.
Kids love when they have permission to get muddy, all too often we are quick to say “don't get muddy” and I totally get that but at some stage we should make allowances for kids to just be kids and enjoy Mother Nature in her simplest form. All of the benefits above are enough of a reason to allow them to get muddy.