Muddy adventures

'I just love playing with mud – the stickier and muckier the better! My favourite place to get muddy is Lyme Park because when it rains there’s loads to do and I can go wild.'
- Mia McDade, aged 8

Mud, wonderful, mud. It’s the best natural material and we’ve got lots of it at our places for you to enjoy, especially when it rains. So, pull on your best mud gear and get splattered, sploshed and thoroughly mucky with our Kids' Council's top muddy adventures.

    Go on a barefoot walk

    Free your toes and feel the wet mud beneath your feet. Try lots of different textures: wet mud, dry mud, grass and smooth things like pebbles.

    Where to try it: Check out the barefoot trail at Godolphin, in Cornwall.

    Top tip: ‘My favourite thing is really wet mud. I like making footprints and taking a photo of them.’ – Leif Wilson-Palmer, aged 8.
    Check there isn't anything hiding in the mud first.

    Make a mud sculpture

    Mud is great if you’re feeling creative – it sticks, splats, splashes and sprays just like thick paint or glue. You can mould it into any shape you like and it will dry out to create a hard sculpture to decorate your garden (or ours).

    Where to try it: Wherever you can find a heap of mud, like Hatfield Forest in Hertfordshire.

    Top tip: ‘I like to use leaves and twigs to create little mud men – you can even use stones for the eyes and smile.’ – Jessica Swales, aged 8.

    Mud prints

    All you need is your hands (or a stick) and a tree trunk to get started. Daub wet mud on your hands and, hey presto, you’re Pablo Picasso. Look out for things around you to paint, or use your hands to make a mud butterfly.

    Where to try it:
    Any tree you like. Dunham Massey, in Cheshire, has some huge oak trees.

    Top tip: If you make the mud really thick, you can also stick leaves and other natural materials onto it to really bring it to life. Use paper and send someone special a muddy card.

    Make a mud slide

    It’s slippery and messy so mud makes the perfect slide. If it’s been raining, find a muddy hill and make sure there is plenty of space at the bottom and nothing to bump into. You can use a bin liner to sit on for extra speed or to stick your muddy clothes in afterwards.

    Where to try it: Lots of our places have hills, including all that open countryside. Box Hill, in Surrey, has plenty of slopes to pick up some speed on a rainy day.

    Top tip: 'The more times you slide, the slipperier it gets. Head first is really fun; just make sure you keep your mouth closed!' – Max Hodgson, aged 8.

    Jump in muddy puddles

    Get your wellies on and make a splash. See how many splashes it takes to get the water out of a puddle, or throw in leaves, twigs and pebbles and see what effect they have. Can you make anything float?

    Where to try it: Splash through puddles and get lost in Speke Hall’s cool maze in Liverpool.

    Top tip: I like puddle jumping with my friends and having a competition to see who can make the biggest splash.' – Kit LeFroy, aged 9.

    Go on a muddy walk

    If you love the squelch of mud, it will make a walk in the fresh air even more fun. You can also do some of the other top activities along the way and enjoy the feeling of getting stuck in the mud – just make sure you have someone to rescue you.

    Where to try it: The Ashridge Estate, in Hertfordshire has lots of walking trails through forest, which have lots of wet mud to splatter your boots in when it rains.

    Top tip: 'I messed about on my muddy walk, dancing and jumping through the wood.' – Harry Wilson, aged 10.
    Wear wellies – they’re easy to clean and let you splash around, even in thick mud.

    Make a mud pie

    You need lots of mud for this one and, if you’re really getting stuck in, a bucket, spade, water and sticks to help you move the mud around. Or you can just delve in with your hands – just make sure you wash off all that muck afterwards. Tick it off your 50 things challenges too.

    Where to try it: The great thing about mud is that you can find it anywhere. Lyme Park, in Cheshire, has the cool Crow Wood that’s great for cooking up a muddy treat.

    Top tip: ‘A mud pie might look delicious, but don’t eat it, it’s really yuck. I like to decorate mine with leaves and twigs.’ – Mia McDade, aged 8.

    Mud fight

    Pick a muddy buddy and go wild. Whether you roll it, flick it, scoop it or use a catapult to give it that extra oomph, mud can be just as fun as snow to have a fun fight with - just a bit more mucky.

    Where to try it:
    Not in your house, whatever you do. For mud fighting with a view, try Wray Castle in Cumbria.

    Top tip: Hold your horses, are they your best clothes? Dig out your oldest clothes for all mud activities.

    Paint yourself with mud stripes

    Mud is great for camouflage when you’re hiding out in the trees. Find some of the wet stuff, dip in your fingers and draw on as many stripes as you like on your cheeks, forehead and even your nose if you like.

    Where to try it: Mud stripes are great for playing hide and seek or for den building. Attingham Park, in Shropshire, is perfect for both and there’s plenty of mud to go around.

    Top tip: Pick a lovely pile of wet mud and check there’s nothing else lurking in it.

    Hunt for worms

    Worms love mud too and make it their home, as well as their playground. They like to hide, so you’ll have to look really closely.

    Where to try it: Under the ground or hidden under logs. There’s plenty at Berrington Hall in Herefordshire, and you can find out about just how useful worms can be at its wormery.

    Top tip: Remember you’re a giant compare to these little worms, so be gentle and take a look before you touch. Make sure you put them back in their cosy mud homes.