We did have big outdoor plans to celebrate International Mud Day today. We had a nice big space cleared, ready to make some mud in. A mudslide, a mud kitchen and even a mud river were on the agenda. That was until we woke up this morning and it was 90 degrees before it was even 8:00am. With an expected high of 113, there really was no way we were going to pull it off. Yes, it's a dry heat... and that is exactly what our mud would have been too, dry.
Plan B was simple, still involved mud, and we got to incorporate one of our favorite books.
This House Is Made of Mud, by Ken Buchanan. It's a great book, written in both English and Spanish (enabling us to read both languages on every page) that talks about a house made of mud, and more importantly, what makes that house a home.
I set up a little station so he could make his own house of mud, using the red rock dirt we brought back from the mountains in Sedona, Arizona after our recent visit there.
Cutting the bottom off of an empty milk gallon container, with small opening added for the door, we had the basic "frame" for our house. We also had rocks, leaves, twigs, and other natural materials.
After reading our book together, we discussed the first step we would need to take in making our house of mud.
That was easy. A pot full of warm water, just add dirt.
Stirring slowly, he was pretty excited we he was about to be elbow deep in mud, all the while comfortable in the air conditioned Clubhouse Classroom.
He stirred for awhile, ensuring this mud was going to be "just right" for building our house.
Then he was ready to get his hands in there and have some fun,
and get his hands in there he definitely did...
Covering the frame of the house in mud, being sure to spread it all around.
Not sure if you can really tell in the pictures, but that red rock dirt really does make a very nice reddish, almost clay colored, mud. Ironically, when we painted the walls of the Clubhouse Classroom, we chose a color called "Sedona Red". The mud was almost a perfect match. Someone really knew what they were doing when they named that paint color.
He finished up his house made of mud, and began to incorporate other elements into the scene. He even asked to wash his hands so that he could finish without getting everything muddy. Wait, it's International Mud Day and you want to try to not get things muddy? Hmmm, ok. Who am I to discourage that?
The book says, "This house has a yard. It is round, too. We call it the Desert. It has a fence around it. The fence is called the Mountains..."
"I'm using the rocks to build a mountain."
"I'm planting a tree in the yard."
He carefully worked on his mud house, and the yard around it. He worked quietly, focused, and surprisingly, without making much of a muddy mess at all.
He asked me to read the book again, so I read while he worked. Being a fluent Spanish speaker myself, I read in English and Spanish, mixing the languages into what we like to call "Spanglish". It was how I learned Spanish as a child, it was always just mixed right in there with the English. He listened, worked, never stopping to ask what a word meant. Sometimes repeating after me. For someone who was expecting a muddy mess of fun, we were actually having quite a peaceful activity. Maybe the Sedona dirt brings back with it the tranquility from the area ;)
The book also talks about friends, which was a perfect tie in as we have been exploring friendship themed books all week.
We talked about friends, and how any house can be a home if it is full of friends.
Even if it is made out of mud, it can still be built with Love.
"I love my home Momma."
For us, Gak was more of a mess than this... :)