Streamer Ribbons & Scarves – A Rainbow of Fun!

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Put a scarf or ribbon in a child’s hand and movement automatically begins! Dance, leap, run, twirl, spin, gallop, jump, throw, catch – the active play it provides is never ending! I highly recommend that you have enough scarves or ribbons for each child to have one for each hand.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes:
Promotes cross-lateral movements (midline development)
Develops body and spatial awareness
Directionality
Laterality
Gross and fine motor coordination
Eye-hand coordination
Moderate to vigorous physical activity
Agility
Flexibility
Listening skills
Cooperative play
Creativity
Imagination

Movement Exploration and Creative Movement
Using one ribbon or scarf, move it…

  • Up and down
  • Side to side
  • In a circle
  • In a figure 8
  • Above your head
  • Below your knees
  • Between your legs
  • At your side
  • In front of you
  • Behind you
  • Like a broom (moving it side to side in front of body)
  • Like a fishing pole (casting or throwing it out in front of body)
  • Like a hammer (moving it up and down with quick wrist movements)
  • Like ocean waves (shaking it in front of body)
  • Like a rainbow (moving it in an arc from one side of body to the other
  • Like a river (dragging it across the floor or ground)
  • Like tree branches in a windstorm (hold it above the head and swaying from side to side)
  • Like a tornado (spinning around and raising and lowering it)

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Dance, Dance, Dance
Start the music and encourage the children to dance and move about freely in the open space. When the music stops, they are to freeze (stand motionless like a statue). When the music starts again, children resume dancing. Try to trick the dancers by starting and stopping the music quickly. They love the element of surprise! Music suggestions: “I Like To Move It” by Crazy Frog (fast dancing – suggest dancing using locomotor movements—jumping with two feet, hopping, jogging). “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Judy Garland (slow dancing – suggest twirling, leaping, and floating to the music).

On Your Mark, Get Set, RUN!
With streamer ribbon or scarf in hand held high above head, have children run from one boundary to another. What child doesn’t like to run! They will ask to do it again and again. Music suggestion: “Colors of the Wind” from Disney’s movie, “Pocahontas.”

Follow the Leader
Have children stand in a line one person behind the other. When the music starts, the child at the head of the line does a movement with the scarf or streamer and all children behind the leader will move their scarf in the same way as the leader (i.e., waving scarf overhead, jumping with the streamer, swinging arms back and forth with scarf, etc.) When the music stops, the child that was at the front of the line goes to the back of the line and the next child in line becomes the leader. The music starts again and the game continues until everyone has had a chance to be the leader. Music suggestion: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

 

Tails
Set up boundaries using ropes or cones in the available space. Each child tucks a streamer or scarf into their waistband behind their back. The ribbon is now their tail. The game starts when the music starts and the children run in the available space. The game is played like tag, but instead of tagging each other, children pull each others ribbon out of their waistbands and drop them to the ground. The child whose ribbon is pulled, picks up his streamer ribbon (tail), goes to “the tail repair area” (a designated spot, i.e., door, tree, etc.) to replace the tail in their waistband. Once the ribbon or scarf is secure in their waistband, the child returns to the game and resumes pulling tails (ribbons/scarves). Music suggestion: “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer.

Discount School Supply® Product Recommendations

  • Rainbow Dancing Wrist Bands (RNBW)
  • Streamer Scarves (SWISH)

Discount School Supply NAEYC Booth Features “Sharin’ with Sharron”

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Hi all! It’s been a while since I last posted. Time sure flies when you’re having fun! The past few months have found me conducting staff trainings and presenting keynotes and workshops at many fall early childhood conferences in Tennessee, Nebraska, Georgia, New Jersey, Florida, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina. I think it’s the best job in the world as I travel around the country sharing fun and engaging curriculum activities and resources. Why not join me in Los Angeles, CA, November 2-4, at the 2016 National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference in the Discount School Supply Exhibit Booth. I will be presenting several mini-workshops titled, “GIGGLES & WIGGLES! MUSIC, MOVEMENT & CREATIVE ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN,” demonstrating a variety of techniques and props for sharing music, movement, rhythm instruments, finger plays, stories, puppets, and playful learning activities. Have fun, get inspired, and take back to your classroom lots of new ideas to make group time more active and enjoyable for the children and you!

