Mud is a natural part of childhood and is invaluable for children’s sensory development. It provides a source of creativity and research suggests it’s beneficial to children’s overall wellbeing. Get some practical ideas to explore mud play from our ‘Dirt + Water = Childhood info sheet.

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Excellent resource full of great ideas and imagery to help families and care providers restore nature to children’s everyday outdoor play and learning environments. Includes information on the developmental benefits of nature play,the importance of risk taking, where to start and how to implement change in your play space. Includes a list of suggested materials to introduce, different types of settings, how to manage a nature play space and the importance of getting children’s input right from the beginning.

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This report from the National Wildlife Federation reveals how getting down and dirty in the great outdoors — far from being a bad thing — has many benefits.  Mud play builds children’s immune systems, strengthens their cardiovascular system, assists skin with healing, improves mood, facilitates learning and decreases anxiety. It also explains why children who do not spend time outside run the risk of developing serious health issues like obesity, myopia and vitamin D deficiency.

 

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With many modern playgrounds becoming more sterile, overprotected areas of parent-directed play, children are less likely to be enthused, active or impressed with the idea of getting outside.
Now there is a movement to create play spaces that challenge kids physically and socially, putting children in charge of their own play. Playspace designer, author and speaker Rusty Keeler outlines the benefits of ‘adventure’ style playgrounds and why letting your children build what their imagination dreams up (without critiquing every move) may increase their creativity and improve their mental capacity.

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