Saw this on A Mom with a Lesson Plan and thought it was so awesome that I’d share here too. And I am sure my kids will be willing to try this out very soon.
It’s MUD DAY!!!! We played in the mud A LOT though spring and I have a strong feeling we will be having many more MUD days this summer. For the most part playing in the mud ends up looking like this…
There are a lot of really great things about wild and messy mud play, but I wanted to settle them down a bit so they could get additional benefits from this ooey gooey stuff!
I was so excited when I had the idea for this activity. I called it Mud Math (because the name is cute) but this is an experiment that brings in so many skills. Science, language, writing, and of course math!
what you need: dirt ~ water ~ containers ~ measuring cups ~ spoons
I started out asking questions about mud. ”Is all mud the same?” ”What do you think makes mud different?” We talked about what would happen to the dirt with small amounts of water or a large amount of water.
I set up specific measurements for 4 separate mixtures. We started with 3 cups of dirt in each container.
We added different amounts of water to each container. The amounts we used were 1/2 cup, 1 cup, 1 1/2 cups, 2 cups.
We all took turns stirring the mixtures. Then it was time to feel and discuss each new substance. Each container held a very different consistency of mud.
The unexpected bonus was M and M took the containers and used them for play. They made mud balls and muddy rivers… until it was time to be wild and messy again!
Tips (to maximize learning): 1. Use chalk to write out the measurements next to your experiment to add some reading practice for your little one. 2. Use this opportunity to explore some new words. Describe the mixtures while you work!
Jayne’s book recommendations to go along with this activity: For younger kids:
A Handful of Dirt by photographer Raymond Bial (Walker & Company 2001) is an interesting photo essay about how dirt is created, and how important it is to our world.
For older kids: Maybe this activity can be adapted for older kids that still like to play in the mud. I love it when my eldest still has “kid moments.” In honor of her age group, a trilogy of great books ending with one called
Mud City by Deborah Ellis (Groundwood Books Reprint 2004). From Booklist: “Gr. 4-7. In the third book in the Breadwinner Trilogy, orphan Afghan refugee Shauzia leaves the rough Pakistan border camp and joins other homeless children on the streets of the city of Peshawar. Her dream, left from the time before the Taliban when she was still at school, is to reach the ocean and a place called France. Instead, disguised as a boy, she must beg and scrounge for food and find odd jobs. In the end, she returns to the refugee camp and to the tough camp leader, Mrs. Weera, whom Shauzia thought she hated. The story is strong on message, and in a final note, Ellis fills in the recent history about Afghanistan, the Taliban’s restrictions on women, and the millions of new, desperate refugees. Middle-school readers will be caught up in the cause and in the elemental survival adventure, especially because Shauzia is no sweet waif; she’s mean, insolent, and rebellious. Her struggle with the rough Mrs. Weera reveals that they are both strong and brave. Royalties from the book go to help homeless kids.”