 
circletime_dvdAs a preschool teacher of twenty plus years, I conducted Circle Time twice daily. I’ve learned from experience what works and doesn’t work. The children have taught me well! As a child development college instructor, I taught music and movement curriculum classes. I am the co-author of the book, Circle Time Activities for Young Children and have also produced a DVD of Circle Time.

I keep learning new activities from other teachers, musicians, and librarians and enjoy sharing them. Many of those activities have become classic favorites. Every teacher needs to hit their “refresh button”, so make sure to join me in the Discount School Supply booth. During your short time with me—

  1. Learn how to provide Instant Activity with Music
  2. Sing Songs & Finger Plays
  3. Reenact Stories & Nursery Rhymes
  4. Discover “Books That Move You”
  5. Participate in Cooperative Group Games
  6. Play with Simple Equipment and Loose Materials

Here’s a sample of some the activities you will participate in…

Shake Your Hands Up High
(Tune: Do Your Ears Hang Low)
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 A good action song to wake up the body and the brain! Stand up and follow what the words tell you to do.

Shake your hands up high,
Stomp your feet down low,
Rub your tummy in the middle,
And around you go.
Tap your knees in the front,
Tap your heels in the back,
Put your hands together and clap, clap, clap!

Sing it again, but do it a little bit faster. Then sing it one more time even faster!

Here is an Alligator
Animal Finger Play

Here is an alligator, (Right hand forms alligator)
Sitting on a log, (Right hand on left forearm)
Down in the pool, (Make horizontal circle with arms in front of body)
He spies a little frog. (Put hands around eyes like binoculars)
In goes the alligator, (Diving motion with hands)
Round goes the log, (Circle forearms in front of you)
Splash goes the water, (Hands go up in the air)
Away swims the frog. (Breast stroke swimming motion with hands)

My Hands
Body Part Rhyme

My hands upon my head I place,
On my shoulders, on my face.
At my waist and by my side,
And now behind me they will hide.
Then I will raise them way up high,
And let my fingers fly, fly, fly.
Then clap, clap, clap and one-two-three,
Let’s see how quiet they can be!

Snickelfritz Partners Switch
A Cooperative Game

  1. Children find a partner and stand Back to Back.
  2. The teacher/game leader calls out a body part and partners react quickly while touching the body part mentioned. For example, the teacher might say, “Hands to Hands.” The partners turn around, face each other, and touch hands to hands.
  3. When the teacher says another body part, the partners then put those body parts together (releasing the last touched body part).
  4. Other body parts to call out: Shoulder to Shoulder, Knee to Knee, Hip to Hip, Elbow to Elbow, etc.
  5. Whenever the teacher/game leader says, “Snickelfritz Partners Switch” all players must hurry and find a new partner. With the new partner, they stand Back To Back ready to listen. Play resumes with the teacher calling out different body parts.
  6. Giving the command, “Snickelfritz Partners Switch” frequently gives children a chance to interact with all members in the group as they have to find a different partner every time.
  7. There is no right or wrong way to connect body parts to each other. Point out the different ways that partners completed the challenge.
  8. A fun way to end the game is to give the command, “Hug to Hug!”

Bean Bag Bonanza! 6 Games for Young Children

The bean bag is a “handy” loose material and you can never have too many! Make sure you have enough so that each child has one if not four at their disposal. There are an endless number of games that you can play. Let the children make up their own games too. Here are six super games that can be played indoors or outside.

