International Mud Day Date in the current year: June 29, 2024

International Mud Day Many children love to play in mud, which understandably isn’t something their parents are happy about. However, there is one day in the year when parents are encouraged to let their children get messy and have a good time. We’re talking about International Mud Day, which is celebrated annually on June 29.

Many parents don’t like it when their children play in mud because of the mess, but there is evidence that mud play can be beneficial for your child’s physical and emotional well-being. It helps strengthen the immune system, contributes to the development of tactile skill, boosts creativity and imagination, encourages children to spend more time outdoors and connect with nature. If you’re not ready to let your kid play in muddy puddles, you can try mud play in a more controlled environment such as a large bowl or inflatable pool filled with a mixture of earth and water.

International Mud Day is an initiative of the Nature Action Collaborative for Children (NACC), a working group of the World Forum Foundation whose mission is to re-connect children around the world with nature by introducing developmentally appropriate nature education into their daily lives.

Two NACC members, Bishnu Bhatta from Nepal and Gillian McAuliffe from Australia, discussed the challenges children from different countries and backgrounds faced when playing in mud at the World Forum for Early Childhood Care and Education in Belfast. Nepal has lots of mud and children love to play in it, but they often don’t have enough clothes or clean water and soap to wash them to be able to get dirty. In Australia, poverty and a lack of access to sanitation are less of an issue, but there is a lack of mud plus children are reluctant to get dirty due to a different cultural background.

Upon her return home, Gillian told about the challenges faced by Nepalese children to a group of elementary school kids at Bold Park Community School, where she worked as the Director of Teaching and Linearning. The children decided to raise money for children of the Panchkal orphanage, where Bishnu worked, so that they could buy some clothes and play in mud. With this money, Bishnu organized a special day for the kids, which included not only mud play, but also their first meal with meat in five months.

What started as a heartwarming tradition shared by kids from two countries has grown into International Mud Day. The holiday isn’t just about letting kids play in mud and enjoy themselves. It is about giving children from different parts of the world an opportunity to connect through a common activity, building global understanding, and raising awareness of issues such as poverty and access to sanitation.

So, while the best way to celebrate International Mud Day is to let your child explore the outdoors and play in mud with his or her friends, there are a few more things you can do such as come up with more fun activities to help your child connect with nature, donate to an organization that helps kids from impoverished areas, and spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #InternationalMudDay and #WFMudDay.

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International Mud Day, international observances, mud play, World Forum Foundation, Nature Action Collaborative for Children