Kids love mud.
I don’t think any mom can argue that fact. Yeah, there are probably a few kids out there that aren’t too keen on frolicking in puddles. But for the most part, kids are attracted to mud. Or maybe in some cases mud is attracted to kids. When and where they find mud sometimes is a mystery.
As a mom to an all-boy toddler, mud is a regular part of our lives. I’m learning to embrace it. And here’s why you should too.
When you and your child(ren) are faced with a mud puddle opportunity, you should ask these three questions:
What is the source of this mud? – Most mud encounters will be in the backyard or neighbors yard. Typically these places are A-ok for mud jumping. You may want to avoid run off from farmland (cattle or crops). Construction sites might have some stray debris with sharp object so you’ll want to avoid that too. Our best mud is on the dirt road leading to our house.
Are we going anywhere that requires clean clothes? – If you aren’t parked in a clean garage, your kids will find mud (or even dirt because they have some sort of honing beacon for these things) between the house and car. This could cause problems if you are headed somewhere nice, like church or a wedding. Even the grocery store merits clean clothes from time to time. A strict command to go straight to the car is in order for this situation. Or even a bribe. If you’re home all day or have time to clean up, those clothes and shoes will wash just fine.
Is there really a reason not to jump in this mud? – Most often the answer to this question is “no”. Mud is FUN. The joy and entertainment a simple mud puddle can bring is quite amazing. I love the smiles my Little Man gives me when he’s running through mud.
Muddy kids can stress you out, or bring you joy. The choice is yours. I’m learning to find joy in the little things.
If it tends to stress you out, prepare the kids to play in mud by sending them out in older clothes and muck boots (because you know they will find it, especially after a stormy day). Have a plan in place for when they come back inside (strip at the door and straight to the bath).
And better yet, go out and play with them. It’s fun to splash in puddles and feel the slimy mud in your hands. Embrace the joy that mud brings.
It’s actually really good for kids to play in the mud and dirt. In our super sanitary society, kids need a little dirt on their hands and mud between their toes. I don’t have any science-y stuff to back this up, but I’m sure the minerals and clay in the dirt soak into the skin and provide a little extra goodness to growing kids.
Imaginations and simple play can help the development of kids much more than a TV show or tablet app. Even toys can overdo the “learning” aspect. Simplicity can grow a mind better than lots of bright flashing colors and sounds.
With Spring on its way and rain in the forecast, look for those mud puddles and embrace them! You’re kids will love it. Mud is good, clean fun!