Kids are incredibly inquisitive and want to know everything. ‘Why?’ is a standard question in our house and recently my daughter asked, “Are mud pies waterproof?” So of course we had to put on our Mud Mates and head outside to find out!
How to Make the Best Mud Pies In New Zealand
Have you ever made mud pies before? With sandpits so popular with kids and us parents sometimes getting too precious about what our gardens look like, mud pies have sadly become a thing of the past. Mud Mates is set to change that and share with you the recipe for the best mud pies around.
What you’ll need:
1. In a small bucket, add water and dirt. Make sure that your dirt is smooth and free of rocks, stones and sand.
2. Using their hands, get your children to mix the water and dirt together until it feels a bit like bread dough. (You may need to help them with this). If it is still
crumbly, add more water. Or if it is too runny, more dirt.
3. Press, pull and knead the dirt together until it becomes firm enough that if you made a sausage shape with it, it would not break apart.
4. Make mud pies! There is no end to your imagination when making mud pies. We made birthday cakes and muffins, but you could fill up old baking trays, roll balls and squish them flat or even shape them into ovals with your hands or feet.
5. Decorate them using all the natural bits and pieces you can find outside.
How Do Kids Learn When Playing In Mud?
Our kid’s outside worlds are shrinking. With more houses being built, the popularity of apartment living and the huge increase in TV watching, so many kids are not able to learn and explore in the outdoor environment often. The great news is though, it doesn’t require a large amount of space to play with mud and a box or bowl filled with dirt is okay.
When children play in mud they explore different textures with their hands and even tongues in some cases! They can test out their theories and find answers to questions such as if mud pies are waterproof. Both literacy and maths skills come into play, along with fine motor skill development. Science is also there with observing how mud changes when you add water, sand or even when you freeze it. Filling containers up to measure volume happens without kids even thinking about why they are doing it. That’s the way play should be – spontaneous and enjoyable!
Are Mud Pies Really Waterproof?
Which leads me onto the big question my daughter and I had to answer. She made her mud pies by carefully following our recipe and then tipped some water on the top of her creation. Did the water sink in or did it flow off? In her case the water flowed off (probably because we had quite a bit of clay in our dirt) and she proudly announced that mud pies were just as waterproof as her Mud Mates!
So if your child wants to be as waterproof as a mud pie, head over and grab them some Mud Mates too!
If your child doesn’t like getting dirty, or hates the feel of mud on their skin then you could try our Edible Mud activity – it’s a great way to encourage kids who mud to play in it.
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