The Child Led Garden: mud play

To call my garden ‘unkempt’ would be being polite. I’m no gardener, much as I’d like to be, my garden is big and unmanageable for someone who is pretty clueless and lacking in the green finger gene.

This may seem like a shame, and you’d be right to think it drives me to despair at times, but it has its benefits too! I don’t have any flower beds to be trampled, our trees can be turned into dens, we can cut the odd branches off for projects. We get lots of wildlife- all sorts of birds, bats, butterflies, moths, ladybirds, bees and all manner of interesting creepy crawlies. We also get the occasional frog on a rainy evening.

One of our most used areas, however, must be this…..


In the space where previous tenants lovingly tended marigolds or petunias or something equally pretty to greet them as they stepped from the house, we have MUD. Yep. Just a load of mud.

Pickle spends many hours here, and even D when he can be roped in to play (you will notice I don’t post about D as much – this is because he’s hard to pin down when he is playing with friends, off at some club, or school or just generally being too cool to hang out with me!)

Sometimes we add sand, sometimes we make a hole, sometimes a trench. Usually we have spades, tubs and diggers (but of course!) and we often have pebbles and rocks, sea shells and sticks, logs and slate, bits of stuff cut from around the garden and a bucket to fetch water from the water table in the back garden.


Today we also added dinosaurs to the mix (and for some reason a handful of oats? Long mixed into the mud by this point but I think perhaps it was ‘dino food’!). Pickle isn’t a massive dinosaur fan, but I think he realised that dinosaurs are exactly the kind of guys who like to splash in the mud.


Although we do a lot of messy play, cooking, art and outdoorsy stuff, Pickle does not like to get anything dirty or sticky on his hands. Usually during mud play I’m prepared for the sound of him freaking out and then having to go in for a bowl of water to rinse his hands. Today however he didn’t seem too concerned, and while his hands were a lot less muddy than mine, I took it as a sign he was too engaged in play to worry about muddy hands.

His knees however……



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