International Mud Day

International Mud Day, Glorious MUD!

Get Your MUD On!

It’s here! It’s here! International Mud Day, that is. Oh yes, International Mud Day, glorious MUD. Aka, Ultimate Kids’ Day. If you were a young child, wouldn’t you think mud is something to celebrate?

International Mud Day

Today isn’t a day to be hesitant about mud. No, instead it’s a day to embrace mud wholeheartedly. To get as muddy as possible. Mud washes off and kids are wash and towel dry. But mud isn’t the only thing to celebrate. Started back in 2008, in Nepal and Australia, the intention of International Mud Day is to give children worldwide a chance to connect with nature outdoors by getting up close and personal with mud.

The formula for creating mud must be hardwired into genes because every child knows dirt and water gives the treasure of mud. Kids find it anywhere, and on every other day of the year, it’s true to Murphy’s Law. That is, the amount of mud kids get on their clothes is directly proportional to how inconvenient it is to get all muddy. But on International Mud Day, they have the ultimate kids’ day, permission to get covered with it, from head to toe.

Special days often have songs, so here is one for kids who might be a little hesitant. With mud on hands, do the actions to these words:

Head and shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes, knees and toes,
Head and shoulders, knees and toes,
Smear on some MUD!

Add a few more verses:

Elbows, wrists, hips, and thighs,
Hips and thighs, hips, and thighs,
Elbows, wrists, hips, and thighs,
Smear on some MUD!

Front and back, legs and arms,
Legs and arms, legs and arms,
Front and back, legs and arms
We’re all MUDDY!

Somehow, children’s connection to nature has become an ideal instead of a reality. It’s something we have to plan and organize rather than an ordinary part of their every day. Yet, the connection to nature is something extraordinary to support their very natures for a lifetime—and ours. For this year’s International Mud Day, glorious mud, can you and your child get your mud on?

It’s International Mud Day!

No matter where you are in the world, will you be celebrating International Mud Day? Of course, celebrating means playing in the mud.  What a great play-of-the-day!

playing in the mud

Mud play is very sensory, from the smooth, slippery sensations as the mud oozes over our skin to the tight, dry feeling as the mud dries. There is no doubt that this is sensory play, and not just for hands. Adults indulge in this kind of play at spas.

If getting a whole self all covered with mud isn’t part of the plan for the day, it’s also fun to squish, pat, stir, dig, and bake with mud. Just add imagination  to the dirt and water. Along with spoons and bowls, kids might want to use rocks, sticks, grass, flowers, pine cones, leaves, and bark for a mud soup. Kids may want to use small plastic toys that can get muddy and then be washed, too.

During mud play, kids are making connections such as:

  • discovering the science of change. As dirt is mixed with water , it changes. Instead of a solid it becomes a liquid and now it can be poured. To mold mud, only a little water is needed.
  • figuring out the math concepts of more and less. More water added to mud makes quite a difference.  One spoon of mud is little and one bowl of mud is lots, even though it is still one.
  • how to interact with playmates by sharing, negotiating, taking turns and more.
  • ways to use language to communicate and learning new words such as squishy, slippery, thick, and more.

Mud play engages more than the sense of touch. There’s lots to see and hear and smell, but hopefully not taste. Mud play is wash and dry and is always different. How will you and your child celebrate International Mud Day?

It’s Happy International Mud Day: June 29

This Sunday, June 29th, is International Mud Day. All over the world, kids of all ages will be mixing, squishing, splashing, rolling, making, and playing in the mud. The mud fun can start even before that date. Here are some ways to enjoy playing and learning in mud, including tasting some–a friend last year shared how to make Dirt using cookie crumbs and ice cream! (see end of post)

Mud Play and Learning

(photo by Amy Rem Birnkrant)
(photo by Amy Rem Birnkrant)

Playing in the mud can be hands, feet, or the whole body and it is certainly sensory play. Not only are kids having fun, they are learning at the same time, and developing skills and brain connections for kindergarten readiness and beyond.

  • Seeing what happens to dirt and water and how it combines is basic science. What else does mud do? Why does it get hard and lumpy after a while?
  • There are great words for talking about mud like slippery, squishy, liquid, and others. Kids will love to share and tell about what they are doing in the mud.
  • Squeezing, mixing, stirring, splashing, and rubbing the mud all over, exercise small muscles in the hands and arms. Stomping uses the big muscles in the legs and the little ones in the toes.
  • Mud play is definitely imaginative. The mud can be cakes, pie, secret potions, and more. Kids mold and shape with mud exploring and creating.
  • Kids can play in the mud by themselves or with friends. It’s inexpensive and ordinary items like spoons, cups, pails, little shovels, and other things hiding in kitchen drawers will extend the play. Kids can bury and find little plastic toys like dinosaurs or animals.
(photo by Kimberly Plumley)
(photo by Kimberly Plumley)

After playing in real mud, kids can come in the inside and have some cooking fun–after getting all clean, of course! Good thing kids are wash and towel dry. Bananas and chocolate milk or a bit of chocolate icecream make a yummy muddy smoothie. Or thick yogurt with a bit of chocolate milk makes a dip for fruit cut into slices and chunks. Would you believe this flower is planted in edible mud? The bottom half of the clean pot is cake cubes, then ice cream, and cookie crumbs on the top. The flower is in a straw but it isn’t for eating. How will you and your child celebrate International Mud Day? Happy Day!!