Tuesday, March 17, 2015

20+ Ways to Play and Explore MUD!

We've been excited about the warmer temps lately because it means spring is on the way. And as the snow melts and the ground thaws, the MUD arrives. Now on one hand mud can drive a mama crazy; living on a dirt road means it tracks its way into the house no matter what we do. But on the other hand, it's only here for a short while, although long enough in New England to be considered the fifth season, so why not embrace it?

Here are 20+ ways to play and explore with mud, including creating your own mud sensory play even when there isn't any mud.

Play Outside in the Real Stuff
The simplest way to play and explore mud is to just get out into it. 
1. Take a muddy-play walk. Go for a walk planning to just get muddy: jump in it, touch it, smell it, wear it. (And when you get home, throw everything in the washer.)
2. Jump and stomp in mud puddles. Even on chilly days there's something about mud puddles that kids just can't resist. I love this post on the first mud puddles of spring from Fireflies + Mudpies.

3. Pretend to be Mud Dogs like they did at Mommy Crusader. Kiddos not into dogs? Think about other favorite animals that love the mud. 

Mud Kitchen Play
Mud pie baking is classic kiddo play! 
4. Build an outdoor kitchen for special mud baking projects. This Mud Kitchen from Adventures of Adam is amazing! 

5. Or, create a simple mud kitchen with just a bucket and some kitchen supplies like they did over at Happy Hooligans. (Be sure to also check out the adorable denim aprons too!) 

6. Tinkerlab has some great ideas for fine tuning a mud pie kitchen, including shopping for mud pie kitchen accessories

7. Make it mobile by putting the mud play into a wheel barrow (as seen over at Kids Activities Blog.)

Muddy Sensory Bins
Contain the mud (but only a little bit) by putting together a muddy play sensory bin.
8. Create a dirt sensory bin like they did at Still Playing School and let the kids add the water. 

10. Make the sensory bin have an engineering theme by adding key pieces for building (also from Little Bins for Little Hands.) 

11. Turn a baby pool into a giant muddy play area, this one from Stay at Home Educator looks like a toddlers' dream idea for fun.

Create with Mud
Let kiddos get creative with mud play. 
12. Learn-Play-Imagine has ideas for creating colorful paints out of mud

13. Make mud bricks for building with using these ideas from Planet Smarty Pants.

15. Write letters, names, or numbers in the mud using a stick. Or, create a maze for others to follow. 

Not so sure about letting your kids be exposed to the germs of real mud? This post "The Dirt on Dirt" from Stay at Home Educator gives some great tips on why playing in the mud is healthy for kids! 

Pretend Mud Sensory Play Ideas
Don't have any mud nearby, or just can't quite brave it? How about some homemade mud recipes?

16. Create mud using cornstarch and water, and add pigs. Pigs always love mud and kids love playing with pigs! 

17. Make sticky mud and add dinosaurs like they did at Fun at Home with Kids to create small world play. 

18. Dye soap foam brown and create  "clean" mud for vehicle play.

19. Put together a Mud Season monster truck bin using chocolate playdough.

20. Kids Activities Blog has a recipe idea for Edible Mud Sensory Play.

However you do it this spring, don't forget to take some time to embrace "Mud Season" while playing and exploring MUD! Come on, you know the kid in you wants you to . . .

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