FACIAL: Mud monsters were a regular sight at the Mud Festival.
FACIAL: Mud monsters were a regular sight at the Mud Festival. Contributed

Mud party focuses on green time instead of screen time

DOZENS of children and their parents have celebrated International Mud Day in the most fitting of ways- by getting their hands well and truly dirty.

The day was marked last week at Wildlings Forest School in Burnside, a facility created after Vicci Oliver and Nicki Farrell discovered the benefits of forest schooling.

It was an expansion of their home schooling program for families interested in exploring alternative learning styles for their children.

Nikki wanted to do a fun day, because of the rise in children not being able to navigate their environment and developing poor cognitive skills due to too much screen time.

"We had this amazing slide that the kids found themselves, but we had not been able to use it because it had been pretty dry," Nikki said.

"We were a bit concerned we would have to cart water down to the creek ourselves, but lucky for us the weather was on our side and the slide was perfect, the kids had an absolute ball on it.

"It was a beautiful community event that was all about the children."

The school focuses on outdoor, nature-based learning and the holistic development of children.

Proponents of the alternative learning environment say it helps children develop confidence, self-esteem, independence and creativity through experiencing the natural world and teaching them practical, outdoor skills.

"It was a chance for parents to come down and enjoy letting their kids get muddy, and having the facilities to wash them down was also a bonus, no need for the muck to follow them home," Nikki said.

"We are about more green time and less screen time."

Wildings Forest school offer programs to suit all ages. For upcoming programs head to wildlingsforestschool.com.