Bean Bag Bonanza

Eeeny Meeny Miny Mo Name Game

A great get-to-know-you name game to play at circle time. With one child holding a bean bag, the entire group of children at circle time begin chanting…

Eeeny Meeny Miny Mo,

(child holding bean bag tosses it back and forth from one hand to the other)

Throw a beanbag, toss it low,

(child throws bean bag underhand to another child in the circle)

Say your name,

(child who catches bean bag says her name)

Way to go!

The game continues until each child in the group has a turn tossing and catching the bean bag.

CBB

Bubble Gum Rhyme

Another fun game to play a circle time. With children sitting in a circle, have them pass the bean bag from one person to the other next to them, chanting this rhyme…

Bubble gum, bubble gum in a dish,

How many pieces do you wish?

Whoever is holding the bean bag at the end of the rhyme, gets to say how many pieces (i.e., from one to twenty). The bean bag is then passed again from person to person while counting that many times. When the number is reached, the game begins again while chanting the rhyme and passing the bean bag.

COOLBEAN 2

Lost Gold

With children sitting cross legged in a circle, show them the precious gold—a yellow bean bag. Tell them that the precious gold will be lost. Have one child leave the room while you give the gold (bean bag) to another child sitting in the circle. That child hides the gold under their legs. The child who left the room is instructed to return to circle and find the missing gold. The child who is seeking the gold walks around the inside of the circle. Everyone sitting in the circle begins clapping. They clap slower or more softly if the child seeking the gold moves away from the gold and louder and faster when the seeker gets closer to the gold. Children clap their loudest and fastest when the seeker is directly in front of the child who is hiding the gold. The seeker points to the child who he thinks is hiding the gold. If his guess is incorrect, the seeker continues walking and listening to the clapping until he guesses correctly. When the seeker guesses who has the gold, that child gives him the gold. The seeker joins the circle and sits on the floor. Another child is asked to leave the room and the gold is given to another child sitting in the circle who hides it under their legs. The game continues until everyone has had a turn finding the gold.

Bean Bag Shuttle

Make two boundaries with jump ropes or tape about 12-15 feet apart. Have children stand behind one of the boundaries with several bean bags at their feet. At the opposite boundary place a bucket or basket for each child. When you say a locomotor movement (walk, run, gallop, skip, creep on hands and knees, frog jump, etc.) children will pick up a bean bag and travel that way (i.e., gallop) to the opposite side and put the bean bag in the container (bucket or basket) and run back to the starting boundary. The game continues with different locomotor commands.

ABCTOSS

Over and Under

Have children form a straight line one person behind the other. If you have a large group of children, divide them into 2 or 3 lines parallel to each other. Give the first person in each line a bean bag. When you say, “go” the first person in each line passes the bean bag overhead to the person behind him. The bean bag continues to be passed overhead from player to player. The last person receiving the bean bag quickly moves to the front of the line. The game continues until the original leader once again stands at the start of the line. The activity is repeated, but this time the bean bag is passed between the legs of the players. The third time the game is played, the bean bag is passed overhead to the person behind them. The second person in line must pass the bean bag between their legs to the third person behind them. The third person passes the bean bag over their head to the next person and so forth in the same “over-under” pattern.

COOLBEAN 1

Co-operative Bean Bags

Each child places a bean bag on their head and then walks around the designated play space keeping the bean bag balanced. If the bag falls off a child’s head, that child must let it drop to the ground and freeze (turn into ice). To become unfrozen another player must come to help. The helping player can hold onto his own bean bag (placing one hand on top of the bean bag on his head) and pick up the fallen bean bag with the other hand and give it to the frozen player. The player is now unfrozen and puts the bean bag on his head and is free to move again.

Product Recommendations:
Colored Beanbags – set of 12 (CBB)
Excellerations® Super Sensory Beanbags – set of 12 (COOLBEAN)
Excellerations® Alphabet Beanbags – set of 26 (ABCTOSS)
16′ Nylon Jump Ropes – set of 3 (JMPRP16)
Mavalus Removable Poster Tape – set of 3 (MAVALUS)
Classroom Activity Baskets – set of 6 (CATCHY)
Large Red Bucket (LBUCKRED)

Cool Bean Bags!

