Clean mud is a fun (and messy) art project

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Justin and Nathan were over on Friday and we made clean mud together in the studio. The idea is to tear toilet paper into little pieces, mix in water and grated soap, and mush it all around with your hands.

They all enjoyed this project and got very absorbed in adding the various ingredients but they went at it like little scientists. None of them wanted to actually touch the stuff (is it their ages? or personalities?) so I ended up giving them spoons to stir with. We followed Julie's recommendation of using liquid watercolors (which the kids are applying with droppers) rather than food coloring, although the food coloring would work fine as well.

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On another note, I'm feeling behind on everything. I was super tired this weekend and felt like I was moving in slow motion. I didn't get on the computer once, didn't bake the bread I had planned, didn't clean, and definitely didn't do anything artful. I'm feeling better now but we may have a slow start to our week.

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  1. says

    We like real mud a lot :) but this looks so much fun too. This is another of your projects that I’m going to try. Thanks!

  2. says

    My daughter would love this. I’ll look for a time we can do it together.
    Take care and take it easy if you need to.
    OH! You’re my new favorite blogger fyi

  3. says

    I am surprised that NONE of the three wanted to touch it! Did YOU touch it? It is actually quite compelling once you feel it…but it does look strange (not like your usual “dough”, so they may have needed to see someone else brave the stuff first! ) My groups are usually large enough that several lead the way, then others get curious and dig in. As you know from the pics I sent, my boys practically turned it into a spa treatment, sinking both hands and feet into their bowls. But to each their own, and they certainly seem happily absorbed in concocting the stuff!

  4. MO says

    Just wanted to say not to get down on yourself as even for a slow week you are still so much artier than I could ever be. Your daughter seems so happy and so that means you are doing something right!
    I think I’ll try this project out on my boys – they may love it. As for leading the way (that may be your next post), I’ve really noticed that my boys get “stuck” on something once we do it – for example, they both are completely into painting and then using their cars to drive through the paint and then also paint the cars and then have me pretend to be a policeman with one of the cars. So, as soon as I bring out any paper or art supplies that’s immediately what they want to do. I tried so hard yesterday by bringing out green paper, different shades of green, and even cut up a kitchen sponge (which would be a first time sponging experience for them) – I wanted them to paint hte green construction paper and then I was going to try to turn it into shamrocks similar to what you did with the fish mobiles. It was like pulling teeth to get them to do anything on the paper – they just wanted to paint their cars. Any suggestions on how to get out of an art rut or motivate them to try new things? Or would you say it is better to just let them take the lead and kind of like veggies just keep offering things until they are ready to try them?