Fun in mud, mud, glorious mud

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June 29 was International Mud Day and the children of Waimate’s Rural Scholars jumped, splashed and rolled about, eager to connect with Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother.
The event is described as uniting people across the globe, as regardless of age, race or religion, we all look the same covered in mud.
Rural Scholars celebrates this each year, recognising its links to their philosophy, which supports children to develop respectful and reciprocal relationships with animals and the environment.
In addition to the fun the children experience, there is scientific evidence that mud play benefits children’s emotional and physical health.
Mud makes you happy, and research has shown ‘‘friendly soil bacteria’’ stimulates the immune system, causing the brain to release serotonin, the endorphin used to regulate mood.
On the morning of June 29, the tamariki wrapped up warm and headed over to the farm. After lots of rain on Sunday night, there were plenty of puddles and mud to slosh about in.
Teacher Kourtney led the way, while apprehensive children looked on. Once they heard her roar with laughter and kick off her shoes, the children quickly followed slipping and sliding their way.
They made a slide down their little hill, aided by the trickle of the hose and it wasn’t long before everyone was racing up the hill to slide back down.
Mud day was filled laughter, slips and splashes, and ended in a pile of brown clothing, but the experience was more than worth the load of washing.