“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.” - EE Cummings
So there we have it: another successful International Mud Day celebrated, enjoyed, laughed at and loved. Did you go for it? Did you give it a try? Do you know about International Mud Day?? I hope so. First because it is so much fun and children love it so much. But also because it is ever so easy. The longer I work with groups on outdoor environments, the more I appreciate simple simple simple. In this case dirt + water = fun.
Inspired by traditional community rice-planting celebrations in Nepal, International Mud Day was started in 2009 by a school in Australia and an orphanage in Nepal working together to find ways to allow children to get down and dirty and play in the mud. Since then schools, parks, childcare centers, and families around the globe have excitedly picked up the spirit and plopped in the mud.
People do it in lots of different ways: from dirt and water in small sensory tables, to mud kitchens, to mud in kiddie pools, all the way to full-on, large-scale muddy immersion. That’s how we did it at the Anarchy Zone in Ithaca, NY: full on!
This year we celebrated our third International Mud Day (Mud Day 2012 was actually the grand opening kick-off event for the Anarchy Zone - fitting, huh?) With a grant from the county tourism bureau to promote community celebrations we brought in 2 more truck loads of good topsoil, had help pushing it around from our friends at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, then got ready for the big day. We invited food vendors and popsicle sellers, built a shady mud kitchen, set up a cob-building area, and created wash stations and a changing booth. An hour before kickoff we had the fire department come in and hose it all down to make the mud. Yeah!!
Well, I could describe the fun, the mud, the smiles, the mayhem. But why not see it for yourself? Check it out. What a blast! I look forward to seeing your pictures from next year’s International Mud Day!