Oh the joys of mud!! Since the dawn of time kids have been drawn to mud puddles and dirt as a part of their play. Mixing soil, water, along with other natural materials like pebbles, leaves, or grass provides kids endless possibilities for learning and fun. A lot of us have fond memories of creating mud pies, digging for worms, or making torrents and valleys in the mud. But its not just about fun, children benefit from messy, muddy play. Advantages of mud play. Scientists have now confirmed something which kids have always instinctively known, playing in mud is a joyful experience.
Recent research shows that dirt comprises of microscopic bacteria called Mycobacterium Vaccae that stimulates the immunity system and increases the levels of serotonin in our brains, an endorphin that soothes, calms, and helps us to unwind. Scientists say regular exposure to the bacteria might help reduce a child's exposure to depression. Science shows that todays sanitized world is in fact contributing to increase levels of childhood allergies and asthma. Exposure to dirt and germs functions to prime a child's immunity system to prevent allergies. Yes, its actually healthful for kids to get muddy! Mud is also a fantastic medium for learning.
The same release of dopamine which happens when playing in Mycobacterium Vaccae dirt has also been shown to enhance cognitive function. And the rich, engaging sensory play kids partake in while playing with mud allows them to express their creativity while enhancing their fine motor skills. Children practice social skills like cooperation, negotiation, communication, and sharing as they work together. Emergent mathematics and science skills are practiced as kids make after and before comparisons, solve problems, test theories, and measure and count ingredients for their mud pies. This is the scientific process in action. Mud is a wonderful art medium, it’s in ample supply, may be easily modelled to create endless sculptures, and responds differently than clay or play dough.
The open ended nature of sand promotes creative thinking and allows kids to freely create without fear of making mistakes. This also contributes to a child's sense of self, helping to build a strong inner sense of competency. Mud play is inclusive of all children. Mud is an open ended material that meets the different needs and interests of different children. Younger or less skilled kids might concentrate on the sensory experience whereas older kids can have more particular goals in mind for their mud play. Some kids might completely enjoy the feeling of mud between their toes while others are just comfortable poking a finger in the mud. Kids Outdoor Mud Kitchens allow kids to explore the mud at their very own comfort level. With mud, there’s something for everybody and there are no wrong answers. Playing in the mud inspires kids to feel a contact with nature and develop an appreciation for the environment.