Inside: Childhood has changed, and activities like playing with mud don’t seem to make anyone’s summer bucket list these days. Get kids back outside for old-fashioned fun with nature and invite them to make sturdy mud sculptures.
Mud holds many possibilities for exploration. It can be dug for treasure, turned into a mud cake, or used to paint a fence. With mud under feet, one can imagine oneself a baker, a biologist, and a paleontologist.
Just a handful of mud can invite creative building. It can be amazing to see wet, gooey mud become a hard sculpture. We discovered through years of experimentation that there is one area of our backyard where mud dries so hard it’s difficult to break sculptures made out of it.
Are you tired of buying (making) play dough and other sensory stuff for your kids? Then it’s time for some old-fashioned fun with mud!
What you need
A muddy area
Rocks for stability
What to do
- Not all mud is created equal. If your kids love digging, encourage them to make a few holes in different areas. Through years of experimentation, we discovered one area of our yard where the mud quality is best for sculptures.
- Mud can be a slimy mixture of just dirt and water, or it might have a fair amount of clay and other substances mixed in. In any case, if you want your sculpture to last for a long time, find a few stones to act as a frame. You can either cover stones with mud and create a sculpture with them or arrange a few stones in the desired composition before covering it with mud. Or do a combination of both!
- Use hands to press, roll, and mold your sculpture to the desired shape.
- Let it dry in the sun. You can add stick sculpture, while you are at it 🙂
- Once hardened, mud sculptures are so hard that even rain can’t melt them away!
My kids had a hard time trying to break this sculpture because it dried solid as a rock. But it’s not magic: if you want to make sure your mud sculpture lasts and lasts, repair the cracks after each rain.