I think we have pretty well established that we don't mind getting dirty at home. We don't want to keep all the fun to ourselves, though, so we set up a Mud and Water Play Day at the library!
I really wanted to try some mud painting, but the dirt we had was too dark and crumbly. My idea was to have them paint some old white sheets I have, and then use them as tablecloths for programs. I ran the idea by some other librarians, and came up with this concoction:
Each bucket has one packet of RIT dye, two bars of Ivory soap expanded in the microwave, and about a cup of flour. It made a nice goopy, crumbly mixture that felt neat between the fingers (or toes!)
I also made a sign warning parents who didn't want to get THAT dirty:
Thinking ahead to messes, I also prepared a rinse station near the front door!
We took all our story time rugs and laid them from the front door down the hallway with the bathrooms - because you know as soon as a child gets all wet and covered in mud, he is going to have to pee!
These awesome guys helped prepare the mud pit, toting and dumping 20 bags of dirt (chemical, rock and poop free) in the 100-degree weather:
Willing help with manual labor: Priceless!
See the little face at the corner of the window?
We were definitely attracting attention at this point.
I set up two small wading pools for the little ones:
One small wading pool with cloud dough:
And, of course, the mud pit:
We had this scheduled for after lunch, since it is served out on our lawn in the summers, and the kids were about to EXPLODE waiting for it to start! I finally gave some quick instructions and let them have at it.
Christopher went right to the RIT dye:
while others wasted no time being dainty with the mud:
Sheridan gravitated over to the painting...
...followed by Logan...
...while Shane just watched them like they were crazy.
The mud didn't stay in the big pool for long.
I had this bigger pool filled with water, too,
but it quickly became a mud pit as well!
|Eek! Zombie children! (I love this picture.)|
Oh, we had squirt guns, too!
|Kids hanging around, chatting.|
|Moms hanging around, chatting. I love pictures like this, too!|
|Front view of mud puppy.|
|Back view of mud puppy.|
|Making his own sprinkler.|
|The new A Team? The J Team!|
|Don't even think about it!|
|Where IS it?|
M. had spent quite a while searching for the plastic snake he knew was buried in there. He had already found the two lizards. We finally found it, and I opted not to tell him there was another in there somewhere.
|It's importantto keep your reptiles organized!|
We had a slip and slide, too:
Giant tarp with dish soap on it, and a sprinkler at the end. That counts as taking a bath, right?
A few more kids finally got into the painting:
I have three beautiful new tablecloths now!
I hung them out and let them rinse in the rain, first, so they will be semi-safe for the washer.
Here we have our reference librarian:
explaining to her son exactly what horrible things will happen to him if he takes one step closer with that bucket of mud. He wisely stepped away...and snuck up behind a teenage girl, instead:
Do not mistake that incredulous smile for passivity. She spent the next half hour trying to kill him.
And then another half hour trying to get clean enough to be allowed to go home.
I think everyone had a good time! I made the mistake of waiting too long to clean up, and all my big kids were gone. It took a LONG time to get the mud scooped out to parts of the lawn we needed filled in, but my mother and kids were a big help, as well as one other mom and her son. We celebrated being done with popsicles, then went home to check out our sunburns:
Your librarian has some very white (now red) legs!
(Thanks, Shannon, for the pictures!)