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Friday, June 28, 2013

International Mud Day

Yes, there really is an International Mud Day!  International Mud Day started in Nepal just a couple of years ago, and is an opportunity to enjoy nature and the outdoors in the messiest of ways.  If you can't get messy and play in the mud when you are 4, when will you ever get the chance?  I believe in hands on learning - and boy, was this hands on!

We started our afternoon with edible mud pies for snack: chocolate pudding topped with crushed chocolate cookies.  Yum!

 When we stepped outside, the girls went immediately to the mud table...
 ...and the boys went to the swings.  This happened last year too - the girls want to play in the mud, and the boys want nothing to do with it.
 The girls got to work making mud pies right away.  I had dry soil on the table, and a huge container of water next to it.
 Add a little water to the mud, and you get pie!  They were enjoying the mud, but not getting dirty.  I'm a little sad that at 3 and 4 years old, our kiddos already know the social conventions of staying clean.  Do I want them filthy in the house?  Goodness no, but I do want them to have the experience of playing in mud, stomping in puddles, and just generally being kids.
 So, I broke the barriers by getting muddy myself.  They were intrigued, but not jumping right on in with me!
 Next we added herbs and sticks, leaves and grass... and got into it a little more.  They really did need to see me get muddy to believe me that it was okay.
 Finally, tentatively, they started putting mud on themselves.  Look how excited this kiddo is!
 We had a fine old time in the mud, and made a great many delicious pies!  When the kiddos started tiring of the mud play, we took all the muddy water, and put it on thirsty plants in the garden.
 Here's the aftermath of our play.
 This is how to make a "mud shake" - sort of like a milk shake, but much more fun!
We cleaned up by taking all the lovely wet soil/mud pies, and putting everything in the vegetable garden.  Look how messy we got!  
One of the kiddos said several times, "I love mud day!  I want to do this again!" That, right there, is why I teach early childhood.  I get to be a big kid, and play in the mud too.  She's right.  We really should do this again.  I love mud day too!

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