Ever spent ages preparing a game, only for your children to do it for three minutes before wandering off? Here’s a fantastic Mud Painting activity which will keep your busy little bees involved from start to finish.
Your Little Explorers will happily do all the prep for this project, with a little direction from you. Mud painting involves the things they love most - dirt, stirring, squishing and splashing. Once they’ve made the paint, they can get creative with it, and (if you let them loose with the hose) even help clean it up!
You’ll most likely already have the equipment you need:-
- card (check the recycling for packaging materials)
- paint and paintbrushes, leaves, twigs, sponges (all optional)
Dig up a few cups of mud or dirt. Put a handful of mud in the sieve and add a little water. Stir it! It’s brilliantly messy. You’ll be able to pick out any leaves, stones or even worms which have found their way into the mix. We helped a little spider escape. Keep adding mud and water, and squishing it through the sieve until you have a good layer of fine, silty mud with water separated out on top. Carefully pour or spoon away as much of the top layer of water as you can. To turn your mud mixture into a wonderfully rich colour try adding a squirt of paint. We found red gave the most earthy hue, reminding us of cavemen’s drawings.
Give the children leaves, twigs, paintbrushes and sponges to paint with on the cardboard. The paint is quite wet so thicker cardboard is preferable to paper which might rip. Our Little Explorers found the delicious sensation of mud oozing through their fingers and toes irresistible, and opted for using body parts over painting tools. It’s a super sensory play activity for Little Explorers of all ages.
Finally - a quick rinse off with the hose and everyone and everything goes straight into the bath!
Expert Explorers: Top fact
Did you know the Korhogo people of the Ivory Coast paint on cotton cloth with mud? The cloth is first dyed yellow using a mixture of boiled up leaves and bark. The Korhogo people collect mud from riverbanks and use carved bamboo or wooden sticks to paint intricate designs on the cloth. The paintings are dried in the sun and the whole process is repeated several times to make the mud pattern permanent.
Come on over and join us on Facebook and let us know how your muddy adventures went!