WHO IS BRAVE ENOUGH?! We stepped up the mess factor today and played in mud. EVERYTHING is washable so why hold back? We rugged up and headed to the deck with some soil, some animals, containers and our play tray (oven tray).
We know messy play is important for communication skills, concentration, physical development, independent exploration and fostering imagination. This truly was the ultimate in messy - August was interested for a long time because of the new texture. MUD, you say? It covered the animals, it slopped around, it could be poured out of the cup, it splashed, it tasted funny, it stuck to hands and clothes, it squelched, it was cold and it smelled earthy. He was fascinated and I LOVED sitting back and watching him enjoy it.
Yes - he ate some. Did you know that there's loads of research out there to show that there are POSITIVES to babies mouthing and eating dirt? Those that did had more variations of bacteria in their gut and were less likely to develop allergies and asthma in the future. Google it! So August had a taste for a while and decided he didn't want it for lunch.
Watch here how August interacts with this messy play.
Afterwards we gave the toys a proper bath to clean them off. More splashing ensued. We were out a very long time.
Suuuch a language rich activity. We talked about what the animals were doing, discussed clean and dirty, the texture of mud, the temperature, where it was on our bodies, how it tasted, where we put it, how we splashed it. I also made reference to what August already knows - we read about mud every day in the 'we're going on a bear hunt' book so I recited that part of the book a few times to try to link his understanding.
I can't WAIT to see who dares to try this. DO choose soil without any fertiliser. Digging a chunk from the garden is a good idea!