Nature art and craft · Outdoor play

Marvellous muddy play!

I still remember making mud pies as a kid and as a teenager I used to go to youth group mud bowls where they would fill a creek with mud and let us all go crazy getting muddy! I love seeing my son now discovering the joy of muddy play, especially with jumping in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig. 🙂

Muddy play has so many benefits for kids, including:

  • learning and play opportunities with mixing mud and other natural materials like grass, leaves, flowers, sticks and pebbles
  • encouraging creativity in making mud bricks, dough, food, paint, art, sculptures – the possibilities are endless!
  • stimulating the immune system, which makes kids physically healthier
  • increasing seratonin levels in kids’ brains, which makes them mentally healthier and helps them feel calm and relaxed
  • improving cognitive function
  • developing social skills through cooperation, negotiation, sharing and working together with others using the mud and other materials and tools
  • developing maths and science skills as they mix the mud and figure out what and how much they need to add to make their mud creations
  • being an inclusive activity that kids at all developmental levels can engage with and enjoy, according to what they feel comfortable with
  • connecting kids with nature, which helps develop an appreciation and care for the environment
  • creating memories that will stay with them for a lifetime

Article Insert_joy with mud

Source: Community playthings

Mud kitchens are a great way to get kids involved in muddy play combined with pretend kitchen play, as they make their own weird and wonderful concoctions.  They are great for kids who may not want to get really muddy and help to contain the muddy mess that they make.

Here are some tips for setting up your own mud kitchen at home:

  • make sure it’s in a space away from other play equipment and high traffic areas
  • provide access to plenty of dirt, sand and water, as well as other natural materials like grass, leaves, flowers, sticks and pebbles
  • include tables/benches at different heights and chairs
  • use old kitchen sinks and/or buckets for water
  • have shelves and tubs for storing equipment
  • provide old pots and pans, cake and muffin tins, bowls, plates,  cups and utensils
  • make sure kids are wearing old clothes that are okay to get muddy

If you need some inspiration, check out these mud kitchen ideas:

DIY outdoor art table and mud kitchen from Rhythms of Play

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How to build a mud kitchen from Megan Zeni

mud kitchen megan zeni

Inspiration from our mud kitchen from Rain or Shine Mamma

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Marvellous mud kitchen! from Cuddles and Muddles and Muddy Puddles

messy-mud-kitchen

DIY mud kitchen from Hands on as we grow

diy mud kitchen

Creating a mud garden from Childhood 101

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Top 20 mud kitchen ideas for kids from 1001 Gardens

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Here are some inspiration for things kids can make in their mud kitchens:

20 glorious ways to play with mud! from Mother Natured

Mud-Play-for-kids-1 (1)

Mud pie nature art sensory activity from Rhythms of Play

Mud-Pie-Nature-Art-sq2

Making mud cakes in our mud kitchen from The Gingerbread House

mud cakes

Mud kitchen activity from Happy Hooligans

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Fairy mud for outdoor and sensory play from Laughing Kids Learn

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Make a mud alphabet from Nurture Store

make-a-mud-alphabet

Making mud dough from Sow Sprout Play

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Mud paint recipe for play from Learn Play Imagine

How to Make Mud Paint (6)

Mud painting: stamping with utensils from Adventures at Home with Mum

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Engineeering with mud bricks from Munchkins and Moms

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What is your child’s favourite way to play with mud?

We would love to see your kids having fun with mud – just post pics to Facebook or Instagram with #littlegreencrafters. 🙂

You can find more nature art and craft ideas on our Pinterest page here and outdoor play ideas here.

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