The post below from Rangitoto Kindergarten recently attracted over 500,000 Facebook user views from around the world.
"THE WORLD IS MUD-LUSCIOUS AND PUDDLE-WONDERFUL" -E.E. Cumming
While the gorgeous summer days provided us with endless opportunities to explore the natural environment, the recent rain has added an element of delicious fun! The joy of exploring, puddles, rain dripping from trees, the smell of wet earth, worms vacating their tunnels for us to observe and above all the feeling of freedom and the raw elements of nature is something we all hopefully remember from our own childhoods!
As Ranulph, Fiennes a famous explorer quoted "there is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing," we have a "whatever the weather" approach to outdoor play at kindergarten.
Recent rain falling into our Mud-pit had provided us with squelching, oozing, wonderful mud where there learning opportunities go hand in hand with sensational fun and if you are not quite convinced check out the findings of some recent research below! (who would have thought there was so much information available on the internet relating to the benefits of mud play! (Jenny Kable - Let the Children Play)
1. Playing in the mud can make you happier.
Scientists have discovered something that children have always known - playing in the mud can lift your mood. Research has revealed that dirt contains a microsopic bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae which increases the levels of seratonin in our brains which soothes and calms us.
2. Playing in the mud connects you with nature:
Being outside in the elements of nature creates happy memories with the one most primal element in our world: nature.
3. Playing in the mud can make you healthier.
Playing in the dirt - including very wet dirt - is good for a child's immune system.
4. Playing in the mud can make you smarter.
Studies have found that playing in the dirt can make you smarter. The same release of serotonin that occurs when playing in M. vaccae dirt has also been shown to improve cognitive function.
5. Playing in the mud helps children to learn and develop.
Sensory, hands-on play feeds children's brains.
7. Mud encourages children to think creatively - it might become a tasty mud pie, a swamp for dinosaurs or a construction site! It is an opened material that engages thinking and inspires the imagination. It also provides rich opportunity for co-operating, communicating, negotiating and sharing with others.