All kids love playing with mud. It is a type of play absolutely adored by the kids. They can play with mud in any forms i.e. squishy, dry, hard, soft, and runny. There are various textures and kids love to explore them.
What Is Mud Play?
Mud is easily available anywhere.
Mud play is playing with mud whether it’s a sandbox, beach, or at a park. It is a play that makes them damp and dirty.
Children can squish, dig, pile, or push mud around while playing with it. They can throw mud at each other or at the wall, jump on mud, or even slip on the piles made of mud.
Benefits of Mud Play
Parents are concerned whether it’s good that their children are indulging in mud play, about the illness they would get due to it, and many others.
Playing with mud can be healthy for the little one in many ways. The various benefits include:
Healthy Immune System
There are germs present in the mud that can help strengthen the immune system of the child. If a person lives in a clean environment all the time, he is at a greater risk of illness such as allergies and asthma.
Mud play is a way to expose the child to beneficial germs.
Upto 50 percent of children suffer from problems that lead to wheezing and other problem in their first 3 years.(1) The research was done on young children living in urban environments found, those exposed to pet dander, dust, and other allergens before 1 year, had a lower risk of developing allergies and recurrent wheezing in their childhood.
Another study found that children who were raised in nonindustrial farms were less likely to develop asthma than those who were not.(2)
Improves Gut Health
Playing in mud increases the friendly bacteria in the body.
A medical study found children playing in daycare in the yards with soil had more gut bacteria than those playing in daycare with less natural space.(3)
Good For Emotional Health And Creativity
While playing with mud children connect and interact with the natural world. Such children develop tactile skills.
Playing with mud keeps them away from the screen and also gives them fresh air, exercise and sunlight. It helps boost their imagination, creativity, independent learning, and makes them learn teamwork. It also helps in developing construction, building, and problem-solving skills.
Mud playing is also suggested by many environmental advocates as an important teaching tool to address the complexities of gender and class.(4)
You would find children being very happy while playing with mud. Sometimes they get so engrossed in it that they almost forget how much time they have spent playing with it.
Who doesn’t like their children with those happy faces when what they are playing with is not causing any harm.
Activities For Mud Play
Children do not need a special environment for mud play.
You can just take them out after a rainy day to explore the muddy puddles or allow them to play with mud on the porch or bath.
Activities on the mud are endless. They can play with mud in the following ways:
- Make castles and buildings
- They can make pretend muffins, donut, and cookies
- They can paint and write with mud using a large paintbrush
- Throw mud balls against a wall pr a cardboard target
- Make mud racetracks on road for their toy cars
You can also get involved with the kids in these activities and see their happiness double up.
Tips while playing with mud:
- Always keep an eye on the child during mud play. While exploring or squishing mud, make sure they do not eat the mud or put it in their eyes.
- Do not push the child into any activity. Let them decide how messy they want to get. Some would love the glorious mess of mud while a few prefer to keep it cleaner.
- Make rules so that the children do not throw mud on each other or at you.
- Give them a few tools to play on the mud with. They can be kitchen implements or some plastic cares or animals.
- Mud play can be very beneficial even for babies below 1 year of age. It is a great way to let your child develop learning skills with sensory play.
- Mud is dirty, but exposure to some germs and good bacteria is required in early childhood to create a healthy immune system.
Let your child play with mud. As long as it is not getting into their mouth, eyes, nose, or ear, playing with it is generally safe and healthy.