Early Childhood Programs Blog

The Magic of Mud!

April 7, 2017 - Forest Dreamers


1.) soft, sticky matter resulting from the mixing of earth and water
   This week, we spent a lot of time talking about mud. But not just any old, run of the mill mud, we’re talking solid, sparkly, sticky, mucky, soupy, chippy mud! The Forest Scientists were on the case to document different types and properties of the mud around Irvine. A few weeks back, we had some fun learning different words that Inuit groups use to describe different types of ice and snow. Snow and ice are such a big part of their daily life, that deciphering between the different kinds is essential! Here at Irvine, we thought it would be fun to make everyone aware of the new strains of mud we found and where we found them! Here is the beginning of our running list:
  1. Solid Sparkles- found around the fire pit (not good for mud soup- better for clay)
  2. Squishy Soup aka Soupy Slush- found in a muffin tin in Outdoor Classroom
  3. Chips Not to Eat- found on the trail (crispy and does not form a ball)
  4. Stiff Clay Mud found on the stump trail (lighter in color than solid sparkle)

We hope to keep adding to this list as the semester goes on!

This was the first day we really had some heat! We weren’t used to the heat yet, so when we reached the Ed Hut, socks, shoes, boots and rain suits came off. We spent some time in the shade of the Ed Hut listening to stories and drawing spring/muddy paintings in our journals. Our stories were Mud Puddle by Robert Munsch and The Salamander Room by Anne Mazer. Both books were fun, creative ways to describe everyday situations!   The class spent some time using shovels to dig, as well as exploring the flora and mud of the drier area of the stream near the central meadow.

On Thursday, we had a downpour of excitement! Big storms were in the area, so we stayed safely close to the building. That doesn’t mean for a second, however, that we didn’t make tons of discoveries and had plenty to do! The day started out with some mild puddle splashing that turned into outright puddle bathing! Ms. Paula let everyone listen to a Cherokee Thunder Dance. We talked about how some tribes believed that calling for the rain and thunder through song and dance, would awaken them. We used our drum to call for the rain by keeping the steady beat and danced and sang as well! We think it must have worked, because not too long after, we had a big storm! We created our own rain sticks using paper towel tubes and dried beans. We shook the sticks while we danced. It was a great time!

The fun didn’t end there, we used our budding math skills to create an edible mud treat! Each friend helped hypothesize, measure, count (in English, Spanish, French and Korean!), and bring together a wonderful snack to share! It really looked like mud!

We ended our day with thunder and lightning! We used our math skills again to count how many miles away our storm was. We concluded that it was traveling very fast as the lightning and the thunder were coming closer together and more frequently. We learned that for every five seconds after a lightning strike before the thunder boom equaled one mile away.

Go Forth,and be Electrifying, Forest Friends!