A-Z of mud play

August 4, 2017

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

Author: Muddy Faces

Age Range: all ages

Duration: less than an hour

Location: anywhere

Time Of Day: any time

Season: any

Tags: inspiration, messy, mud, play

Category: inspirations outdoor play


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.

A is for ART & animal tracks

smiley face drawn in mud

B is for boys, buns & BOGGARTS

Muddy Faces / Muddy Faces

C is for camouflage, crocodile & CAKE

sand pie

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

little boy with his eyes closed

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

earth oven

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

a child's muddy leg

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

a gang of girls sitting in a mud puddle

H is for healthy, HAPPY, hippos

toy animals in a mud puddle

I is ICE CREAM & an important immune system boost

icecream cornet made of mud and shells

J is for JUMPING for joy

child jumping in a muddy puddle

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

child pouring water into a teapot

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

a pair of very muddy boots

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

mud creature

N is for NATURAL, nourishing, nurture & negotiations

a muddy potion in a bottle

O is for original & being OUTSIDE

child in waterproofs stomping through mud

P is for PIES, prints, painting & potions

2 mud pies

Q is for QUANTITIES & quality of learning

a tray of mud pies

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

weighing and measuring with mud

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

wooden spoon covered in mud

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

boys throwing mud at a tree

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

mixing mud with muddy utensils

V is for VISCOSITY & volcano

red ladle with muddy water and a flower floating in int

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

washing hands with an outdoor tap

X – marks the spot

toy animals in a muddy puddle

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

standing in a very muddy puddle

Z is for ZZZZZZZ after a busy day playing outside

small child lying on the grass under a blanket sleeping