April Showers Bring Muddy Puddles!

Think about the last time you saw a muddy puddle.

For most people, muddy puddles are seen as an inconvenience.

But for Peppa Pig and The Muddy Puddles Project, jumping in a muddy puddle is a chance to celebrate childhood. It embodies the core of what it means to let kids be kids—to get messy, be carefree, and have fun!

The Muddy Puddles Project is a fundraising platform to support pediatric cancer research and is the official charity partner of Entertainment One’s Peppa Pig. April 1st is National Jump in Muddy Puddles Day, a day that kicks off an entire season of special events for the charity.

How It All Began

What started off as a blog in 2011, today has turned into a charity fundraiser for pediatric cancer research.

Cindy Campbell, founder of The Muddy Puddles Project, began posting online to keep friends and family informed when her two-and-a-half year old son, Ty, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Eventually, her blog was shared so frequently that it became widely read, with 4 million unique visitors to the page in 2012.

Campbell said it became therapeutic for her to write about how the experience was affecting her whole family and how they were processing it all. She often reflected on how Ty’s cancer had changed her perspective on parenting.

“Regardless of everything that was happening, he was a really happy little boy. He was physically compromised as a result of treatment, and enjoyed passing the time by watching television. Preschool programs became a lifeline for us because it was something we could do together that kept him smiling,” Campbell said.

“One day we were having a conversation about what he was going to be when he was feeling better, and he whispered that he was going to jump into a muddy puddle. I knew that was inspired by Peppa Pig.”

Ty loved Peppa Pig so much that jumping in muddy puddles was the first thing that came to mind. The heartbreak of it all is that he never had the opportunity to do something fun like that—something that seems so simple to most kids.

“I begged other parents out there to think about Ty and to let their kids do really crazy, wacky, messy things,” Campbell said. “Let them get wet in snowy or muddy puddles, let them have fingerpaints, and glitter, and let them make a mess because there are so many kids like Ty who can’t.”

The Muddy Puddles Project evolved from there, with a lot of support from other families who had similar stories.

A Meant-to-Be Pairing

As Campbell’s blog became more popular, people asked her if she had ever heard of Peppa Pig. Her response was a mix of “Of course, Peppa inspired the Muddy Puddles Project!” and “Does anyone have her phone number?” Eventually, it was Entertainment One who reached out to Campbell, and it was as if the stars aligned for the natural partnership to begin.

“We are so honored and happy that Peppa was an important part of Ty’s life,” said Julie Christopher, Vice President, Marketing at Entertainment One. “We hope that Peppa Pig’s involvement with the charity will help spread the word, inspire families, and raise awareness about pediatric cancer.”

The Muddy Puddles Project’s philanthropic message is easy to digest—even for little ones. It’s not scary for kids to talk about how other children aren’t able to jump in muddy puddles, for example.

“Little kids have surprised me through this whole journey about how philanthropic they are, how caring they are, how brave they are, and how they want to help other kids. I’ve learned a lot from preschoolers and their love of Peppa Pig and how it inspires them to want to help.” Campbell said.

How You Can Get Involved

To bring more awareness to the cause, kids and families, as well as schools nationwide, can host their own Welly Walks or Mini Mess Fests to honor all children who are battling cancer and unable to enjoy simple pleasures of childhood.

“I want parents to embrace childhood and at the same time recognize and give for those children who don’t have the same advantages,” Campbell said.

Welly Walks are mud-filled fundraising efforts, where everyone wears their wellies and takes a stroll outside—rain or shine—to explore the outdoors. The walks also serve as an educational opportunity for kids that can teach them about precipitation, different types of trees, how muddy puddles are formed, and more.

Click here to learn more about hosting a Welly Walk. People who sign up on or before April 1, 2018, will be automatically entered to win a visit from Peppa Pig herself and other Peppa Pig-themed prizes.

Mini Mess Fests are another delightfully messy way to raise awareness. These fun-filled events that let kids get messy and jump in the mud—simply because they can.

The first annual Mess Fest took place in 2013, a huge event with different tents filled with giant muddy puddles, fingerpainting, glitter bombs, pie tosses, and more. “It combines all of the things that kids normally aren’t allowed to do, and gives them an outlet for old-fashioned, messy fun,” Campbell says. “It is now a yearly summer event in New York, and we encourage others to host their own wherever they are.”

Click here to learn more about hosting a Mini Mess Fest.

The Muddy Puddles Project is a celebration of children and childhood. It is a shift toward letting go of the everyday stress of being a grownup and finding the fun in simple, every day joys.

It’s easy to forget what it’s like to be a kid. Remember: Don’t sweat the small stuff, and inspiration can be found all around you – from your favorite TV show to the people you surround yourself with.

Think about that the next time you see a muddy puddle. And go grab your wellies!