Mud cakes and fern leaves

If you’re like me, summer play with mud and water probably also get you down. The doors are wide open, wet and dirty feet (usually accompanied by muddy paw prints) make tracks everywhere, and sand covers the clean bathroom floor when pockets are turned inside out just before bath time!

Once I found frozen blossoms in four separate containers in the freezer. There were fern leaves spread out like welcoming doormats in front of all bedroom doors. “Spring has come into our home!” was my daughter’s joyful explanation for the mess … That’s when I remembered the invaluable advice of my trusted friend, Dr Marietjie Yssel (social worker and trauma therapist). She says that mud, sand, water and just about any other messy business “ground” our children. Their frustrations remain in the sandpit, their insecurities lie frozen in the freezer and their anxieties are tossed away like fern leaves in the spring air.

Sensory experiences during “messy” activities are therapeutic for children of all ages and even adults.

Invest in messy arts & crafts activities with older kids, or washing the car with your teen.

The next time your children run around dirty, but laughing, let them enjoy themselves. Better yet, join them!