As soon as the children hit the dirt at the end of the road on Monday they booked it for the frog pond. "Hey, Mud Puddle!" they began screaming at the swampy mud that stood before them. If you ever read "Mud Puddle" by Robert Munsch you know that an innocent little girl keeps being "attacked" by a mischievous mud puddle. After she's been cleaned up from the muddy mess, she has a new plan to out smart the mud puddle and calls him back by yelling "Hey, Mud Puddle!"
We read this story the other day so I wasn't surprised to see them searching for that sneaky mud puddle. It wasn't until someone took a step in that ever so inviting mud that the real fun began. The squishy, gloppy sound effects caught everyone's attention and before i knew it I had eight Little Munchkins jumping in the mud.
They jumped, they laughed, they fell, and they got STUCK. "Oh no!! Help me, the mud monster won't let go." Screamed one little girl. All the children ran over to help their friend from the mud monster, but they couldn't get her out. "What are we gunna do guys?" The children brainstormed together and decided they would all pull at the same time to get her out. Once she was free they stared at the mud looking for signs of the monster.
Once they "saw" the eyes they ran away screaming and then insisted I tell them a story about a mud monster. We all sat down together and they listened wide eyed as I told them about the mud monster I once encountered. (They LOVE "spooky" stories.) We then continued with a discussion on what we would do if we saw a mud monster. This is what they told me :
"I'd put a ton of tomatoes on his head." - R.T.
"Throw a tree at him." - C.G.
"Punch him in the eyeball." - S.C.
"Punch him in the face." - I.M.
"Throw him in the mud." - J.G.
"Throw a banana at him." - N.P.
( I think it's pretty safe to say no one should ever mess with these kids! )
Next, I asked them what they thought Mud Monsters liked to eat. This is what they said:
"Cannonballs and dirt." - R.T.
"Only mud." - C.G.
"Garbage." - J.G.
"FIRE!" - I.M.
"Rocks." - E.H.
After the big discussion I asked if we should go back and look for more mud monsters. They were a little more cautious when approaching the mud this time. One boy said "Look there he is! I'm gunna stomp him!" He ran in and began stomping the mud. The children laughed, and they were all back in the mud full force playing the mud monster game. When we got back to the center they were telling all of the younger children about their morning adventure. At quiet time some of them drew pictures of what they thought mud monsters looked like.
Why This Matters:
The children used team work, cooperation, & problem solving to help each other escape the mud.
Imagination/pretend play is necessary for social, emotional, language, and thinking skills.
- Leslie Dionne