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Why your kids need to play in mud this summer

May 30, 2013 Kerala Taylor

Ready to wallow? On June 29, the World Forum Foundation is encouraging children around the world to get muddy in honor of International Mud Day. We take a moment to pay tribute to this ooey gooey carpet-staining substance.

Mud play benefits children in five crucial ways:

  1. Squish, squash: Mud play offers unique tactile, sensory experiences that are vital to a child's developing brain.
     
  2. As children run mud through fingers, scoop mud from containers, and create mud pies, they develop their hand-eye coordination and learn about cause and effect.
     
  3. Hold the hand sanitizer: Research shows that kids who play in dirt (including very wet dirt) develop stronger immune systems that can pave the way for better health throughout their adult lives.
     
  4. Mud is also good for the heart, and not just because of all the cardio exercise that it inspires. A 2010 study from Northwestern University found that exposure to the germs and pathogens found in dirt can reduce a child’s risk of cardiovascular inflammation in adulthood.
     
  5. Mud makes kids happy. Well, that much is obvious, but according to the National Wildlife Federation, studies have shown that making “direct contact with soil… has been shown to improve mood, reduce anxiety, and facilitate learning.”

Of course, kids don’t need any prodding to get outside and get muddy. Share photos of your muddy kid by posting to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #mymuddykid. We’ll feature our favorites on Facebook and our blog.

Image via let the children play. Check out this wonderful blog for mud recipes and so much more!

Playful Learning, learning, summer, health, international mud day, mud play