DIY NATURE PLAY:
MUD PITS 1.0.1- Temporary Mud Pit Options
AS WELL AS 5X CONSTRUCTION TIPS
Mud play is one of the most amazing open ended nature play activities that, for children, never gets old (even for us big kids).
"Want to know more about why Mud Play is important for your child? Read the Mud Play blog on the Nature Play QLD website"
Below are some ideas of how to create a basic temporary mud pit in a backyard, day care centre, school, kindergarten or play area.
TIP 1 ‘DIRT CONSIDERATIONS’
Make sure the soil you use or buy has no additives, like fertilisers. Children have the uncanny ability to eat dirt, even when they are not trying.
TIP 2 ‘WHERE TO POSITION YOUR MUD PIT’.
Somewhere with shade is highly recommended as kids can play for hours in these pits. Also somewhere where there is a lot of moisture is good.
Underneath trees or shrubs are great positions for mud pits. They not only provide shade, they allow for the games to include the trees or shrubs, adding another play element to the world being crafted, and creating opportunities for kids to extend their time in being creative.
In gullies or where water runs through your garden. Kids can explore water catchments, practice damming, build pretend rivers, bridges or swimming pools. Adding the element of running water into the mud pit will increase the possibilities for imaginative play.
TIP 3 ‘TEMPORARY MUD PITS’ OPTIONS AND SET UP
Option 1: FREE RANGE MUD PITS
Lay a heavy duty tarp somewhere appropriate and place your soil on top. The tarp will reduce the spread of mess. Make sure your tarp is large enough to extend at least 1 metre diameter beyond your mud pile. This will more likely contain the mud and make removing the soil easy once play time is over (which can also be spread in your garden somewhere).
Option 2: WASH TUB MUD PITS
Lay the tarp out and place soil in large wash up or laundry tubs.
Option 3: BLOW UP MUD PITS
If you have an old blow up swimming pool, they make awesome temporary mud pits
Option 4: WHEEL BARROW MUD PIT
TIP 4 ‘TOOLS OF THE MUDDY TRADE’
These are resources that will encourage and stimulate a child’s imagination while playing in the mud. Which may include, but not limited to:
|Old kitchen utensils||Pots and Pans||Baking dishes|
|Old plant pots||Toy animals||Toy cars|
|Plastic containers||Blocks||Planks of wood|
|Wash up tubs||Rocks||Sticks|
|Cups||Pie tins||Sand castle equipment|
|Hand shovels||Chef hats||Dress ups|
(Extra tip: don’t give kids all the tools at once, and perhaps, take some tools out when you add some new tools in and keep them rotating)
TIP 5 ‘GET THE KIDS INVOLVED AND LET THE CHILDREN LEAD THE PLAY’
When setting up your mud pit, getting the kids involved will go a long way of getting them interested, developing a sense of ownership of their mud pit and start their creative brains firing.
It is important not to push the mud pit on children and let them determine their level of engagement. You can make it more attractive, or reinvigorate interest by adding new play element such as rocks, sticks, planks or blocks. However for the child to fully engage with the mud pit they will need to determine when, how and why they get involved.
Children will invite you into their muddy imaginative worlds, but they will need time to form a foundational story. Giving them space to create their play worlds is the true gift of the mud pit, from here they will quickly become experts of their muddy adventures and will happily take you with them.
HAPPY MUD PLAYING
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