International Mud Day

Did you know that yesterday, June 29th, International Mud Day was celebrated?

And everything we need for this can be found here in Istanbul:

Water: We use it sparingly because it isn't always plentiful everywhere in the world
Clean earth: without stones or other harmful particles
Straw: in early Autumn you can find it at markets and agricultural places - it is important to plan early!
Shadow: the sun is very intense and it is important to protect the children and yourself from it. A shade roof or space is absolutely necessary.
Plastic tarpaulin: if you don't have a muddy corner in your garden, you would do well to limit the action to a place that is easy to clean again. A large tear-resistant plastic tarpaulin is ideal for this.
Old clothes: It goes without saying that nobody stays clean on Mud Day! Children should always wear comfortable and old clothes in kindergarten. Shorts and a t-shirt are just the things for the day.
Tub: to save water, a large tub of water and a sponge do the trick. The children can wash the earth from their hands, legs, and feet there by themselves. The usual handwashing with soap before the next meal, however, should not be forgotten.
Information for parents: of course, celebrating Mud Day should be announced!

The mud action:
The reactions of the children during mud work are very different. Some children are eager to help out straight away. As soon as they see the tarpaulin, they pull the ends to spread it out into a large rectangle base. They empty the sacks of earth with their hands and pluck the bale of straw to pull out the stalks. Small buckets are filled with water and the children carefully carry them to the heap of straw. The children begin to mix the straw-earth-water mixture with their feet as soon as they pour water. Their feet sink into the mud... It penetrates between little toes and even right up to the knees. They take the mud with their hands and feel the sticky, moist, cold mass.

But not all children feel comfortable with this activity.

Some are not used to getting dirty and look in amazement from a distance as children and caregivers work on earth, straw and water with their feet. In any case, the following applies: The educators take part and must be patient. Maybe it's just a small portion of the mud in a bucket that you want to examine with sticks, then a finger and finally with both hands.

The finished, well-tamped straw-earth mixture remains on the tarpaulin and is covered. Today we continue because only one Mud Day is not enough for us in Early Birds Istanbul!

What are we going to do with this muddy mountain?

The planning for the new mud house has already started...

By Regina Kruse-Özcelik
Early Birds Istanbul Founder