Mud pie

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"Mudpies" by Ludwig Knaus

Making a mud pie is a children's activity or game that consists of creating a mixture of water and soil and playing or pretending to make food or a pie. Mud pies are not meant to be eaten, although they can be thrown in the face.[1] A broader category describes this activity as 'mud play'.[2] In addition to mud pies, children often create other structures like mud sandwiches and mud-based tea parties.[2] Other ingredients are sometimes added to the basic water and soil mixture such as plants and pebbles. The 'pie' will stay together if the mud is sticky - similar to bread dough. Creating a mud pie can be a very enjoyable activity and is thought to nurture the imagination of a child.[3] Making mud pies allows the exploration of textures, and establishes the basis of scientific reasoning as they change the variables such as the addition of less water or even freezing the mixture. Some children do not enjoy the activity.[4] A child may hesitate to "get dirty."[5] Many people recall this childhood activity with fondness.[6] An author recounts: "As a child, I was drawn to mud.  Some of my fondest childhood memories saw me covered in the stuff, head to toe."[5] Mud can also be used as an artistic medium.[2]

International Mud Day was established in 2009 by schoolchildren in Australia and Nepal. Schools in many countries organize mud play events. International Mud Month was proposed in 2015.[7][8]


  • Sensory stimulation - all the senses of a child are engaged.
  • Physical activity - movement is encouraged.
  • Creativity - promotes inventing, problem solving and critical thinking.
  • Development - improves fine and gross motor skills and balance.[5]
  • Socialization - group mud play fosters socialization, taking turns and sharing.[5][7]
  • Scientific reasoning - learning and testing theories, application of math (counting, measuring).
  • Environmental awareness - learning about soil and water
  • Family memories
  • Affordable
  • Accepting risk - parents and children are taking the opportunity to engaging in an activity 'to get dirty'.[5]


Adult with a mud 'facial'

Digging a small hole, adding water and stirring with a stick is one method used by children to create the mud pie.[9] Some choose to organize a party or event for children with creating mud pies as part of the activities.[10][11] The benefits of making pies out of mud include: strengthening the sense of touch and developing "true" creativity.[12] Some take a more formal approach to the activity and dedicate children's play spaces to the making of mud pies.[13][14] A mud pie kitchen can be created to make other mud play 'food'.[15] A mud center can be created in a school setting.[2] Some teachers are able to incorporate art and music into mud pie-making activities during school.[16]

Other ingredients have been proposed and include:

  • sawdust
  • eggshells
  • orange peel
  • crushed leaves
  • sand[17]

Washing up afterwards is to be expected.[5][2] Adults can participate in creating mudpies and some continue to use mud as a facial enhancing product.[2]

Other types of mud play[edit]

mudfest activity

Mud play can include the use of mud as an artistic medium.[2][8] Thin mixtures of mud and water can be used as paint and applied to paper with twig 'brushes'. After the mud dries, different areas can demonstrate the different color shades and constituents of the mixture.[15]

Adults sometimes participate in mud festivals.[18] Some desserts made out of crushed cookies and other ingredients are called mud pies or puddings.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "How to Make a Mud Pie". Reader's Digest. 2011-01-18. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "The Mud Center: Recapturing Childhood". Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  3. ^ "Making mud pies". Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  4. ^ "Are Mud Pies Waterproof? How to make the best mud pies!". Mud Mates - Proudly Handcrafted in NZ. 2016-04-20. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Why Playing in the Mud is More than just FUN! - Nature Play QLD". Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  6. ^ "Get Muddy with These Outdoor Activities | The Weather Channel". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  7. ^ a b "Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud! The Benefits of Mud Play". Lipa Village.
  8. ^ a b "Mud: Explore and Learn | NAEYC". Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  9. ^ "How to a Make Mud Pie: Nature Art Activity for Kids | Rhythms of Play". Rhythms of Play. 2018-04-21. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  10. ^ "Play in the Mud- The Set Up". Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  11. ^ "Mud World Festival for kids - Nature Play QLD". Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  12. ^ "Tinkergarten Activities - Mud Play". Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  13. ^ "Build a Mudpie Station…". Small Potatoes. 2012-03-25. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  14. ^ "Top 20 of Mud Kitchen Ideas for Kids | Garden Ideas | 1001 Gardens". 1001 Gardens. 2014-07-19. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  15. ^ a b "Mud Play - Early Childhood Ireland". Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  16. ^ "Mud Theme for Preschool". Preschool Plan It. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  17. ^ "Making mud pies". Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  18. ^ Festival, Boryeong Mud. "Korea No.1 Boryeong Mud Festival 보령머드축제". Retrieved 2018-05-04.
  19. ^ "Mud Pie". Favorite Family Recipes. 2017-08-04. Retrieved 2018-04-23.