Muddy play ideas: mud pies, mud soup, mud paints
It's raining, it's pouring! But our typical British weather doesn't have to put a dampener on outdoor play. Pull on your wellies and some old clothes and get your hands dirty with these marvellously mucky mud activities.
(And if the weather's dry where you live, don't worry - you can make your own mud! Just mix up some earth from your garden with water. If you don’t have a garden of your own, you can add water to a bag of compost from your local garden centre or supermarket.)
Wet weather creates glorious, gloopy mud to play in! So dig out some old pots, pans, spoons and plates to make your own mud kitchen. It's best to use metal or plastic objects so children are less likely to break them and hurt themselves.
Here are some recipes you could try, as well as some other fun stuff to do with mud.
Mud pies, pizzas and cakes
Get busy in your outdoor kitchen and rustle up some mud pies or pizzas. You can even make cakes by packing mud into cupcake cases! Decorate them with natural objects such as small stones, petals or fallen leaves that you find on the woodland floor. To enhance the sensory experience you can use fresh herbs like parsley, thyme and rosemary - they'll add a vibrant splash of green and an amazing fragrance!
Super mud soup
Mix in some water so the mud is lovely and runny, and then add all your other ingredients, such as bits of grass, crumbled up bark, some seeds… whatever you can find. Serve it up in some bowls and don’t forget to garnish it with some flowers. Just remember not to eat it - no matter how tasty it might look!
Fill some small pots with mud and add some powder paints or food colouring to make some marvellous mud paint.
Then grab a large sheet of paper or card, find an old paintbrush – or just use your hands – and get creative!
Will you paint a tree, a muddy landscape or a family of mud monsters?
If you're feeling super creative, have a go at sculpting with mud! Shape a real animal or an imaginary creature out of sticky mud, then look for natural items to make eyes, noses and ears. Read our tips for more inspiration.
Splish, splash, splosh
If it's really been raining cats and dogs you might have some big, muddy puddles. Stomp through them in your wellies. Who can create the biggest splash? For more fun, download our welly wander activity sheet.
Fill a container will slippery, slimy mud, take off your shoes and socks and stomp around in it, letting the mud squidge between your toes. On the ground, lay out a flattened cardboard box or an old sheet then make a footprint pattern by walking all over it.
Now wash your hands
Remember, mud does contain germs so always wash your hands (and the rest of you if you're really filthy!) when you've finished playing.
And please don't pick wild plants or break things off trees. Use petals, leaves and sticks that have fallen to the ground.
Share your muddy snaps
Who's got the messiest? Post pictures of your muddy fun on our Facebook page, or on Instagram or Twitter using #NatureDetectives.