How to create a mountainous landscape in miniature and give kids permission to get well and truly mucky
With this activity, you need to let go of your natural desire to stop kids getting mucky. The sheer joy of this is the freedom that is given to kids as they squeeze the mud between their fingers and sense their knees sliding through the soggy soil.
Get started by choosing an area in your garden that you are happy for children to make a mud mountain in.
Remove all hazardous items such as stones or plant pots. If there is grass growing, you’ll need to remove this by creating foot long squares using a sharp spade, and then gently peeling the turf off. Keep the turf to the side and keep it watered if it’s warm. This will mean you can return the turf to its original position, allowing the garden to return back to normal.
Gently fork over the area so the ground is loose.
Now it’s time to get the kids involved. Arm them with buckets or watering cans and get them to pour the water over their new play area. Encourage them to use plastic spades to mix the water in or get them to push their hands into the soil and squidge it around to create a muddy mess.
Finally, it’s over to them. Give them some suggestions of creating mountainous areas that lead down to muddy puddle ravines, but essentially encourage them to explore and create. Introduce toys to bring the scene to life. You could create a prehistoric volcanic mountain range with the introduction of a couple of miniature plastic dinosaurs.