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Kangaroos box. Rats wrestle. Wolves play tug-of war. In tumbling, rolling, rollicking prose, Play Like an Animal by Maria Gianferrari (with sweet illustrations by Mia Powell) describes how animals learn to hunt, escape and get along with each other through play. Play Like an Animal offers just the right amount of information and inspires young readers to go play, race, chase, spin and splash.
Which brings me to today’s maker challenge: making mud paint!
With everyone stuck at home and conducting work and school through our screens, it’s important to remember that we all need to get down in the dirt once in a while. Collared peccaries, rhinos and river otters love mud–and so do kids. It’s springtime. Mud is plentiful! And making mud paint is simple, sensory and weirdly satisfying to little ones and their grown-ups. Here’s what you need:
Mud (I scooped some from my teeny-tiny urban backyard)
Tempera paint, also known as poster paint. Food coloring will work, too.
Containers (yogurt containers, bowls or Tupperware)
Paintbrushes, spatulas, spoons, forks (whatever you have on hand to spread, squish, or splatter with)
Thick paper or an outdoor surface like a smooth driveway or wood fence (any surface you can wash down). I didn’t have any card stock on hand so I used the inside of a paper grocery bag.
Other things you need: clothes you don’t care about. A get-down-and-muddy attitude. And maybe a tub of sudsy water for cleaning up afterward.
How to mix your paint:
Add tempera powder or a glob of wet paint. Mix in water slowly until you get the consistency you want. I mixed small amounts, but if you’re outside, you can make big batches. That’s it–enjoy!
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