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  • Cristi Wuenschel

Getting Messy with Preschoolers

Updated: Feb 21, 2020

As an Experience Early Learning Blog Ambassador, we receive the Experience Early Learning preschool curriculum in exchange for sharing our honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. As always, our opinions on amazing things for children are 100% our own. Keep in mind that all preschoolers do things in their own time and on their own terms. What one is ready for, another might not be. Please use your best judgement when planning activities for your children.

Our new Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) theme is Nursery Rhymes and the topic for today is “This Little Piggy.” Chances are, we’ve all heard it since birth!

This little piggy went to market,

This little piggy stayed at home.

This little piggy had roast beef,

This little piggy had none.

And this little piggy cried,

"Wee wee wee!" all the way home.

Each week our preschool curriculum includes five STEAM Station ideas and today the children are exploring Muddy Play where they're encouraged to experience the soil and water.

How do you make mud? Why might pigs like playing in the mud? What does the mud feel like? How might you clean something that is muddy?

Here in Western Pennsylvania, we are in the middle of winter but we happened to have a warm spell yesterday and the soil isn’t frozen solid, so I was able to go get soil from our dirt box outside.

It’s wonderful that Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) emphasizes play-based learning and encourages messy play.

I love our dirt box! Most people my age were raised being outside and we certainly were not strangers to mud! I still believe its important and healthy to be in dirt and work the soil with our hands. (Yes, I’m an avid gardener and my garden is my “happy place").

However, many children do not get to experience this very often. Working parents only have a short amount of time with their children and allowing them to play in the mud isn’t a top priority. We allow it here though!

Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) includes activities just like this one each and every month.

I was very excited to be able to bring real soil inside (as opposed to soil from the store) and allow the children to play in it.

It’s so interesting when children are permitted to do something that they normally are not allowed to do. They look so confused! They look at the teachers, look at the object, look at the teachers again and then with one or two fingers start!

The children had a great time exploring today’s Investigation Station.

This is one of the features of our preschool curriculum that everyone gets excited about. Needless to say, it doesn’t take long for the children to be in the dirt up to their elbows!!

Obviously, a teacher is right there, because yes, we are inside and no, we do not want a mud battle inside but we want them to have a good time!

One of our dads came in as the children were playing in the mud, looked at the soil, looked at the teacher, shook his head and said, “better here than at home!” I laughed! We are absolutely fine with it!

I had to get out some of our other books about mud and read them with the children.

The children loved playing with the animals and the dirt and kept showing us how “dirty my hands are!”.

Clean up was a breeze and I think that we will leave it inside for further exploration.

There is so much great research showing that playing in the dirt/soil, is actually very healthy for us and boosts our immune system. Try and make getting dirty a priority!

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