Recapping Mud Buddies

“This has been the best week of my entire life!” as told to Miss Paula by Tori, age 4

As the children explored the mud and muck in Mud Buddy , wonderful things were happening.  Here are a few snapshots.

In the sandbox:  We added the water hose to the sand box and allowed the children to explore how water and sand can be manipulated and combined while experimenting with how water and sand flows and moves.  As water was added to the sandbox, a three-year-old boy teamed up with a slightly older boy to begin filling containers before carrying them to other spaces in the sand box and emptying them, exclaiming over how the water moved and splashed and filled holes.  A four-year-old girl then joined them and explained how they might fill their containers faster.  Another group of children worked to create waterways so that the streams of water could be directed by digging channels or blocking streams.  Finally, in a third group, older children taught younger children that if they jumped high into puddles they made big splashes and if they jumped low they could make smaller splashes.  

In the Garden to Table Cooking Center:  This week in the garden the children became professional mud chefs. We had a fully stocked kitchen with dirt, sand, water, mud, rocks, leaves, fresh herbs and flowers. Using a variety of containers and dishes the children made so many delectable mud dishes, and then transferred them to a play oven to cook, and finally "shared" them with everyone. It was so fun to see their creativity and imagination take off in this mud kitchen. Throughout the week we saw their mud dishes evolve from traditional mud pies to very complex cakes, pizzas, soups, muffins, salads and even meat and cheese plates.

At the sensory and science center during Mud Buddies week, the children explored various ways to manipulate and transform everyday materials into unusual textures and experiences. The children began with a lumpy mixture of bar soap, toilet paper, and water and experienced the transformation of it from squishy to slippery “clean mud.” They were eager to squish the mixture with their hands, but the children asked questions about which materials were involved and verbalized their observations about the changes. Later, in a treasure excavation, a table full of mundane dirt became a gold mine, where children discovered little trinkets. Some children were able to predict what they were going to find based on observation of other children’s discoveries. In our last experiment, a mud pile became bubbling magic mud, using baking soda (mixed into mud) and vinegar. The experiment was repeated in cups, as a bubbling field, and finally in a volcano with a crater. The children displayed understanding of how the materials interacted and enthusiastically asked to see the activity repeated.

In the Infant/Toddler Program:  This week the Milkyways and Moonbeams got messy as we explored with mud, olive oil, dirt, water, bubbles, Ooblick and Squishy-bath!  We heard and explored sensory words (squishy, slimy, soggy, icky, goopy, cold, wet, slippery) as we talked together, dug for pretend bugs in the dirt using shovels and pails, explored early math and science skills as we filled and dumped containers, painted a cooperative mural using mud and brushes, splashed in mud puddles, chased bubbles at the Bubble Bus, and even had group music time under the shade of our tree.  Even our littlest babies and the teachers joined in the fun!  We want to send a thank-you to all our families for being such good sports with all the messy children and clothes we sent home this week!

From the Dramatic Play Center:  We had lots of fun getting messy and muddy this week at camp! Olivia said she had fun putting on an apron and making mud pies and cupcakes in the dramatic play center.  The children got to dress up like construction workers with hard hats as they pretended to lay the (mud) foundation for a building under construction.  We also enjoyed manipulating clay and making sculptures.  

Post by Christine Grosch