Somehow mud, dirt, grass, and sand, all have a connection to childhood at
its finest. Feeling them all between your toes (or your fingers) can have an oddly primal effect on your emotions. Its been widely known for some time, that being outdoors is good for your kids. Getting that fresh air in their lungs helps them to grow up big and strong. Did you know, that letting them run around barefoot on the grass or dirt may also have benefits?
Letting them feel that squishy earth, and the tickle of grass under their feet. It can help them be more agile, sleep better, have less anxiety, and an overall sense of wellbeing. Also, its just plain fun. Children learn by feeling and touching. New sensations help them to grow and learn in so many different ways. Sensory play is so important, and playing in the mud is one of the most natural ways to encourage this type of learning. So go ahead, make mud pies, splash in some puddles, kick up a little dirt. You have my permission.
Here are some great ideas for getting dirty with your kids!
Dig for worms
If the idea of actually digging for and touching slimy wriggling bugs isn’t your idea of fun, try the version below!
Barefoot back yard scavenger hunt
Make a list of items that can be found in your back yard or a grassy park. If your kiddos aren’t old enough to read the list, then shout each item out one by one as they go. Let them run around and enjoy the feeling of the grass between their toes. Watch as their little minds run wild hunting for acorns, leaves, sticks, flowers, rocks, or whatever you can think of. Below is a printable version with pictures and words!
Make a mud kitchen
Mud pies are the treat of choice baking in many mud kitchens, but what about mud soup, mud muffins, or mud pizza?! All you really need for a mud kitchen is a few buckets of water, some dirt and/or mud, and some pots, pans, and utensils. All else is just icing on the…mudcake. If you are feeling a little more crafty here are some awesome mud kitchens
photo credit to Frosted Productions