International Mud Day has been celebrated by youngsters at Muddy Monsters- Kent in Westbrook.
Child care worker and SENCo and behaviour specialist Laura Rayner from Ramsgate set up Muddy Monsters earlier this year in a bid to take parents and children back to basics with a plastic-free, ‘upcycled’ garden space for climbing, mud kitchen fun, bug hotel exploration and more.
The mum and former nursery manager says the Muddy Monsters site in Westbrook means children can play and learn using natural resources -instead of rigid, plastic toy items.
International Mud Day began in 2009 at a World Forum event, when Gillian McAuliffe from Australia and Bishnu Bhatta from Nepal got together to talk about ways to encourage feelings of community and appreciation for the world around us. The collaboration that followed has inspired educators, children,and families across the globe, from Holland to Nepal to the United States, to celebrate International Mud Day together each year on June 29.
Laura said: “On International Mud Day children got to splash in muddy puddles, even sit in them, feel the mud squelch through their toes, make mud pies using real saucepans and plates, make structures with mud and paint concrete statures with mud and water they had mixed them selves. Kids were able to just be kids playing with simple mud and water.
“We love mud at Muddy Monsters – Kent because playing outside in the mud helps build a child’s sensory experience, calms anxieties and increases brain activity – mud play can increase a child’s serotonin level (the happy hormone).
“Being outside exposes children to vitamin D as well as getting children away from the multiple screens that modern day life contains. Research has also shown that playing in wet mud, especially very wet mud, is good for your immune system.”