A few months ago I ran across a post by Having Fun At Chelle’s House about how to build a mud pit and preschool mud activities. My comment on that post was as follows:
Sarah June 16, 2012 9:54 PM
My little boy and baby girl would both LOVE that mud/dirt/it’s my space and not yours pit! How I wish I had the space to do something that huge! Maybe I’ll clear out a garden bed this fall!
I am enthusiastic about mud play because not only do kids LOVE playing in the mud, but it can be very, very healthy for you, too! It was actually Having Fun At Chelle’s House post that inspired my own research article about the many benefits of playing in dirt and mud.
Preschool Mud Activities
Well, I couldn’t wait until fall to clear out a garden bed for a mud pit, nor am I willing to give away an entire garden bed for a mud pit, so I came up with another idea…use a kiddie pool to build a mud pit!
Since our neighborhood is unfinished, there are vacant lots on two sides of our house, and we have no fence, thus lots of access to dirt. I piled several shovelfuls of dirt into one side of the kiddie pool, then added a few inches of water. I intentionally left it unmixed, thinking that would be part of the fun.
Soon the dirt and water were well mixed, and that’s when the real fun began!
When the mud was finally mixed well, William abruptly stopped playing with his construction toys and stood up. “Wait, Mom. I gotta’ get something,” and he ran off only to return with his small red tractor that looks surprising like the tractor from the book Otis.
Diving it into the mud, he calls out, “Oh no, Otis is stuck!” He clarifies that Otis did not get stuck in the actual story, but he couldn’t find his toy cow.
So, just like on the kids PBS show Super Why William changed the story to solve his problem. In William’s story, his red tractor got stuck and his front end loader had to dig him out of Mud Pond.
When finished, the kids cleaned off by running through the sprinklers until they had goosebumps and I finally made them come inside. It still took two baths to wash off all that mud, but the fun they had was well worth the mess.
Give it a try! Have fun!
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.