Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Making Connections with MUD!

Minnie loves everything about magical MUD! When rainwater collects in our garden containers, she can't wait to transfer it to her play area, & mix up some MUD! If there is a muddy puddle she's splashing, if there is a mud pie to be made she's baking it, where there is mud there is Minnie!

One of my favourite observations is of Minnie exploring mud in the garden, & adding it to an old sunhat, before placing the hat upside on her head & carrying it across the lawn. After carefully placing the hat on the floor she patted the mud onto a wall. When I asked her what she was doing she replied; "I'm making a house like in Africa!"



Minnie enjoys watching "Little Human Planet" (a BBC programme exploring children's lives around the world) & was fascinated by one episode in which a young boy helps his Dad repair their mud hut in Africa. It was wonderful to see her making connections, & acting out this scenario in her back garden in the UK.

Here's our latest messy play experience with mud. Minnie originally just had her paddling pool out with some water, but the free water play developed...


Soon the watering can was filled & water was added to Minnie's garden area.



Mixing properties together to create mud


Discovering texture, properties, cause & effect, & natural matter with feet!



Great for exploring descriptive language (slippy, oozy, thick, smooth, gooey, squelchy, sticky, sucking).

Minnie enjoyed covering her hands & feet in mud before washing them in the muddy paddling pool water, then repeating the process! (Discovering texture, the properties of liquid & organic matter, the effect of adding more water/more mud, movement, sound, colour change, & problem solving)



She collected more mud, carried it in her preferred method (on her head) & added it to the mud bath! Demonstrating her knowledge & understanding of the world, physical skills, & creativity.




One of Minnie's dolls was lucky enough to take the first dip in the mud bath! Followed closely by Minnie!


Then she moved on to body painting & explored the tactile properties of mud!




Once again the doll was lucky enough to experience Minnie's first mudpack!


This muddy play & exploration lasted for over an hour until Minnie began to feel cold. It was very messy, but gave Minnie a wealth of sensory experiences & learning opportunities, & as a bonus, everything could be hosed down at the end of the activity & returned to it's original state! (Minnie was hosed down in a warm shower!)


What a great learning resource MUD is!
* It's Free, organic, natural & easily accessible.

* It enables children to be openly expressive & imaginative.

* It encourages creative thought processes & problem solving.

* It develops fine motor skills as little fingers & hands manipulate the mud, & gross motor skills as children carry it or pound it.

* It’s a sensory material that can be patted, squelched, splattered, splashed, squashed, & pounded. Through these actions children learn that their actions have consequences.

* Mud can be therapeutic & soothing to use, & it can help to release frustration & tension in some children.

* Mud is a great material for children to explore texture & sensory play. What happens when you add more water, soil or sand to mud?

* Thick Mud allows you to make mistakes & repair them, giving children a sense of control, & building self confidence & self esteem.

* It helps develop hand-eye coordination.

* It encourages numeracy skills. Children consider mathematical & spatial problems as they think about weight, capacity, volume, thickness, balance, or size.

* It's FUN!




Official International Mud Day 2011 Logo
 
We'll be making mud cakes to celebrate International Mud Day! Are you be celebrating? Looking for ideas? Check out the great selection of mud & dirt activities at Hands on As We Grow! Have fun!

You might also like Helping the Birds & Magical Mud or Why it's Great to Get Gardening

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6 comments:

  1. Ohhhh a mud bath! What fun...and how lucky Minnie is to have a Mom who encourages such wonderful play.

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  2. Fantastic - what a lucky dolly! I think there are some brilliant television programmes around now, my older children's favourite it Horrible Histories:) Seeing your little girl having such fun has inspired me to let the little ones I look after have a go!

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  3. Jill - thank you so much. I love watching Minnie engrossed in free play! As long as there's soap & water available at the end of the day - any messy play is possible! ;-)

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  4. Cathy - that's wonderful!:D Let me know how you get on. Horrible Histories is great isn't it. My Godson loves it & can recall a plethora of historical facts he's discovered from the show. I'm not a big fan of children's tv, but some shows are great to share.

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  5. Brilliant. Love mud play.....there's something about joining in with them that I love. Especially by the seaside.

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  6. My first visit!

    Loved the toes in mud up close! But the list of valuable benefits of mud was brilliant.

    Kudos on such a great post.

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