Benefits Of Mud Play:
Fine Motor Skills
Using a shovel, playing with kitchen utensils to make mud pies, scooping, and digging all help develop fine motor skills. Playing in the mud is a fun way for young children to practice these types of skills.
Makes You Happy
According to recent science, soil naturally contains Mycobaterium Vaccae, a friendly bacterium that stimulates the immune system and increases serotonin production (source). So, not only is it just fun to play in, mud literally makes you happy!
Good For The Immune System
Thanks to various friendly bacteria found in soil like Mycobacterium Vaccae, soil stimulates the immune system.
Exposing your child to dirt and mud can help their immune systems develop and learn to battle invading organisms.
Healthy Brain Development
Spending time in nature can help increase cognitive skills (source). It's also linked to decreased stress levels.
Mud is an excellent medium for sensory play and gives children an opportunity to play creatively. And that same release of serotonin caused by Mycobacterium Vaccae, had been shown to increase cognitive function!
Connect With Nature
Playing in the mud gives kids an opportunity to connect with nature and to develop an appreciation for the natural world around them. Kids today are spending an increasing amount of time indoors. Mud play is an excellent opportunity to get your kids outside and connecting with the natural world.
Fun Mud Play Ideas:
Make Mud Pies
Mud pies are always a favorite. Grab a few old pie pans and some bowls, spoons, etc... and get baking!
My kids like to gather rocks and leaves to decorate their mud pies and cakes.
Make Mud Art
Make works of art with mud. You can grab a stick and sketch in the mud. Or use an old paint brush and paint a mud masterpiece onto some paper or a large rock.
Work In The Garden
The garden is a great place for getting your hands dirty. Let your kiddos help you plant and care for some veggies or flowers in a sunny place in your yard. Not only is it a fun way to get a little dirty, it's also an awesome life skill to teach your kids.
Build Mud Canals
My kids love this one. Grab a small garden shovel and let your kiddos dig canals in the dirt. When they're done let them pour water through their canals.
Build A Dirt Race Track For Toy Cars
Challenge your kids to build a dirt race track to race their toy cars on. If you have toy tractors, use them to help build the track!
If you enjoyed this post, check out:
-5 Reasons To Let Your Kids Go Barefoot
-Backyard Nature Activities For Kids
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