Rainy Days = Puddles & Mud!

April showers bring May flowers, leaving behind puddles and mud for endless entertainment and experimentation!

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing” Alfred Wainwright

So gear up to get wet and dirty and jump right in! As it gets warmer, it will be even more fun to hose off when your day of messy play is done.

  • Find a puddle that’s deep enough for a game of sink or float. Collect whatever you can find around you, like sticks, leaves, and rocks. Make predictions as to which items you think will sink and which will float. Then test it out in your puddle! Finish with an inquiry-based discussion: Why do you think some of the objects float while others sink?
  • Listen to raindrops and observe as they fall into a puddle. What happens when you toss a small stone into a puddle (or another body of water)? What do you hear and see? Wonder why this happens and brainstorm ideas together. Keep it open-ended; there are no right or wrong answers.
  • Bring along a shovel to dig a river, construct a dam, or build a bridge in the mud! Add toy cars and trucks to your construction site if you’d like. Then for clean-up time fun, have your own car wash!
  • Use mud bricks to build a castle, a whole town, or whatever you imagine. 
  • Pretend to be a bird and make a “nest” with mud, sticks, and leaves.
  • Create a mud sculpture and make mud paintings with a paintbrush or by using your fingers, hands and feet.
  • ‘Cook’ a meal in your very own mud kitchen! Recycle old kitchen utensils like pots and pans, measuring cups, and mixing tools (or find some at a thrift store). You might whip up some mud soup and mud meatballs, with mud cupcakes and ice cream for dessert! Add secret ingredients like dried leaves and seeds to a stew, or decorate a mud cake with flower petals, pebbles, and dirt sprinkles!

When it comes to puddles and mud, no elaborate plan is necessary; let your children splash and play and they will lead the way! Don’t forget to celebrate International Mud Day on June 29th!

The Minnesota Zoo would love to see examples of how you used this activity at home! Please share pictures or comments via email at [email protected], and take less than 5 minutes of time to provide us feedback by completing this short survey.