June 29th is International Mud Day, an excuse for kids to get down and dirty while having fun and connecting with nature.
Five Rivers MetroParks typically hosts a day of messy fun at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, an event that has been canceled due to the pandemic.
Betty Hoevel, the mud expert and education coordinator for MetroParks, has come up with a list of creative ideas to celebrate all-things-mud at home this year.
Make some mud: Find a space in your yard that is free of grass where there is plenty of dirt. With a yard hose or different water source, add water to the dirt a bit at a time while encouraging your kids to mix everything together. Add water until you’ve reached the consistency of mud you wish to play with.
Mud pools: Have a small plastic wading pool and some extra potting soil laying around? Add three bags of the soil to the pool. Mix and add water until the mud is moist and holds together. Hop in and stomp around!
Mud city: Gather milk cartons, plastic containers and beach buckets to make a city from mud. Create mud that holds it’s shape by adding a little water at a time to your sand and soil mixture. Once you’ve made “houses” and other buildings, you also can create streets with mud.
Mud mural: Tape butcher paper to a garage, shed or easel. Create your mud mix (equal parts mud and water) in different containers and use different sized brushes to make your muddy masterpiece. Tip: As the mud paint is used, add more water to keep it from getting too thick to stay on a brush.
Mud kitchen: Serve up some mud pies by covering an outside table with an old cloth or plastic and put out kitchen utensils and paper plates. Create your “pies” with a small bowl of mud (bagged soil, sand and water) and keep a small bag of sand on-hand to top off your creations. Garnish your mud pies with flowers and leaves. Tip: Keep a small bowl of water on hand to clean off utensils between uses.
Mud face painting: Use the same mud recipe you did to create a mural, but this time the canvas is your face! Put out a small container of mud paint, small brushes and water. Create fun designs or paint with your fingers. Be sure to have a mirror on hand if your painting your own face and so kids can see their creations when they are finished.
Mud hula hoop roll contest: Put down a 3’ by 10’ strip of plastic. Cover the plastic with one inch of mud. Next, grab two or three hula hoops and see how far you can roll the hoops down the mud strips. Next, see if you can successfully hula hoop with your muddy hoops. Tip: Keep adding water to the mud do it doesn’t dry out!
Muddy surprise creatures: Gather 20 tiny plastic play creatures in a bucket and fill it halfway with mud. Let the kids see how many creatures they can pull out and identify out of the muddy mix.
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