Should we encourage Children to Play with Mud at School?

Mud Play – how can this be a good idea? But children playing in mud has gone from every teacher’s worst nightmare to being a widely recognised resource for learning. Find out why in this blog.

There are a host of benefits associated with Mud Play that have seen mud kitchens pop up in schools all over the country. Mud kitchens are a great playground resource that allows children to get hands-on with mud, while encouraging creative thinking and imaginative play. We’ve summarised some of the key benefits of Mud Play here.

Mud Play is a Connection with Nature

The natural world is an exciting playground to a child, but one that is becoming less enjoyed as children spend more time behind screens than ever before. Nature teaches children important life skills. It’s where they discover new plants and animals, and where they explore and experiment with new ideas. Getting hands-on and muddy is a great way to encourage today’s digital children to disconnect from their electronics and connect with nature instead.

Playing with Mud can be a Useful Distraction

For many of us, the development of technology has happened within our life time. We can look at technology as it is today and say “We never had these when we were kids”. But today’s children have never experienced life without television and the internet. A study by the Health System University of Michigan found that 2-5 year old children spend 32 hours per week in front of a screen. And for, 6-11 year olds this was 28 hours per week. Therefore a Nature Play area at school is providing children with a scarce opportunity to connect with nature and its lessons.

How Mud Play Improves Sensory Skills

By touching mud – feeling it slip through their fingers when wet, or crumble when dry, moulding shapes, and so on – children are developing their sensory skills. Sensory play is crucial for brain development and for building nerve connections which play an important role for all kinds of learning. This development also improves a child’s ability to complete more complex tasks.

Mud Play Benefits at School by Playcubed Playgrounds

Mud Play and Scientific Thinking

It’s true! Playing with mud can help children to think more scientifically. Children are able to experiment by ‘making’ mud from scratch. By mixing water with dirt, changing the consistency of of it, or even creating bubbles by whisking their mud. Mud Play possibilities are as endless as a child’s imagination, which as we know, is an amazing thing. As children observe these things they will begin to form their own ideas about how things work. This in turn boosts their problem-solving skills and a more practical approach to challenges.

Creative and Transformative Learning

Whether your child is an explorer hunting for creepy crawlies, an archaeologist digging for treasure or a chef in a mud kitchen, Mud Play encourages creative and transformative learning. It stimulates children’s imagination by offering them a rich learning environment where they can use role play as a way to develop their social and emotional understanding. This improves their interaction skills, encourages the development of speech and use of descriptive vocabulary. It also enables them to build group play skills.

So head outdoors and inspire your students with what nature has to offer. Contact us to create your Nature Play area now.

Create a Mud Play Area