A mud exploration area is often set up in the nursery garden allowing children to experience play with different textures. Children are able to explore and discover together, gaining new skills, showing curiosity, investigation, sharing space and resources with their peers developing a range of sensory experiences.
Children are encouraged to be independent and use their imagination and creative ideas, they are given a range of equipment and are able to self select appropriate resources for their play, allowing them to follow their ideas and thoughts. Activities are developed from staff observations of the children’s interests in this area. Children are observed carefully and from these observations next steps are planned and extended.
Imaginative play is evident as children create kitchens, tea parties, cakes, silly soups. As they play vocabulary and language is shared extensively between adults and peers. Play becomes very co-operative, children are able to access the activity and resources independently needing very little adult support.
The area is adjusted and extended and resources enhanced, following the interests of the children in order to extend learning to the full for each child.
Reclaimed materials are often used to display and extend learning; trugs and pots, various sized scoops, pots, pans, etc are set up for children to be able to independently self select resources.
As skills develop, children build on knowledge and experiences to extend understanding, vocabulary and language, this vocabulary is often rich in expression, rhyme and sounds, developing phonic understanding through fun activities.
Children are creative and imaginative, acting out roles, having parties and sharing fun times. For many children the fun is just getting a little dirty and being able to explore with their hands.
Consistency and textures can be changed by adding water to mud, adding natural materials such as herbs, flowers, seeds and plants from around the garden.