Once you put one of these super sensory bean bags in your hands, you’ll quickly discover why they are nicknamed COOLBEAN. Each bean bag is covered with soft chenille fabric nubs, making them irresistible to the touch. Grasp them, squeeze them, and listen to the crinkling sound they make. They come in 4 bright colors and are the perfect size and weight for tossing and catching. COOLBEAN definitely engages the senses—vision, hearing, touch and kinesthesia (sense of body’s movements). What also makes Excellerations® Super Sensory Beanbags “really cool” is that they are for children ages 18 months and up and are even washable!

Benefits of Using Bean Bags:

  • Younger children may find bean bags easier to handle than a ball. A bean bag is usually smaller and softer than a ball; consequently a child has less fear of being hit or hurt.
  • Because bean bags can’t roll away, they may be less frustrating for the child with poor coordination skills.
  • Catching and throwing a bean bag helps a child develop the skill of grasp and release.
  • A bean bag will help a child develop the hand strength required for handling a ball.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes:

  1. Gross motor skills: using the large muscles of the arms, legs and trunk
  2. Fine motor skills: using the small muscles of the of the body (eyes, hands, fingers) to perform specific movements such as throwing and catching
  3. Hand-eye coordination: hands and eyes working together smoothly to meet a challenge
  4. Balance: being able to hold the position of the body through the interaction of muscles working together
  5. Laterality: understanding of the differences between right and left and being able to control the two sides of the body independently and together
  6. Kinesthetic awareness: inner messages from the muscles, tendons, and joints received by the body in order to move
  7. Listening skills: ability to follow verbal directions

Here are some fun and challenging bean bag activities for young children. In next month’s post, I’ll share several games that you can play using bean bags.

Bean Bag Toss

Child tosses bean bag upward into the air and catches it before it hits the floor. Child first catches it with two hands. Child then attempts to catch the bean bag with one hand and then the other hand. The height of the toss should increase as the child’s skill improves.

Child tosses the bean bag back and forth across the body from one hand to the other. The height of the toss and the distance between hands should increase as the child’s skill improves.

Child tosses the bean bag into the air, turns around and then catches it. Challenge child to clap hands once, and catch it. Ask child to clap hands twice, then catch it.

Bean Bag Throw

Place a hoop on the floor, lean it against a wall or hang it up. Have child step back and throw a bean bag into the hoop. With each successful throw encourage the child to take another step back to make it more challenging.

Attach a target to a wall. I like to use one of the Excellerations® Pair-a-Chute. Keeping his “eye on the target,” the child throws bean bags at the different colors on the parachute.

Bean Bag Catch

Find a partner and play catch with the bean bag. Remind the child to use only his hands to catch and to keep his eyes on the bean bag. Play catch with your partner throwing underhand. Play catch with your partner throwing overhand. This time, stand close to your partner and play catch. If you catch the bean bag without dropping it, take a step back. If you drop it, take a step up. See how far apart you can get playing catch with your partner.

Using both hands, one child holds a bucket or basket. Let the other child toss bean bags to the child holding the bucket, who attempts to catch each one in the bucket.

Bean Bag Balance

Have child place bean bag on a body part—head, arm, shoulder, elbow and walk in the open space or on a designated line marked out on the floor.

Try a crab walk with the bean bag on the tummy or a creep like a cat with a bean bag on the back.

Bean Bag Jump

Have child place bean bag on the floor. Ask the child to jump forward over the bean bag. Ask them to jump backward, then sideways. You can repeat this series several times.

Have child place bean bag between their knees and jump forward like a kangaroo.

Product Recommendations:

Excellerations® Super Sensory Beanbags (COOLBEAN)

Brawny Tough Activity Hoops (HOOPSET)

Excellerations® Pair-a-Chute (PAIRUP)

Classroom Activity Baskets (CATCHY)

Sand and Water Buckets (LBUCKRED)

A Round of Applause for Active Learning!

“When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy.

