Muddy fun the perfect antidote to screen time

Published on 28 September 2023

Child covered heat to toe in mud scooops mud with a bucket

A muddy, messy adventure, filled with fabulous family fun, will kick off at Golden Fields Reserve when the City of Tea Tree Gully presents its Muddy Hands Festival on Friday 6 October.

For parents looking to reduce kids' screen time, this exciting school holiday event promises to be the perfect digital antidote - full of muddy play, outdoor creativity and real exploration into the wonders of the natural world.

Partnering with Nature Play SA, the Muddy Hands Festival aims to bring families closer to nature and provide a day of unforgettable memories. Best of all, this free event is designed with families in mind.

Muddy adventures include:

  • Rolling around in mud pits
  • Crafting clay creatures
  • Making nature potions
  • Creating sunflower bee bombs
  • Enjoying lawn games
  • Making nature crowns
  • Exploring mobile cubbies.

City of Tea Tree Gully Mayor, Marijka Ryan, said she looks forward to welcoming the community to one of the most exciting events of the calendar year.

"We know that muddy play delivers incredible benefits to children. Not only that, it's also heaps of fun.

“Families are more interested than ever in the natural world and Muddy Hands helps them engage with the earth that these children will one day inherit. I look forward to seeing a lot of happy, muddy faces at Golden Fields," she said.

Parents are encouraged to bring along sunscreen, a hat and wear long-sleeved clothing to stay safe from the sun. The Cancer Council will also be on hand with free sunscreen. A wash bay will be available for those needing a quick clean up with a hose during the event. 

The event will be held at the Golden Fields Reserve, Golden Grove, on Friday 6 October from 10am to 3pm.

Why embrace nature-based play?

Play with natural elements has long been shown to have a profound impact on children's physical and emotional wellbeing.

Recent University of South Australia research has found that nature-based play is foundational for children's health and development.

The Muddy Hands Festival builds on the findings of this research, reinforcing how kids can enjoy muddy fun and make meaningful connections with nature.

UniSA researcher and PhD candidate Kylie Dankiw said that parents and educators act as important gatekeepers when it comes to nature play.

“Nature play is well known for its positive effects on children’s health, development, and wellbeing,” Dankiw said.

“Nature play helps improve emotional regulation, physical skills, and learning outcomes, and can encourage children to develop their creativity and imagination.”

Learn more about our Muddy Hands event

Getting adults on board with messy nature play