Mud, mud, glorious mud! It's taken me a while to get over my couch potato ways, but slowly and surely I've come to love outdoor play and especially muddy play. Crazy, huh? What about the washing, the muddy carpets, the grubby fingernails, well I think the benefits outweigh the extra washing powder and clean up, here's why........
1 - It's Outside
Getting outside is great, the fresh air, exercise and being out in nature and let's face it unless you really, really love the mud you're going to keep it outside. And, 'yes' there is plenty of other ways to play outside so why else do we love mud?
2 - Fewer boundaries means less rule breaking
Once outside, there's no precious ornaments to break, no walls to mark there's just space - to run, play, have fun. Once we're outside I find there's only two rules left 1) staying in certain areas (away from roads, open water etc) and 2) not getting dirty. If you rule out the not getting dirty then there's very few rules to break, less rule breaking means I can relax more, engage with the kids then the fun really starts.
3 - Mud encourages 'yes' parenting
If I can say 'yes' to mud and dirt, could I say yes to some shaving foam painting, some indoor water play, how about we put our feet in some jelly or make some gloop? Maybe we could have dinner in the dark, or have a picnic in the snow? Saying 'yes' can open up a whole new world of play and adventures.
4 - Exploring kids equals confident kids
If kids have the ability to explore with fewer boundaries, because they know it's OK to try stuff out like jumping in muddy puddles or rolling down hills then hopefully this will encourage their natural confidence and risk taking. Not an expert opinion by any means, but something I've seen in my kids.
5 - Mud feeds the imagination
With no toys, just yourselves and the great outdoors mud (and sticks, trees, leaves etc) feeds the imagination. We've eaten mud pies, lived in mud houses and met mud monsters! The added bonus for me is that this imaginative play makes for kids that can entertain themselves indoors and out.
I hope you've enjoyed today's post and you too enjoy mud play!