                                                                                                Samuel Goldwyn (film producer)

Praise, reward and cheer your students without candy or presents. Recognize children by praising (express warm approval or admiration) the positive things they do. Children appreciate a teacher’s affirmation that they are doing a good job and what better way than involving all classmates in celebrating their participation in an activity or game.

Remember, creative teachers aren’t born, they’re made by the teacher next door. The following ideas or “cheers” I have learned from other teachers but have added my own little twist. Use them often as the children never tire of them. Encourage your students to make up their own. Jump for joy. Sing and shout. Hip! Hip! Hurray! Let’s Celebrate! 10 Cheers for Learning!

A Round of Applause

Clap hands in a circle in front of body. Clap other shapes—A Triangle of Applause, A Square of Applause, etc.

A Pat On the Back

Everyone put one hand up in the air. Now put it on your back and give yourself a pat on the back!

Roller Coaster

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Lean head back like going up a roller coaster. Cup hands and fingers like holding onto a pretend lap bar. Make “Ch ch ch ch ch” sound as arms and hands climb above your head. When they reach the top, swoop arms down and say “Wooooooo!”

Na Na Hey Hey Good Job (song: “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”)

Wave arms back and forth above head and sing, “Na na na na, na na na na, hey, hey-ey, good job!” Repeat song and replace “good job” with “goodbye.” This one is my favorite as I am known to my six grandchildren as Nana Banana!

Firecracker

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Hold palms together vertically in front of body. Make a sizzling sound (Ssssss) as you wiggle your palms in the air like a firecracker going off. Clap hands above head like a firecracker exploding. Wiggle your fingers down like the sparkles coming down from a firecracker and say child’s name in a high pitched voice or make the “Ahhhh” sound like people watching fireworks might do.

Sprinkler

Put your left hand on the back of your head. Stick your right arm out and begin to sweep the arm horizontally making a “Ch ch ch ch ch” sound while jerking the right arm in front like a rotating sprinkler. When your right arm can go no further to the left, clap hands back fast to the beginning on the right.

Stomp, Stomp, Clap (song: “We Will Rock You”)

If children are dispersed in the room after being engaged in an activity, have them move back to their seat stomping their feet and clapping their hands while saying, “Stomp, Stomp, Clap.” “Stomp, Stomp, Clap,” over and over until they reach their seat. As they move, sing “You Are, You Are, Awe-some.” “You Are, You Are, Awe-some!”

Truck Driver

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Tell children to turn on the engine with their pretend key. Grab your steering wheel and make a “Rrrrrr” sound as you pretend to turn the wheel and drive. Hold up right hand and pretend to pull on a horn and say, “Honk honk.” Next put fist by mouth like it’s a CB radio and say, “Good job, good buddy!”

Hamburger

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Stick out your right hand, palm down—this is your hamburger patty. Put left hand under the right hand and wiggle fingers like a flame, and say “sizzle, sizzle, sizzle” moving the hamburger patty across to one side of your body. Ask, “Is it done yet?” Turn right hand over and say, “Not yet!” Move hamburger patty to the other side of your body with left hand sizzling underneath. Ask again, “Is it done yet?” Say, “Yes,” and with both hands, give a thumbs-up and say, “Well done!”

Fan-tas-tik!

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Tell the children to get out their bottle of fantastik® spray cleaner and hold it in their right hand. Have them move the pretend bottle back and forth across their body as they spray, saying “You’re psh, psh psh…” (spray once for every ‘psh’). Hold up the other hand, palm facing out and pretend to wipe in circles over the liquid and say, “Fan-tas-tik!” “You are fan-tas-tik!”

