Kids and mud. What child can resist the opportunity to splash in a puddle or make mud pies? Lots of them, to tell you the truth. Back in the good old days, kids used to get dirty. Regular readers know how strongly I feel about giving kids the opportunity for messy, dirty play.
Now don't get me wrong. I like my kids clean and smelling sweet, however, I don't discourage them from getting dirty when they are outside. Let's be honest, keeping them clean is a grown up thing, isn't it? We don't let them paint nearly as often as we should because it is a pain for US to clean up. With summer being here, however, we have no excuse to let them get dirty. As I've said in some of the previous Summer Boredom Buster posts, all you have to do is hose them off!
But, maybe you have created a monster? Maybe your child doesn't like getting dirty? Maybe they shy away from dirt or want to wash their hands the minute they get something on them? Well, today's Summer Boredom Buster activity should be right up their ally. Today, we are making clean mud. Here's what you'll need:
- Three bars of Ivory hand soap
- A plastic cheese grater
- A roll of toilet paper
- A large, plastic tub
Here's what you do:
- Have your child grate the bars of ivory soap over a large plastic container or bowl
- Have your child shred the roll of toilet paper into the same container
- Slowly add some warm water
- Mix it until the mixture has the consistency of mashed potatoes
Let your kids smoosh it, squeeze it, etc. Put some plastic kid dishes so they can make mud pies or try some plastic measuring cups so they can scoop, fill, etc. This is a great way to give kids who don't like getting dirty the opportunity to experience playing with mud while staying clean.
There are numerous developmental benefits:
- The grating is great for hand-eye coordination and fine motor development
- Shredding the toilet paper is great for fine motor development particularly the pincer grasp which is needed for writing
- It is an open ended activity that fosters creativity
- It is a sensory activity that allows kids to work out stress and anxiety through their hands
You can store the clean mud in an air tight container. Just add water to reconstitute it. Also, be sure that when you do dispose of it you DO NOT THROW IT DOWN THE DRAIN! Be sure to throw it in the trash!
I'll be doing this activity this week on some of my home visits. I can't wait to see how the kids react!
Have you made clean mud with your child? If so, share how it went. Or maybe you have an idea or suggestion for the Summer Boredom Buster series. If so, drop me a line at email@example.com