The natural elements are plentiful, free to play in, and often the most fun! Nothing quite compares to hands-on learning about the elements in our biological world. So let’s get muddy!
International Mud Day usually coincides with the last day of school before summer vacation. This could be the perfect day for your Take Action, or you could choose to celebrate the day earlier in the week.
Water and soil have great adventure playground potential. Think about how you may want to provide the soil and water.
- Some areas in the playground may not have grass and are great natural sources for mud.
- Is this an area that can be dug into?
- Is there a small area that can be assigned as a digging area?
- Is it necessary to buy a few bags of potting soil to create a new supply of mud?
- You may also want to add some bags of playground sand.
- What water source do you want to use? Buckets of water can be filled and brought to the play area. This can be more easily managed than a hose.
- Build an outdoor kitchen with used kitchen utensils, bottles, mud, sand, twigs, wild flowers, etc., so children can mix their own brews and potions!
- Build a system of rivers, dams and bridges (these could mimic a known watershed). This can be done with soil, sand, water (runoff and recycled water can be used), shovels, planks of wood, etc. Do this somewhere that you can dig into the earth a bit.
- Just play and get dirty. For one liberating day, revel in nature, dig in the dirt, dig for “gold”, find worms and critters, study different soils, plants, rocks and textures.
To ensure everyone has fun on their mud day, plan ahead and let kids and parents know what to expect.
- Suggest that kids bring an extra change of clothes in case they will need them.
- Do an assessment of the area for any hazards beforehand and assign a shoe-free zone in the play area
- Have a washing station for clean-up. This could be a few buckets of clean water and a few towels on hand.