Let them play in mud: A simple summary of how making mud pies can help to improve a child’s self esteem and emotional Intelligence.
Alex Alves – Outdoor Learning Made Easy
– Ideal self: Children naturally strive to succeed and want to achieve. Freedom in playing in mud or making mud pies will develop their imagination and creativity through being given the chance to experiment without barriers or set outcomes.
-Actual self: All children are capable of achieving this task and have the opportunity to talk about their creation with others. All mud pies pass the quality control mark with ‘Outdoor Learning Made Easy!’
– Self image/ concept: Children want to be seen as a success to others. This activity facilitates lots of praise and positive language. Children watch and learn from both yourself and others, sharing their discoveries and developing a positive sense of self.
– Self worth: All children will take away a great sense of accomplishment from this fun experience as no-one ‘fails.’ They are likely to share their experiences with their friends and re-live their sense of achievement.
– Self awareness: Children are able to create their own ideas and explore their own channels of learning and exploration with no set parameters. Children will adapt and improve any creations they make as they work, internally evaluating their methods and the materials, gaining scientific knowledge whilst having fun.
– Self regulation: Children are all able to enjoy the experience with no or minimal control from others. They are able to self-test, self-evaluate and self-improve. Children gain high intrinsic motivation through experimenting with patterns and shapes, whilst following their own interests.
– Empathy: Experiential learning lets children control the learning, this may give you a chance to sit back, watch and listen: find some real insight on their thoughts and interests.
– Self motivation: The children are usually all self motivated throughout. At first a few may be wary of getting their hands muddy, but after time, they usually thoroughly enjoy the texture and freedom to explore with mud.
– Social Skills: Children will openly interact with others alongside them by sharing the materials and discussing each other’s mud creations. They start to use scientific language, learning from each other to describe and discuss the materials and their thoughts. They may use role play language to extend their learning, for example, by creating their own mud pie cafes and shops.