Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Mud, glorious mud!

"Childhood for me was basically a backyard, a spade and a bucket of mud with someone to look after you." Dirk Bogarde.

Today we celebrated the second annual Nature Action Collaborative for Children - International Mud Day.  And WOW what a day...  

Our mud pit is a part of our everyday play and is frequented by the children as you will have noticed from previous posts.  What I love about International Mud Day is the conversations that it initiates.  When the posters were placed around our service a week ago advertising the event, many parents, Certificate III and Diploma of Children's Services students began reflecting on the types of play they experienced as a child - building forts, making mud pies, using imagination and creativity daily in play.  When having these conversations, links were quickly made to the types of play children have today - over scheduled, structured, computer based, predictable.  It's amazing to see that "light bulb moment" when parents and students realise what they truly LOVED and remember most about their childhood - that they are not allowing their children to experience.

So following is an example of what the children experienced and my interpretation of their learning in our program today.  
The invitation to play was set and the children eagerly began play in the mud pit in a small group - working on a treasure hunt project and individually - making wombat stew. 
My favorite image of the day "help I'm stuck" the group worked together creating and hypothesising how they could get Josh out of the mud (without his gumboots remaining in the slosh)

Our Mud Pie cooking invitation - this was the 'oven' the children created a few weeks ago.

Pre-mathematical and science principles - sinking and floating patty pans
 Collaboration - lifting the heavy pot onto the stove

 Josh shared his family culture explaining to the children how to make pasta "Nonna mixes it all like this in the bowl and you pat it flat then you mix it some more for yummy pasta"
Collaboration - digging each other out of the mud bog
Science and connection to nature - discovering worms and snails and creating a new home in the garden for them
 Mud paint on the fence Perspex - what better than a muddy hand print to finish the painting?
"Come and buy at my shop" Isabella encouraged children to purchase her mud cup cakes, mud medicine and mud chicken nuggets.

The group easily experienced all 5 learning outcomes from the Early Years Learning Framework today. 
While many children enjoyed and frequented the mud play, a few did choose to watch from the edge or play away from the mess, indoors or in our outdoor home corner.


  1. Sensational stuff Dani. The children look so engaged in the play. Love the cooperation, sharing, enthusiasm and zeal in their play. Love it!

  2. Looks like lots of fun! Found your blog thanks to Let the Children Play. New follower now (and fellow Aussie blogger :D) Debs :)

  3. Goodness me, I was just reading a little more about you... and we are very close to one another! I am actually on family leave from Kallista Primary School. Not far at all!! :D

  4. Thanks for the great feedback, I really appreciate it. I will have to check out your blog Deb, and feel free to call in. We love to make connections with the local community.

  5. Awesome stuff! Keep up the good blogging. from South Africa.