Fun With Mud

What better way to celebrate spring and keep kids busy than with mud?
All you need is a muddy buddy, a few basic supplies, and a sprinkling of imagination to try these fun, nature-based ideas at home.


Mud Cupcakes

Remember making mud pies as a kid? We’ve given this classic a makeover. Shrinking to a smaller, more manageable cupcake size keeps the mess down while still allowing kids to explore and experiment. There's no right or wrong way to do this. The only rule is no eating the cupcakes!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Dirt
  • Small bucket
  • Large spoon
  • Water
  • Herbs, flowers, leaves, beans, etc.
  • Cupcake liners
  • Newspaper or paper bag

Instructions:

1. Cut open a paper grocery bag or use newspaper to spread out on a table. This creates a clear work space for your child and makes clean up a breeze.
2. Grab a small pail to make the mud in. Let your child spoon some dirt into the pail.
3. Add a small amount of water and stir. This is approximately a 10:1 ratio of mud to water. You’ll want the mud to be thick, like peanut butter.
4. Set out cupcake liners and let your child scoop mud into the liners.
5. Decorate the top of the "cupcake" with herbs, leaves, beans, etc.
6. Place it in a sunny spot to dry.

Parent Tip: Remember to have some damp towels or wipes nearby for messy hands.

 

Mud Cupcakes

Mud Cupcakes

Mud Cupcakes

Mud Cupcakes


Mud Kitchen

Give up one area of your yard to be that mud kitchen area. We know that this may be tough, but the benefits greatly outweigh the alternative… At the Garden, with young kids, much of our time is spent digging in the mud, doing heavy work, getting our hands dirty with earth, and imaginative play. So trust us on this one, your garden/yard will eventually return to its original state. But in the meantime, you will have created many hours of unstructured, creative play in your own yard. Add tools to your mud kitchen, such as a few old spoons, mixing bowls, or even recyclables.
 

Mud Kitchen

Mud Kitchen

Mud Kitchen


Mud Painting

No paint? Try mud! It’s fun and a great sensory experience for kids.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Dirt
  • Disposable bowl
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Any type of paper
    (construction, computer, etc.)
  • Paintbrush (optional)
  • Newspaper or paper bag

Instructions:

Spread out newspaper or cut open a paper grocery bag and spread it out on table. This creates a work space for your child and helps make clean up easy. To make your own mud finger paint mix dirt, water, and flour in a paper bowl. The flour helps bind the mud together. Stir. Use the mud just like finger paint.

Parent Tip:

If your child is hesitant to use fingers, offer a paintbrush. Once they get comfortable, suggest they dip just one finger in. You can model that behavior by doing it yourself. Remember it washes off! For additional sensory fun, sprinkle in some sand.

 

Mud Painting

Mud Painting

Mud Painting

Mud Painting


Author: 
Mila Love
Title: 
Coordinator, Family Programs
Published: 
March 25, 2020
Category: 

Comments

I love this! Since we can't be with our grandchildren right now I'm sharing this page with their parents so we can have a FaceTime Mud Party later this week. Please keep sending more fun ideas!

I plan to share with family also. Thank you for the inspiration.

I love it, too and am sending it along to others in my family w/little kids. Thanks, Mila--you always have great ideas! Missing Little Diggers!

I remember playing with mud as a child and such a wonderful feel to getting the mud just the right amount of wet!! Thanks for sharing.

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