Some people don't like letting their kids play in the mud- and it can be a little overwhelming, it terms of mess. But there are things we can do to make clean up easier on ourselves.
For my older kids, who are (somewhat) less inclined to really roll in the mud, I usually just let them go as long as they aren't wearing anything too precious. Though we don't really own much that couldn't get at least a little dirty. But no shoes! Never any shoes in the yard when it's muddy. Clothes are relatively easy to clean or replace but sneakers are expensive. And they are nearly impossible to truly clean once they get caked in mud. So barefoot it is. (p.s., if you take a look at my personal blog, you'll see in the design just how much I love their little muddy toes.)
On the other hand, my youngest is not quite two, still in diapers and is the most likely to get truly disgustingly dirty. So I usually send him out in an old t-shirt and a pinned prefold, no cover. Prefolds are so easy to clean and they are cheap (so that if I can't get them perfectly clean again, I don't feel bad). Plus they are usually covered, so who will know if there's a stubborn grass or mud stain?
After a good roll in the mud, I give the prefold a rinse in cold water and then give it a check to see if it needs any further attention before going in with the regular diaper laundry. Usually the cold rinse is enough, but for tougher stains I put a little Dawn (the dish washing soap) on the prefold and then give it another rinse. After that, in with the regular diaper laundry it goes! Easy-peasy. (Truthfully, sometimes a cold rinse is as much effort as I can give it, and I don't even check it afterwards.)
When the boys are outside I guard the door to make sure no muddy feet sneak past me into the house and when we're ready to go inside, everyone gets naked and gets wiped down with a towel. Then straight. into. the bath. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, do not take detours. Back door to bath tub.
Hours in the backyard + a good long soapy bath = entire morning killed. With minimum effort on my part. Go forth and let those kids get muddy!---------------------
Claire is an Army wife that may not have been cut out for homemaking. Follow her adventures as she, her husband (Sergeant Handsome), their three sons and two dogs try to keep it together over on her personal blog, The Half-Hearted Housewife, where love means never having to do the dishes.