Mud, mess and madness in an early learning environment is usually an educators worst nightmare, but yesterday it was the educators who were egging on the children to get downright dirty as they celebrated International Mud Day.
As part of the International Mud Day festivities, children at Lady Gowrie Mudgee were encouraged to get completely muddy by playing in mud kitchens, to digging pits, making mud art and more.
International Mud Day is a day where children, adults and organisations around the world have loads of fun by getting really muddy to raise awareness about the importance of connecting children with nature.
“Mud play nurtures a connection with nature, developing in children a sense of connection with the earth,” Centre Director, Mandy Edwards, said.
“It is completely unstructured, giving children the power to create their own style of play. From creating mud pies to mud monsters, they get the chance to use their imagination and get lost in a world of mud,” Mandy said.
Giving children the opportunity to feel mud between their fingers and toes not only bonds them with nature, but according to research, is a sensory experience that can increase happiness and creativity and even soothe stress and anxiety in young children.
“We definitely believe that the benefits of mud play extends to increasing happiness and wellbeing – as we know that playing with mud releases serotonin, an endorphin that contributes to our overall happiness,” Mandy said.
“International Mud Day perfectly aligns with our centre philosophy, as we actively encourage child initiated play-based learning which gives children the right to learn in a safe and fun environment.”
Participating in mud play, Mandy said, is a fun way to get children excited about exploring our natural environment and is definitely a day that they won’t forget.