Children and Early Years Professionals at Portland Nurseries and around the world celebrated International Mud Day on 29 June. The initiative started in 2009 at the World Forum for Early Childhood Care and Education in Belfast, and aims to celebrate nature and the outdoors and bring children together by getting muddy. All four nurseries in the Portland Nurseries group put a huge focus on outdoor play and love mud! Mud is a fantastic imaginative art medium and playing with mud encourages the children to think creatively, as it provides endless opportunities for experimentation and discovery! It is an amazing sensory experience that allows children to develop an appreciation of their environment while helping with their physical development. Mud is part of everyone’s childhood and a lot of fun! The day at Oakwood House was spent splashing, rolling, sliding, making mud pies, and more! Mud is the foundation of our Forest School philosophy. We made mud pies in our mud kitchens, built mud towers, made mud faces on trees, planted vegetables with our bare hands and went on a bear hunt through thick oozy mud! The children and staff at Holly Bank made their own mud by adding water to the dry soil and then enjoyed squelching, squishing and smearing mud while the Childen at Harlequin nursery went on a "Bear Hunt", through "thick oozy mud". At Portland House the children made mud monsters and mud recipes in the woodland kitchen, and at Harlequin the children went on a treasure hunt in the forest and found 12 silver eggs in the mud! The children with their parents also enjoyed planting seeds and trees.