The glories of mud
Wetter weather means more mud. Humble mud usually has a bad rap being associated with all things dirty, unfortunate and down at heel. Take this famous quote from Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev:
“We sit in the mud… and reach for the stars.”
Yet there’s a lot to love about mud, for all of us, but especially children. So this week on the blog we’re encouraging you sit in the mud… and reach for it too.
Mud is the ultimate open-ended play activity! And it’s free! There are no rules when it comes to playing with mud – you can watch it gloop, pile it up into castles or towers, build with it. And that freedom to just see what happens, without fear of making mistakes, is one of the foundation stones to creativity.
Experimenting with consistency and construction in a messy, hands-on way is a great way to develop observation and problem solving skills too. Mud is a great way to get going with science!
Mud for Health
And talking of science, neurologists and endocrinologists are interested in mud too. Researchers are investigating the potential medical benefits of the mycobacterium vaccae bacteria for people suffering from conditions as varied as depression, eczema and asthma.
Studies have also found that the bacteria have helped to relieve anxiety and raise serotonin levels in mice too. So while it’s not recommended to eat the stuff, being around these bacteria seems to be no bad thing.
Connection with nature
Spending time with nature is good for both our own wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet. The more we get to know something, the more likely we are to care for it. So having fun in the mud is a simple way of helping to raise environmentally-conscious, happy global citizens. And even better if you can join in too. As Rachel Carson, environmentalist, wrote:
"If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in."
So, if that’s inspired you to go out in search of mud and soil, here are some ideas for what you can do once you find it…
Mud bake offs
With The Great British Bake Off gracing our screens, why not recreate your own masterpieces at home? Autumn offers all sorts of inspiration for mudcake decorations too: layer your mud pies in different coloured leaves, fill the insides with bright berries or top your creations with twigs for a spun-sugar effect. Give yourselves twenty minutes and see who can create a showstopper!
Not just a Peppa Pig favourite, muddy puddles are beloved of children everywhere. So next time it rains, head outside and get jumping! Who can create the biggest splash? We have the wet weather gear to keep your clothes safe!
It’s a great time to plant some spring bulbs. Grab yourselves a trowel and a patch of soil, or a pot, and make sure you’ll have some cheerful spring colour in a few months’ time.
Whatever you decide to do in the mud, even if it’s just looking for worms and other treasures, we hope you have lots of fun. And we’d love to see your muddy pictures!