5 Tips From A Muddy Mom

5 Tips from a Muddy Mom

Kids and mud go together like peanut butter and chocolate. Like strawberries and cheesecake. They were simply made for each other. Your kids will most certainly have a blast playing in the mud. Plus, you will get to relax and look forward to a good night’s sleep.

Prepare to get muddy!

I once made the mistake of sending my son outside to play in the yard with no direction or preparation. Next thing I knew, he was in the house, sopping wet and covered in mud! Seriously, what did I think would happen?! Now, I know a little preparation goes a long way.

First, I established the rule that muddy clothes stay outside. Second, I put a bucket of warm, clean water with a towel just outside the back door so he can dip his feet and dry them off before coming inside. Or, while he is playing, I will lay the hose in the sun to warm the water. When he’s done, I can hose him off with warm water before coming inside. 

Mud Play for Kids

Less is more!

Mud play is an open ended activity. So naturally, open ended toys are the best compliment.

Open ended play is play with no particular direction or formula. It is driven only by the child’s imagination. Give your kiddo some toys for digging in the mud and watch him create a whole new world around characters and events that exist only in his imagination.

Here’s a list of open ended toys that are great for mud play:

● Sticks, rocks, leaves, feathers, and other found materials

● Trucks, cars, and toy construction equipment (excavators and dump trucks are our favorites)

● Animals, dinosaurs, or people figures (figurines with no moving parts work best)

● Small or play sized tools like trowels, rakes, sifting screens, and buckets

Truly, the best way to play in the mud is with a friend. My son (who is rarely engaged in one thing for more than 10 minutes at a time) played in the mud for 2 hours with his friend. So, invite a mom friend over, put your kids in the mud, get some coffee and enjoy the freedom!

Mud Play for Kids Without a Yard

No yard? No problem!

If you are an apartment dweller or don’t have space in your yard for a mud pit, don’t worry! Fill a large shallow container (think underbed bin) with play sand. I bought some from a hardware store for $4.50 for 50 pounds and used a quarter of that to fill up half of our water table. Sand cleans up a lot easier than regular mud and doesn’t stain.

Fill the bin about ¼ to ⅓ full of sand. Then get the sand thoroughly wet, but stop before there is standing water. If you’re really limited on outside space, you can even put a drop cloth or beach towel down on a hard floor surface and let them play inside.

Mud Play with Kids

Let them play and don’t worry!

It has been shown that playing outside, and specifically in the mud, helps your child’s immune system and overall health.  Basically, a little dirt is good for you

Babies and kids are constantly exploring the world around them. Babies know instinctively that introducing new things to their system helps build their immune systems. They are programming their bodies to know the difference between good and bad inputs.

So if your little one takes an experimental taste of the mud, don’t be alarmed! It’s natural and even healthy. Normal kids up to 3 years old eat up to 500 milligrams of dirt each day, about the same weight as two pennies.

Use the teachable moments!

My son doesn’t like to be dirty, but he loves to play in the mud (he’s 3, there is no logical explanation). So, I like to use our mud sessions to show him it’s ok to get your hands dirty sometimes and to work hard.

He loves to practice digging with his shovel, and I love to encourage him to work hard to achieve his goals. Sometimes it’s just filling up the dump truck; sometimes he wants to dig a swimming pool. Using this time to encourage him to persevere even when it’s hard (shoveling wet dirt is really hard work!) can foster a strong work ethic and remove the fear barrier of getting dirty.

Mud Play for Kids

Happy Mudding!

About The Post Author

Hannah is the wife to her very own viking and mom to two happy vikings. Together they live in Montana on their own little slice of valhalla. She owns and writes at about family, simple and frugal living, and DIY projects for beginners.