Some exasperated parents find their children don't need any excuse to get dirty.
But when it's Michigan's annual Mud Day, the rulebook is thrown out and trying to get as muddy as possible is only agenda.
Thousands of children and teenagers donned their swimming costumers and old T-shirts to wallow in the brown sludge at Hines Park in Westland.
To create the muddy pit firefighters poured 100,000 litres of water on top of 200 tonnes of dirt.
The result meant children spent hours diving, sliding and throwing sludge in the gigantic mud bath.
The fun included limbo contests and wheelbarrow races as well as the crowning of a mud king and queen – the winners were the messiest children.
Wheel barrow races were no doubt more difficult in the squelch than on dry land and when they became tired from the exertion of moving through the sludge, many just wallowed, glad to lie down in the cool brown water.
Organiser Beverly Watts said: ‘Kids always have to stay clean at home. This is one day where they can get dirty.’