Tuesday, June 8, 2010

mud play at preschool.

What do you do when the heavens open and it rains for five days straight? 

You put on your raincoats and gumboots and play in the mud, thats what.

Did you know that mud play is just as vital as sand play and water play in an early childhood program?

Natural elements like mud provide a wonderful focus for children’s innate curiosity. 

When children play in the mud they:

  • explore
  • discover
  • experiment
  • shape their own environment
  • engage the senses
  • create
  • imagine
  • connecting with nature
  • solve problems
  • play with other children

Providing a learning environment that encourages active interaction with water, dirt, weather, plants and the life cycle offers children education at its most compelling.

Good outdoor clothes are a must: we ask that children bring along suitable wet weather gear and several changes of clothes.  We also have a stock of raincoats, gumboots and spare clothing kept at preschool.

The underlying motto is simple: There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!

What did we have on hand for playing in the mud? 

  • Large tonka trucks
  • Sturdy shovels
  • different lengths of wood

Here are a few suggested mud activities to get your imagination going:
  • Dishes, pans and utensils for cooking (tree stumps provide an ideal flat surface to work on)
  • Farm animals and small tractors (sticks are handy to plant in the mud and build enclosures)
  • Buckets and wide paint brushes for painting with mud
For more mud play ideas, pop on over to my post Ways to incorporate mud play into the preschool program or have a look at our preschoolers Mud Surfing.


We Play


  1. I saw this and just wanted to get out in it and play, too.

  2. Can I be 4 again and go to your school? They didn't seem to mind the rain a bit! So fun.

  3. mud is definitely my preferred messy play...i need to figure out how to make it an expected part of my preschool program...not just a spontaneous accident. i may link families over here!

  4. If it weren't summer, I'd almost be asking for rain! We love playing in the rain, too, though sadly we are the only ones in our neighborhood doing so. Wish more parents would just let their kids play! :)

  5. Fun ideas for playing in the mud - like I said on Christie's Carnival of Natural Parenting post today (at Childhood 101), I never think about bringing inside toys out.
    I got my son his first pair of rainboots last week, we are excited for the next rain to come so he can use them!

  6. What an awesome website you've got here! I love it!

  7. Yep! Sand is cool but mud is IRRESISTIBLE!
    Donna :) :)

  8. Oh awesome that looks like so much fun. I want to hop in and play with the mud, never mind the children :grin:

  9. "...Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood! So follow me, follow me, down to the hollow, and there we will wallow in glorious mud!"

  10. As you know, we spend our lives in mud here. I've recently put away the pump and banned watering cans for the week. We're hoping to find out what dry sand is like!

    Gosh that looks fun, Jenny!

  11. We love mud play at our house (well, with the exception of Daddy). I strongly believe it's an important part of growing up!
    I love your ideas :)

  12. LOVE your pictures.
    I've never understood why Mommas keep their little ones in, away from the puddles.
    Mud rinses off. No big deal.
    Plus, the adventure, change of pace, and *feel* of mud all create wonderful memories.

  13. Its nice to see so many mud fans out there :) Thanks for the comments everyone - it always makes me feel good to open up my blog and find comments waiting for me :)

    We just had a delivery to preschool of a big old pile of dirt that the kids are currently digging their way through. We will really have some mud going now when it rains again!

  14. Love to see children being given the freedom to be children and enjoy life. They just don't have the same restrictions as we adults do! This play looks like much fun! Your school is lovely fun!

    We were playing in the rain a few weeks ago at WE Play link-up.

    This week we're playing in the dirt. We're not afraid to get messy!

    jeannine: waddlee-ah-chaa

  15. So nice to see an Australian preschool embracing this philosophy, I just wish there were more like it! Who can deny how much fun and learning are happening in this play.

  16. I wish my students had rain gear so we could play in the mud, too! But it's enough of a struggle just getting them equipped for cold weather...

  17. Kiri, we went to the local garden centre and bought a stack of kid sized gumboots to keep at preschool, and we also collect donated raincoats or pick some up cheaply at the op shop so that we always have some on hand for the wet weather because so many kids come to preschool ill-equipped for the rain. And a supply of spare clothes, although on wet days we go through this pretty quickly!

  18. This is awesome! After watching our pre-k teacher taker her kids out into the dirt patch we call a garden to just explore and play, I started letting our kids grades k-3 into the garden as well. http://www.creatingquestions.com/2012/03/school-garden-becomes-mud-house.html They've been tracking mud everywhere! And, I love it!

  19. Can anyone tell me about safe mud to allow the children in my LDC to play in? After reading this blog I have wet the sand and have created a cooking area otside... but I would really love mud for the kids.I remember loving to create mud pies as a huge part of my childhood :)