Mud Play Activity for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Mud Play

It has hit that time of year in Arizona when the temps are well over 100 degrees everyday. The only way to get my kids outside at all is to let them play in water, no surprise. The little splash pad  they play with ends up flooding all the dirt we just had graded.

Side note: we just got cement put in and the dirt graded for our turf. 

After playing in the splash pad for a few hours, the yard is now mud.. and a lot of it. 

Of course, like most kids mine gravitate towards all the mud and come inside looking like they took a mud bath. While normally I am all about that kind of mud play, because let’s face it the imagination runs wild with that play. But like I said above, we’ve done some work on the yard and do not want it too crazy. 


Mud Play Set Up
Mud play set up with plastic dishes and utensils

I knew mud was on their list of fun things to play with. I decided if we were doing mud play, it was going to be a smaller area.  

Starting Mud Play
Starting Mud Play

I started out gathering cardboard from the bottom of a pack of soda for the dirt (a plastic bin would be better) and grabbed a few red cups, plastic utensils and some colorful trays. (Linked from Dollar Tree)

While I scooped the dirt into the cardboard box, I asked the girls “What else would you like to use in the dirt?” The oldest said “cookie cutters!” and ran to the drawer to grab her favorite ones. After talking about it being mud play, they finally discovered in order to make mud we also needed water. 

They ran inside and grabbed the large bowls (linked from Dollar Tree) to fill with water. I also grabbed a few smaller bowls, and various sized spoons. 

Girls Mud Play
Scooping dirt

I set the dishes, dirt and water out on the patio so both of them could easily play with it all. 

My oldest (4 yr old) was pretending she was in a kitchen and made pies for everyone in the family. She didn’t have enough bowls so she actually ended up running around the backyard collecting bowls they’ve used before. After all 6 of her mud pies were ready, she moved them to her oven which was the sun. 

My youngest (2 yr old) had fun learning how water and dirt make mud. She was adding rocks to her mud and discovering the new consistency of the mud. After learning how the mud is made she ended up putting dirt on her little toy girl and giving her a bath in the bowl of water. 

Mud Play
Working on mud pies and learning about mud

The mud play that resulted in the water flooding our yard gave plenty of chance for learning, but all of us really enjoyed the controlled smaller area set up for mud play. I can’t wait for our other mud play days to see what their imaginations think up!