Summertime science investigations and International Mud Day

Many children investigate the natural world more fully in summer, building their understanding of natural materials and phenomena through small moments and large.

Child jumps into water.Jumping into water

IMG_6799Pushing stones

Child uses tubes and baster to move water.

Moving water with tools

Children look in grass for small animals.Finding a small animal

Children harvest potatoes.Harvesting an early crop

Child sits on a tree branch.Climbing a tree
Wondering if it will rain, feeling the heat, and mixing to make mud!
June 29th, is International Mud Day, recognized by the Nature Action Collaborative for Children, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children, among many organizations.
Do you have plans to celebrate, and then investigate, the nature of mud?

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4 Responses to Summertime science investigations and International Mud Day

  1. Marie Faust Evitt says:

    I missed International Mud Day. I’m going to make a note of it for next year. We do lots of exploring water in sand. Making mud would be a great opportunity for comparing and contrasting.

  2. Karen Yurkiw says:

    Unfortunately, I missed International Mud Day. Being that I work in a daycare, knowing about this special day would have been great for my students. Now that it is summertime, my colleagues and I make it a priority to take the kids out everyday that we can. I completely agree with the importance of taking advantage of summertime and allowing the children to explore nature. Some activities that we have done so far this summer include, using our 5 senses to explore nature (Making Sense of Nature), collecting feathers or bugs, and understanding the circle of life between animals (food web). All of these activities lead to very interesting discussions. Something nice about using nature for learning is that it can be used for all ages. My two year olds love to talk about bugs. Some toddlers even dare to hold a bug!
    My goal for this summer is to make a collection of items and pictures for each of my students to take home a the end. The older students love creating their own Nature Notebook. I want my students to remember our adventures to the woods, to our local neighborhood, to the park, or to the swimming pool.

  3. Peggy Ashbrook says:

    Thanks for sharing Marie and Karen, it’s great to hear about your work.
    If your program doesn’t have a place where children can dig in the soil and mix with water, you might consider using pottery clay as an on-going exploration, much like playdough. The May 2009 issue of Young Children from NAEYC has a “Teachers on Teaching” column about “Clay Play” by Liz Rogers and Dana Steffan.
    Rubbings of leaves and tree bark could be included in the collection to take home. Rain paintings, where children see what happens to their watercolor paintings or water soluble marker drawings when exposed to rain drops, are another way to send home evidence of their explorations, to remember them.

  4. Peggy Ashbrook says:

    See photos from Mud Day celebrations at

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