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Muddy Faces

Case study: Mud Day celebrations at a primary school in Scotland

The rewards of involving children in planning - plus lessons learned for future mud events.

Outdoor Play

Introduction

Celebrating Mud Day at Tighnabruaich Primary, Scotland:

Fiona Hamilton (head teacher) and Cathy McKirdy (teacher) describe how getting children involved right from the start helped their Mud Day celebration be a great success – and share some of their learnings.

For more information contact: fiona.hamilton@tighnabruaich.argyllbute.sch.uk
or visit www.tighnabruaich.argyll-bute.sch.uk


Key Features

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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:

What you'll need

  • mud
  • children
  • towels
  • lots of plastic bags

This activity has been provided by



children in waterproofs paddling in a muddy stream

We showed the children the International Mud Day website and asked if they wanted to take part.

Those who did (I think all of them) were set a homework task to write their own permission slip explaining what they’d need to bring to school if they wanted to take part. They had to sell it to their parents.

The children needed to bring a change of clothes and a permission slip in to school on the day to be able to participate. The responsibility was given to the children to organise this as the teachers were not going to do any ‘chasing up’. We had one parent volunteer, an ex-pupil, and me with 19 pupils. 2 pupils stayed in school with other teacher.

We had provided activities that allowed children to become totally involved with the natural materials. The children participated enthusiastically and soon became covered from head to toe in mud.

Learnings:

In hindsight I’d have involved our janitor/cleaner in planning and explaining what was happening. I was prepared to do the clean up afterwards, but I think he thought it was all going to land on him. His mood improved when he saw me with brush and mop. He has become much more accustomed to mud on a regular basis and now realises how the project is benefiting the children.

Next time I’ll make sure all the children have a towel and also arrange private areas (outside) for removal of clothes and wrapping in towels, then into toilets for changing into clean clothes. Also many, many bags for taking home muddy clothes!

I think it is important that the children set guidelines and rules of behaviour - maybe produce a poster to go on the wall with expectations for behaviour during the Mud Day celebrations, eg throwing mud at a target not at each other.
There was only one incident during the day when one child got mud in their eye. It required clean water for slooshing out.

We hosed the kids down outside with cold water, no complaints.

There were no parental complaints afterwards. The kids had sold it to them in advance.

Our post, and our mud kitchen, have had the most responses of any 🙂

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.

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