For Language and Literacy Developments

"Tip 141: June 2020 Language & Literacy: Mud Play "
   June, 2020

Website Educational Tip for Language and Literacy Development

June 29 is International Mud Day sponsored by the World Forum on Early Care
and Education. It was begun in 2011 in Nepal; its mission is to connect the
children around the world through the earth. Mud play offers tactile,
sensory experiences that help to develop a child’s brain. Research shows
that children who play in dirt develop stronger immune systems that can
pave the way for better health throughout their adult lives. Certain
microbes found in soil activate neurons in the brain which produce
serotonin, a natural anti-depressant. Playing in dirt causes children to
laugh more resulting in happier children.

Mud Hand Prints

1. Using liquid mud help infants to make hand prints on heavy paper (like a
brown paper bag) or on the sidewalk or driveway.

2. Using fingers, paint brushes, or kitchen utensils paint with wet mud on
white shelf paper creating mud art.

Mud Tracks

1. Make a mud track for cars, trucks, bulldozers and other vehicle for
driving the on a mud track outdoors.

2. Make a mud pit out of a plastic swimming pool or dishwashing basin. Fill
it with potting soil and just add water.

Mud Kitchen

1. Set up a mud kitchen outdoors. Make a stove, sink, oven, table and
whatever else you can think of out of boxes, boards, or perhaps from an old play kitchen

Equip it with pots, pans, bowls, spoons, and mud. Make mud soup, mud stew,
mud muffins, mud cakes, and of course mud pies!

2. Fancy mud is made by adding glitter or paint to the mud to create a
different kind of mud art for children to explore.

3. You can add to the value of the play by talking about what the children
are doing.

“You are scooping the mud into the bucket.” Try asking simple questions,
such as “How many scoops of mud will it take to fill this bowl?” “What will
happen if you add more water to the mud?” “How does the mud feel?” “Is it sticky and

4. Recommended Book: “I Don’t Want To Be A Frog” by Dev Petty

Playing with mud – a free, open-ended material – can offer a deeper,
more creative play experience than many of the expensive, one purpose
toys sold today.

(Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children’s Entertainment –Truce Teachers)