Today marked the second international celebration by the Nature Action Collaborative for Children and the World Forum community of International Mud Day. On International Mud Day children and early childhood professionals all over the world celebrate nature, outdoors, and mess by getting really muddy. Two of our Day Nursery centers took the celebration to heart and sent notes home to parents this week so their children would come to school not dressed to impress, but dressed to mess. Oh what fun they had at our Day Nursery Hendricks County Early Care and Education Center in Avon and our Day Nursery Northwest Center in Pike Township. Thanks to our center staff who went the extra mile to make this a day to remember.
Here are pictures from today’s fun plus the Top 5 Reasons to Play in the Mud from Christine Kiewra, Nature Explore Education Specialist, World Forum Foundation Global Leader, and Farm Girl.
1. Sensory: Mud is best explored with your whole self, using all of your senses as tools. It feels good, smells good, and can even sound good! The deeper you ‘jump in’ and push yourself beyond your comfort zone, the more you discover.
2. Timeless: Mud can be played with over and over and never wear out. Our ancestors likely played with the same mud our children play with today. Experiences with mud can help children develop a sense of being connected to something bigger than themselves.
3. Messiness: Playing in mud is messy. When you invite messiness into learning, it increases the complexity and opportunities for children to solve problems and figure out how the world works.
4. Flexibility: There is no right way to use mud. It can turn into anything your imagination conjures up. The longer and more often you play with it, the more delighted you are with what you discover and create. Leading scientists today who are studying soil have discovered that in addition to some harmful bacteria, there are also beneficial bacteria that may boost our immune systems.
5. Universal: All over the world children play in mud. The more we know about the things we have in common and share with people everywhere, the more likely we are to understand and care about each other.