Goals/Learning Outcomes:

  • Promote emotional development
  • Nurture social skills as all children participate together
  • Reduce discipline problems by redirecting children in positive ways
  • Engage movements across the body’s midline
  • Focus children’s attention, sending blood and oxygen to the brain
  • Develop eye-hand coordination
  • Facilitate language development
  • Build self-esteem and confidence

emodolls

Discount School Supply® Product Recommendations:

Excellerations® Emotions Plush Dolls (EMODOLLS)

Excellerations® Moods & Emotions Classroom Set (MOODS)

Know Your Emotions Books (EMOBKS)

Being a Good Citizen Books (CITIZEN)

Excellerations® Emotions & Moods Posters (EMPC)

Excellerations® Changing Emotions Block Puzzle (CHANGES)

Outdoor Art – Fly Swatter Painting!

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Fun, messy, creative and super-sized activities can take place outdoors. As an Outdoor Preschool Teacher for 12 years, I made opportunities for art every day in my outdoor classroom. The large space, different textures and objects, and ease of cleaning up all contribute to the success of art experiences outside. If you are a follower of my blog, plan on seeing me post oodles of more art ideas for the outdoors.

Materials:

Process:

  1. Place butcher paper or painting mat on the ground or adhere to a fence with clothespins or tape
  2. Pour paint onto the plastic art trays. One color per tray.
  3. Set the trays of paint on the ground or on a nearby table
  4. Place a different shape paint swatter in each tray (with color of swatter matching color of paint)
  5. Children press paint swatter into the paint and “swat” it onto the paper. They can keep “swatting” and making prints until they run out of paint on the swatter. Then have them choose a different shape swatter and different color.

Variations:

  • Put paper on the outdoor easel instead of the ground. Children who never paint at the indoor easel, might be excited to paint with a paint swatter and “swat the flies.”
  • Squeeze a few dabs of different colored paint onto the paper and invite the children to swat the paint flies.

3thesnailstrailyoyoprints20091127Suggestions:

Of course, you can buy some inexpensive fly swatters at your local dollar store. I especially like the Fun Shapes Paint Swatters from Discount School Supply®. They are just the right size for little hands and each of the 6 styles of swatters are a different shape and color. Children can use the swatter of their choice and easily return it to its correct color paint tray.

I’m not a big believer on insisting that children wear smocks every time they want to engage in an art activity. Make smocks available for those who may want one. For some children, the idea of wearing a smock discourages them from the activity. It interferes with their freedom. Encourage parents to send their children to school in clothes that can and will get dirty.

Goals/Learning Outcomes:

Physical Development—Fine Motor Skills—Building hand-eye coordination

Physical Development—Gross Motor Skills—Using large arm movements and whole body as children reach and stretch and slap the paint on the paper

Cognitive Development—Math—Color matching and one-to-one correspondence (swatter to paint trays)

Cognitive Development—Math—Geometry—Learning about shapes

Language Development—Children talking about how the colors are changing as the paint splats mix together and commenting on the noise that the swatters make as they hit the paper

Social Development—Cooperative—Children share the shape swatters and the space they are working in

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Discount School Supply® Product Recommendations:

Brawny Tough Large Plastic Art Trays – Set of 5 (RECTRAY)

Fun Shapes Paint Swatters – Set of 24 (FLYSWAT)

Butcher Roll Paper (#5024 or #5036)

Cooperative Mural Art Material – 4′ x 10′ (LWMAT)

Colorations® Simply Washable Tempera Paint – Set of 15 (SWTALL)

Colorations® Machine Washable Toddler Smock (PTODSMOCK)

4-Way Acrylic Panel Easel (4WAPE)

Dirt + Water = Mud-luscious!

SK Internat Mud Day Post

On Sunday, June 29, children all over the world celebrated International Mud Day by getting messy with mud — one of nature’s best play materials!

