In 2008, Australian pedagogista Gillian McAuliffe met Bishnu Bhatta from Nepal at the World Forum for Early Childhood Care and Education. There, the duo had a discussion about the challenges children faced while playing in the mud.

While McAuliffe spoke about the lack of mud in Perth and the cultural reluctance to "get dirty," Bhatta elaborated on the dearth of clothes and soap, which stopped children in Nepal from playing in the mud.

On her return, Bhatta decided to organize a fundraiser to purchase clothing for Nepalese children, so that they could all "play in the mud together." Thus, the International Mud Day, which was aimed at enabling children to celebrate the natural joys of playing in the slush, was born.

That said, this sticky, slippery thing is considered a "nuisance" by many parents. But, there are many benefits to playing in the mud, right from connecting with nature to building immunity. So, here are some good reasons why you should let your child play in the mud.

1) Mud makes you happy: Playing in the mud and digging in the dirt lifts one's spirit. According to researches, digging mud stirs up microbes in the soil, including the friendly Mycobacterium Vaccae. Inhaling these microbes can stimulate serotonin production, the endorphin used to regulate mood. Result: the children are more relaxed and happy.

2) Better immune system: According to experts, early exposure to mud or "bacteria and other microbes" can help build immunity in babies and children. It also has a role in preventing allergies, asthma, obesity and other noninfectious conditions.

3) Increases creativity: Not just physically, mud also helps children improve their creative skills and emotional well-being. Besides helping them develop tactile skills, it also boosts creativity, imagination, independent learning and teamwork. This unstructured outdoor play also helps them form ideas, solve problems and think critically.

4) Bonding with nature: It has often been proved that spending time in nature helps children. Playing with mud helps kids become more physically active and attuned to the nature around them. This makes them sensitive to the environment.

playing mud
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