For many adults, making mud is not a clear winner. It's so common (and understandable) to ask, "Making mud? Is it really worth the mess?"
The simple act of making mud is a universally powerful pastime for young people (and not bad for us big kids, either). Yes, kids get messy. But, with few exceptions, kids get completely absorbed in mud play. The great news for parents is you can do this virtually anywhere too. With the most basic of materials (water + dirt!) and armed with a few tips, parents can help unleash the rich learning potential in mud. Play in the mud along with your kids, and you’ll inspire immediate smiles as well as a lifelong comfort, even pleasure, in mucking around. That kind freedom spawns unbridled creativity and joy that’s just plain good for the soul. So let them go for it -- bath time will follow.
Playing and experimenting with ooey, gooey mud helps children to strengthen their sense of touch -- and we know that the better kids are able to tune and integrate their senses, the more effectively they can learn. Once kids know how to make and manipulate mud, they have a tool for play and building with virtually unlimited uses. When kids transform the shape, texture, or nature of materials (in this case, turning dirt and water into mud), they also engage in a universal behavior pattern called the transforming schema, which supports brain development. Best of all, when you let kids lose themselves in play and give them room to mess around, you offer them the openness and freedom they'll need to develop true creativity down the line. If all this isn’t compelling enough, research also indicates that playing in the dirt is just plain good for kids' health. So go on, get dirty!