Playing in dirt and mud is actually healthy for you.  Researchers now recommend playing in the dirt as a way to boost the body’s immune system, that digging in the dirt (and even ingesting a little bit of it) actually can help decrease a child’s risk of allergies and asthma.  The basis for this stems from the idea that limiting child’s play to primarily the indoors limits their exposure to natural organisms that build a healthy immune system.  In addition to the physical health benefits, dirt and mud play simply makes a person happier.  Recent studies report that children are spending 90% of their time indoors and more than 8 hours per day in front of a screen. Let’s get the kids outside and decrease stress and anxiety, decrease obesity and depression, build a strong immune system, and have fun!  International Mud Day reminds us that we should embrace mud play every day.  Here are ideas to bring mud play into your early childhood program—

Mud in the Sensory Table:

SK Internat Mud Day Table

Buy some clean fill, black dirt or potting soil and dump into your sensory/sand and water table.  Add child sized gardening tools, an array of containers, flower pots, artificial flowers, rocks, seed pods, sticks, plastic insects or dinosaurs.

Mud Patch:

If you have the room and the resources create a permanent digging patch.  You can buy the dirt from a nursery or building supplier.  Mix in approximately 1/3 sand to 2/3 soil to provide a more “diggable” mix.

•  Make mud castles, houses or forts using buckets and assorted containers.  Use sticks for supports.  Include tunnels, secret rooms, and even a moat.

•  Make rivers and dams.  Dig a river in the dirt and add water.  Build a dam to form a small puddle.

•  Bring in the toy trucks and props to create a construction zone.

Mud on Cookie Sheets/Baking Trays or Art Trays:

Create personal mud patches, smooth with hands and watch kids finger paint in the mud, write in the mud with sticks, make mud prints by placing mud-covered hands and feet on a clean sheet of paper, drive a toy car through the mud…the possibilities are endless..

Mud Painting/Art Ideas:

•  Set out an easel or find a large cardboard box.  Instead of paint, fill your paint cups or sand buckets with mud and let the children explore with brushes or their fingers to make mud paintings.  Add items from nature (leaves, petals, pine needles) to mud paintings creating a mud collage.

•  Make mud balls by shaping mud into balls by rolling the “dough” in your hands. Decorate the balls with flowers, leaves, rocks, or small twigs. Stack the mud balls on top of each other to create a unique sculpture.

Cooking in the Mud Kitchen:

SK Internat Mud Kitchen 1

Similar to your indoor/dramatic play housekeeping area, the kitchen requires a cooking appliance—an old plastic stove or box made into an oven.  If you can find an old cabinet or dresser, the children will have a place to work and store materials. Tree stumps or tree cookies can also be used as table surfaces.  Old pots and pans, mixing bowls, spoons, utensils, funnels, and other kitchenware give the kitchen an authentic feel and offer lots of different opportunities for play.

SK Internat Mud Kitchen 2

•  Make Mud Pies & Cupcakes—use old cake or pie tins, muffin tins, and even shallow plastic containers.  Once the pies or cupcakes are “baked,” it’s time decorate them with pebbles, petals, and leaves.  Yum!

•  Make Mud Stew—collect dirt, grass, leaves, twigs, and acorns in a large container.  Add some water and Soup’s on!

There are so many benefits of mud play besides the tactile, sensory experiences of squelching mud between fingers and toes. Children develop hand-eye coordination, learn about cause and effect, have fun co-operating, communicating, socializing, sharing, problem solving, discovering, laughing, experimenting, building, negotiating, imagining, and yes, getting a little dirty in the process.  If you find it hard to allow mud play in your early childhood program, you are depriving the children of a childhood that is well-lived and messy!

SK Internat Mud Day Hands

Discount School Supply® Product Recommendations:
Best Value Sand & Water Table – Large (BVST18)
Brawny Tough Art Trays – Set of 5 (RECTRAY)
Colorations® Air-Tight No-Mess Paint Cups – Set of 10 (10PC)
Natural Bristle Brushes – Set of 10 (10PCB)
Colorations® Indoor/Outdoor Adjustable Acrylic Panel Easels (4WAPE)
Jumbo Dump Truck (BIGTRUCK)
Construction Trucks – Set of 3 (TRUCK3)
Sand and Water Buckets (BUCKSET)
Premium Sand Set – 51 Pieces (SET51)
Classroom Starter Kit – Medium Animals (MEDANI)
Papier-Mache Flower Pots – Set of 12 (MACHEPOT)