Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mud Day!

I have a problem with change.  Not the 'normal' problem with change, exactly the opposite.  Most people resist change, happy to stay in their cozy, predictable bubbles for as long as possible. 

Not I! 

I love change, especially when it comes to moving things around in my preschool classroom.  Even as a child, I rearranged my bedroom furniture monthly and it was a 10ft x 12ft space with four pieces of large furniture.  Now that I have larger spaces and tons more stuff to work with, things can get a bit wild.

My biggest problem to date has been our outdoor classroom.  Unfortunately, our yard is just a dirt lot with an inconvenient hill at the back wall, which cuts at least 6ft. of potentially usable space right out of our play area.

Ever since we adopted our chickens, we've been mulling over the best way to work their area into our yard.  We've moved the coop a few times, but I finally determined that if we wanted to have a successful garden, the chickens would have to be placed on the opposite side of the yard.  This final move meant that even more of our usable play space would be sacrificed. 

(As a side note, my husband just built the chickens a veritable Club Med - more on that later.)

I decided to use the flat back of the chicken coop as support for our mud kitchen - which is this kitchen that someone donated to my preschool a few years ago.  When I replaced it with a wooden cabinet, I didn't have the heart to get rid of it, so it moved outside and our mud kitchen came to be.

Up until this week, I don't think it's ever truly been a mud kitchen - just a little sand, straw and water, but never REAL squishy, smooshy, cool mud.

Because the kitchen moved, the kitchen table had to move, and it was placed, you guessed it, on the inconvenient hill I mentioned.  Time for a little science lesson:  What happens when you start filling pots and pans with water on a table placed on a hill? 

Puddles!  And puddles = MUD!
I'll be the first to admit that this is not an everyday occurrence, sometimes the kids get a bit too rowdy and it's too chilly to hose them down, sometimes I don't feel like changing 4 or 5 kids and washing clothes and shoes, sometimes the children in attendance aren't that into getting dirty.  For whatever reason, planetary alignment, chemistry between the kiddos, precisely the right amount of coffee for Miss Lindsey, this day was the perfect day for mud!

They were all involved, scooping, pouring, filling, stirring.  There were little explorers elbow deep in the stuff.  Each child assigned himself or herself a job.  No one got in any one's way.  No one stopped to argue about which child was using which cup/spoon/pan.  This was serious work.
I even managed to get a video of the action to share with the Moms and Dads - something like this can't really be summed up in pictorial form alone.

And, ya know, I must admit that clean-up on my part only took a few minutes, certainly not the disaster I had previously envisioned.  I have a feeling mud day may make an appearance more often!



6 comments:

  1. Mud is probably the best plaything that there is, my girls are absolute mud monsters, it can keep them entertained for hours :)

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    1. I agree! I'm only sad that it's too hot here to leave the kiddos out for too long. :(

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  2. Mud + Kids = Fun! Thanks for sharing with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday! Hope you stop by again! http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2013/05/eco-kids-tuesday_21.html

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  3. featured on the kids co-op http://frogsandsnailsandpuppydogtails-jaime.blogspot.com/2013/05/sensory-play-and-learning-activities.html

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  4. What fun! Your mud almost looks like chocolate ice cream in a couple of the pictures =)

    Thanks sharing and linking up to TGIF! I hope you come link up later today,
    Beth =)

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  5. I'm usually pretty good with messes, but I don't think I've really let my kids explore mud. Maybe with the weather cooling down and the rain picking up we'll give it a whirl!

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