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The Amazing Mud Cake

The Amazing Mud Cake by Elizabeth Reid is a book about a child Ollee who was in the mud kitchen cooking something yummy....a huge, delicious mud cake! The rhyming story about an optimistic, wide-eyed child who sources items from nature to create an amazing mud cake. This inspiring story was an inspiration to invite the children to create in our mud kitchens! 

Mud, marvelous MUD was the key ingredient. We also provided flowers from our garden & some gifted from teacher appreciation week, chalk, pots, pans, smashers, mortars, rollers, ladles, cooking tins, & water for the children to create!

Mixing soil, water, & other natural materials provides children endless possibilities for learning through play as well as enhancing so many areas of developmental (cognitive & physical). 

Research has shown that dirt contains microscopic bacteria called Mycobacterium Vaccae which stimulates the immune system & increases the levels of serotonin in our brains, an endorphin that soothes, calms, & helps us to relax. Scientists say regular exposure to the bacteria may help reduce a child’s vulnerability to depression because it encourages children to spend time outdoors, which not only connects them to nature but promotes physical activity.

The rich, engaging sensory play children partake in while playing with mud allows them to engage in all their senses which promotes their sensory development. While they are manipulating the materials through mixing, pouring, & carrying they are strengthening their fine + gross motor skills.

The open-ended nature of mud & natural materials encourages creative thinking & allows children to freely create without fear of making mistakes. This also contributes to a child’s sense of self, helping to build a strong inner sense of competency. 

Children practice social skills such as cooperation, negotiation, communication, & sharing as they work together.  While they engage in this pretend play the social interactions fosters language development & communication skills.

Emergent math +science skills + problem solving/critical thinking are practiced as children experiment, make comparisons, solve problems, test theories, make mixtures/recipes, observe different concepts, measure & count ingredients for their mud pies. This is the scientific process in action!

Mud play is inclusive of all children. It allows children to play at their own developmental level. Mud is an open ended material that meets the diverse needs & interests of all children.

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