Mud is messy. If you can get past this, mud can be absolutely marvelous! March is when mother nature tends to make a lot of mud, and with some old clothes you don’t mind dirtying and a sense of adventure, playing in the mud can be truly freeing.
Here are some simple things we like to do with mud:
Make a mud castle
Just like at the beach, but not so warm and even messier, mud is a great medium for building, especially when it’s a little dryer than it is wet. We built a fairy home with a moat around it, but you could build a castle, a house, a boat, or anything else that strikes your fancy and needs to be created.
Alternately called worm grunting or worm fiddling, this activity is too much fun. By making vibrations in the mud that mimic the sounds of a tunneling mole, we can literally charm the worms out of the earth and up to the surface. One technique to lure your worms involves putting one end of a stick in the mud, and to rub the top of the stick back and forth between your hands so that it begins to ‘tunnel’ into the earth. Another popular technique is to place a pitchfork or rake or another similar yard tool into the earth and then hit that tool in order to create vibrations that travel through the soil. The World Worm Charming Championships are held every year in the village of Willaston, in Chesire, England. Happy worm hunting! (Doing this when it’s been a little warmer for a little longer – maybe within 2 weeks from now – might produce better results).
Painting with Mud
For mud paint we like mud that is wetter than it is dry. You’ll be surprised to find the variety of color and texture that mud produces, and you can use this variety to create mud paintings on pieces of paper, trees, rocks, pavement, the sidewalk, or any other surface that will hold your mud. When it rains on your outside mud painting don’t worry, while nature might have washed away your creation, you’re also getting more mud to make something new!
Make mud pies
A classic mud activity, all you need is a pair of hands, a pie tin, and this month’s messy medium. Fill your pie tin with some mud (you can even make a fancy crust around the edges), and then leave your concoction in a sunlit spot to bake. Come back after a few hours and your pie should be cooked to perfection.
If you’ve been to camp, you’ve probably done this in our barefoot zone, but March’s mud is even fresher. All you need to do is take off your shoes and socks, roll up your pants, take a deep breath, and wade into a mud puddle! Squish, splash, and mush this mud around with your feet. Find a dry patch of earth or a flat rock and leave your muddy footprint, just be sure to rinse your feet off before heading back into the house.
Mud is the perfect medium in which to find animal tracks. You’ll commonly find dog prints, cat paws, or bird tracks in mud by your house or apartment, but keep an eye out for something that looks a little more unusual (raccoon, rabbit, even coyote). Let us know if you find something neat or want help identifying your muddy animal track.