Mud Changed Me
by Chris Kiewra, Outreach Liaison,
Dimensions Educational Research Foundation and Nature Explore
Last year, International Mud Day was a huge success. Stories flooded in from Nature Explore Classrooms quoting children victoriously shouting, “Mud changed me!” and tales of youngsters beaming with delight while joyfully splashing waist-deep in mud puddles. As we prepare for this year’s Mud Day on June 29th, let us review the following top five reasons to play in the mud.
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.
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. Experiences with mud can help children develop a sense of being connected with something bigger than themselves.
Messy: 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.
Flexibile: There is no right way to use mud. It can turn into anything your imagination can conjure up. The longer and more often you play with it, the more delighted you are with what you discover and create. Leading scientists are even studying dirt. One recent discovery is that in addition to some harmful bacteria, there is also beneficial bacteria that may boost our immune systems.
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.
Go ahead, get out there and get muddy! What do you plan to do for International Mud Day?
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Nature Explore Program is a division of Dimensions Educational Research Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.