It’s the time to play with mud, the children revel in touching, exploring and getting dirty in the mud!
Mud play is now looked at as an essential teaching tool for young children. Getting dirty and playing in mud has a lot of benefits in all areas of child development!
First we will define what mud is and then look at the benefits of playing with mud, finally, I will give you some top tips for trying out mud play at home!
What is mud? And how can we make it?
It’s very easy to make mud, you can just mix soil with water. Sand and water can also be used as a substitute if you don’t have any soil to hand, or a mixture of sand and soil.
To make it more fun and add to the sensory experience you can mix in objects such as stones, marbles, shells, leaves, twigs and other natural objects.
Benefits of Playing with Mud
- It encourages creativity and imagination as children experiment with the mud, mix it, make mud pies and mud ‘meals’.
- The children will practice gross and fine motor skills as they scoop, pour and mould the mud.
- Problem solving skills are enhanced as they see how to transport the mud from one place to another, investigate how the mud reacts when adding more water and try to find hidden objects in the mud.
- Children can learn how to share and take turns with the mud play toys and resources.
- Children will develop their senses as they explore the texture of the mud.
- Mud play has a calming effect and makes children feel happier, so it is great for regulating their emotions.
- Children can be taught social awareness as they become aware of the environment through playing with mud and nature.
- Mud helps to Build Stronger Immune Systems.
- Mud can even benefit the heart and skin!
Simple Mud Play Ideas to Try at Home
It’s very important to give the children the opportunity to play in mud.
- If you visit a country with lots of rain and green areas, let children play in the muddy puddles and grass!
- Let children feel the texture of soil in your garden or planters, help them to water and care for the plants.
- Let your little one paint with mud, you can add some paint or food colour to make it even more interesting!
- Let children build a tower using mud, give them some blocks, stones or sticks and let their imagination run wild! You can even use real bricks with mud ‘cement’ if you have them.
- Create a small world in a washing up tub by adding animals, dinosaurs, stones, grass and mud.
- Let your children find toy animals stuck in the mud.
- Create a mud kitchen, add some casseroles, spoons, forks and plates and let children use their imagination to create some recipes.
- And if you’re feeling really adventurous – throw mud balls!
Here at the Little Dreamers Nursery we implement playing with the mud into our weekly planning and schedule.