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Muddy Faces

A-Z of Mud Play

Muddy play ideas & inspiration developed as part of our campaign encouraging mud & natural materials play in the every day lives of children.

Art & Creating


This A–Z of muddy play ideas and inspiration has been developed as part of our campaign encouraging mud and natural materials play in the every day lives of children.

Visit our Mud page with links to activities, research, articles, useful documents, case studies and our FREE Making a Mud Kitchen book.

Photos generously contributed by:

• Danielle Seatter - Ashton Keynes Pre-School • Fiona Hamilton - Tighnabruaich Primary • Jan White - Natural Play • Jane Wratten –-Slinn St STARters • Lily Horseman - Kindling Play • Liz Knowles - Muddy Faces • Vanessa Lloyd - Christchurch County Primary School.

Ideas suggested by:

• the wonderfully creative Forest Education Initiative • Facebook forum members.

What you'll need

  • mud
  • children of all ages

This activity has been provided by

Useful items from our shop

  • Check out the Mud Kitchens section of our shop!
Item available from our shop

Environmental Considerations

Consider the environmental impact of preparing, carrying out & completing this activity. Could this impact be reduced? Specific considerations for this activity could include:

Health & Safety Considerations

Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments.
Some considerations particular to this activity include:

smiley face drawn in mud

A - is for ART & animal tracks

muddy faces

B - is for boys, buns & BOGGARTS

sand pie

C - is for camouflage, crocodile & CAKE

little boy with his eyes closed

D - is for DANCING with your eyes shut, drinks, desserts, dollop & dorodango

earth over

E - is for EARTH oven, and exploring, engaging, experimenting, engrossing, energy, exciting & excellent

a child's muddy leg

F - is for the feeling of mud on your faces, fingers & FEET. Free to fondle, ferret & flick

a gang of girls sitting in a mud puddle

G - is for girls, GLOOPY, giants, goblins & guddling about

toy animals in a mud puddle

H - is for healthy, HAPPY, hippos

ice cream cone made of mud and shells

I - is ICE CREAM & an important immune system boost

child jumping in a muddy puddle

J - is for JUMPING for joy

child pouring water into a teapot

K - is for KETTLE & for kids in mud kitchens in every setting

a pair of very muddy boots

L - is for lovely, leaping in the loam, for LOST wellies & all the living things that lurk in the garden, like the lizard, the louse & the ladybird

mud creature

M - is for magic memories & mud, mud, glorious MUD

a muddy potion in a bottle

N - is for NATURAL, nourishing, nurture & negotiations

child in waterproofs stomping through mud

O - is for original & being OUTSIDE

2 mud pies

P - is for PIES, prints, painting & potions

a tray of mud pies

Q - is for QUANTITIES & quality of learning

weighing and measuring with mud

R - is for RECYCLE - another person’s rubbish is a mud kitchen’s resource

wooden spoon covered in mud

S - is for squelching, senses, slipping, sliding, swamps & SPOONS

boys throwing mud at a tree

T - is for THROWING at TARGETS and, most important of all, time to do what we need to do

mixing mud with muddy utensils

U - is for under the earth, umbrella, UTENSILS & unique

red ladle with muddy water and a flower floating in it

V - is for VISCOSITY & volcano

washing hands with an outdoor tap

W - is for wattle & daub, wallowing and WASHING with WATER when we are finished

toy animals in a mud puddle

X - marks the spot

standing in a very muddy puddle

Y - is for lots of enthusiastic yesses & the YUCKIER the better

small child lying on the grass under a blanket sleeping

Z - is for ZZZZZZZ after a busy day playing outside

Take it further:

Create your own mud alphabet, with inspiration for muddy play.
Take photos and send them to us!

Visit our Mud page with tons of interesting info on our mud campaign, mud kitchens, H&S, research and more.

Download our FREE Making A Mud Kitchen book.

Disclaimer: Muddy Faces cannot take any responsibility for accidents or damage that occurs as a result of following this activity.You are responsible for making sure the activity is conducted safely.

Key Features


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