Simple to set up, our mud kitchen activity requires only a bucket of mud, a few kitchen items and a handful of “past their best” pantry items. The inspiration behind today’s mud kitchen activity was the awesome pretend “coffee shop” … Continue reading
Our coffee shop activity with sand, soap and water provides hours of open-ended, imaginative play for kids of all ages. Last Friday was a P.A. day so a few of our “graduates” joined us for the day. Because of the … Continue reading
You may recall that last year, after seeing all of the gorgeous mud-kitchens out there in the blogosphere, I used our wheel-barrow to create a portable mud-patch last year for the Hooligans (you can see the original post here).
Well, re-creating that mud-patch has been on my mind for days, and yesterday when my feet hit the floor at 6 a.m., and the air in the house was already thick and muggy, I knew the day to do it had arrived.
When the Hooligans arrived, I hauled out the old wheelbarrow and dumped a generous amount of clean potting soil into it. Then I called to the Hooligans bring some sand from the sand-box. They’d been watching me, and were oh-so-curious about what I was doing, so they were only to happy to jump into action. They ran back and forth from the wheel barrow to the sandbox delivering and dumping small pailfuls of sand until we figured we had enough. Then they stirred it all up with their shovels while I was setting up their water supply.
A water jug with a spigot is without question one of the best things we’ve ever added to our outdoor play-space. I often see them at our local thrift shop. We don’t have it ours often (although I suppose we should in this weather), but it comes out on days like these, and the Hooligans LOVE it. The spigot is a bit stiff and provides a challenge for little hands to manage, (think muscle development and motor control) and they love having complete control over their own tap and water source!
After adding enough water to make a great, sloppy mess, they brought cars, trucks and tractors from the sand box to add to the mud-pit, and I set up a “baking counter” by placing a long board and some baking utensils and “ingredients” at one end of the wheelbarrow.
Now what to do with those muddy kids? Click here to see how they cleaned up.
Oh, we’re loving our wet and messy play now that the summer weather has arrived. Did you pop by yesterday? Did you see the baby bath station that we had set up in the backyard? We set it up again today because it was such a hit, and because a couple of the Hooligans don’t attend on Thursdays and they missed out on the fun. I also added another awesome, wet, messy, sensory activity today that kept them happy morning! Behold the MUDDY CAR WASH!
I turned our wagon into a mud pit by mixing up some potting soil, several scoops of sandbox sand, and a bucketful of water. (you can see how we’ve used a wheel-barrow to make an even larger, mobile mud-pit)
Then several feet below and away from the wagon, I placed a large basin filled with soapy water, and I ran our hot-wheels tracks from one to the other.
The basin of water didn’t stay clean for long, but that made things even more fun; they had to search around in the black water to find their cars, and the cars didn’t exactly zoom down the track with all that mud either, but the Hooligans didn’t even seem to notice. They were happy to push them along until they reached their destination.
Now, be prepared: your little one COULD get very dirty. I’m not saying he or she will. In fact, a couple of the Hooligans stayed quite clean. Even Miss Mess wasn’t too bad, although I did give her clothes a soapy rinse before sending them home.
Look at him! Think he had fun? Oh yeah! And it was so cute: I set out a big bowl of water for them to wash up in when they were finished, and he did – he washed his hands until they sparkled and then came running over to me, proudly shouting “I’m clean, I’m clean!”, and looking like this:
Yup sure, little guy. Whatever you say!
I feel I need to share this next photo for those of you who might be horrified by the state of his clothing. I tossed them onto the grass (the clothes, not the kids), sprinkled them with some dish soap, and gave them a blast with the garden hose. In less than a minute, they looked like this.
See…. don’t let a little dirt scare ya! Let them get messy! They’ll love you for it! And of course, if you’re looking for a cleaner-but-still-messy alternative to this activity you can always do this version of a car-wash.