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No. 13 Make a mud creation

Two children playing in the mud pie kitchen at East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire
Children playing in the mud pie kitchen at East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire | © National Trust Images/Trevor Ray Hart

Mud glorious mud - who can resist it? Squish it with your fingers when it’s wet and gooey, serve it on a plate, create a work of art, or turn it into a seed bomb. What will you make with mud? You can do no. 13 of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ almost anywhere, as long as you have a few essential ingredients. Follow our top tips to make the most of your muddy concoction.

What do you need?

There are three essential ingredients for a fantastic mud creation:

  • A lot of mud
  • Interesting things from nature to mix in, like twigs, leaves, feathers and seeds
  • A big mixing stick or spoon.

Cook-up a classic mud pie

There’s no wrong way to make a mud pie. Simply mix mud and water together with a stick or spoon and serve it to a willing victim.

For fancy occasions, you could decorate your mud pie. Why not add twigs for candles and pretend it’s a birthday cake? You can’t actually eat your mud pie, but you can have lots of fun pretending.

A mud pie might look delicious, but don’t eat it, it’s really yuck. I like to decorate mine with leaves and twigs.

A quote by Mia, aged eight

Create a modern masterpiece

Why not find a natural canvas - such as the bark of a tree or a log? Can you use your mud as paint and create a work of art? Then you’ll also be doing no. 18 of the ‘50 things’ activities: create some wild art. You could also create a mini muddy sculpture of an animal you can see in nature. You can use feathers, sticks and stones to help you decorate and shape it. Twigs make great legs and hedgehog spikes too.

Or why not just enjoy squishing your hands and feet in the mud? Did it feel how you expected? What happens when it dries?

While you’re covered in wet mud, you could make a handprint or footprint picture of something from nature. Use a smooth surface, like paper, a wall or a path. Can people guess what it is?

Children playing in the mud pie kitchen at East Riddlesden Hall, West Yorkshire
Children playing in the mud pie kitchen at East Riddlesden Hall | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

Build a creepy crawly hotel

Lots of insects and mini beasts also like mud. You could try creating a bug hotel out of mud and natural materials. That’s no. 36 of our ‘50 things’: make a home for wildlife. Just make sure you keep your eyes peeled for any wiggly worms that might get squashed as you work.

Spread some seed bombs

Why not bring some flower power to your garden by creating seed bombs with mud? Make a pocket from damp mud, then pop some wildflower seeds inside. Mould the muddy mixture into a ball in your hands and leave it out to dry in the sun. You could scrape some patterns into your ball with a stick or use little stones to create a picture.

When your seed bombs have dried, it’s time to place or catapult them wherever you choose. Keep an eye on where they land, and then check back in a few weeks to see if your flowers have grown.

It’s always best to ask an adult before you fire your seed bombs around – you don’t want to meddle with Grandad’s perfect rose garden.

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