Today is International Mud Day. Started in 2009 in Nepal and Australia, the organizers of International Mud Day wanted to find a way for all of the earth’s children to feel closer to one another and to nature. Here at McKendree, we celebrate Mud Day everyday with lots of opportunities for children to get dirty.
Playing in the dirt is proven to make you happier, healthier, and even smarter! Loaded with healthy bacteria, parasites, and viruses, exposure to dirt and mud inevitably strengthens a child’s immune system. Dirt play – making mud pies in the mud kitchen, gardening, exploration of earthy potter’s clay, or simply digging holes – can significantly improve a child’s mood and reduce anxiety and stress. The open-ended nature of mud and dirt is perfect for the developing brain, and allows children to exercise their ability to problem solve, think critically, form ideas, and be inventive and creative.
“For ourselves, and for our planet, we must be both strong and strongly connected — with each other, with the earth. As children, we need time to wander, to be outside, to nibble on icicles, watch ants, to build with dirt and sticks in the hollow of the earth, to lie back and contemplate clouds….” Gary Paul Nabhan & Stephen Trimble, The Geography of Childhood, 2004