I hate walking outside after a rain, afraid of stepping on and squishing the lovely gardeners who struggle to escape overwhelming water in their aerating holes. I never have enough time to rescue all the big ones, tossing them into garden boxes and grassy resorts. Instead, when I return home, after the rain has headed east, I find piles of worm salad.
First we had February. Snowmageddon and all of that. The season of snow.
Next we had the melt. Flooding, slush, and slippery ice. The season of melt.
Now we have rainy April days and plentiful water. The season of mud.
Does mud bother my grands? Not in the slightest. Nearly all the kids I know love getting dirty, playing in the mud. From what I’ve observed, most of the problem with mud comes from the adults. The ones who have to do laundry, wipe mud trails off of floors, wash boots, and repair muddy landscapes.
Forget all of that worry. It’s time for the season of play!
Enter mud play. A fine mist was falling, water stood in the wagon and various items strewn about from building fairy houses, and mud was plentiful.
They dug, scooped, buried, and transported mud, rocks, and sticks. They gathered water, poured it around, and put a dead worm in the mud in case he wanted to wake up.
They painted small pieces of logs by using a stick as a paintbrush, using the stick to smear mud across the flat surfaces. And then they decorated the wagon and fairy gardens with mud-encrusted artwork.
I love it when I see preschoolers and children (and even adults) use their creativity and imagination. I love it even more when nature and messes are involved!
I’m not sure if the parents agree, but playing in mud is excellent for sensory engagement and exploration of nature.
So…put on some old clothes, just in case, plop on the wellies, and head out for some messy fun.