Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rainy Day Fun: Making "Clean" Mud

This activity is something I've seen over and over for use with sensory tables and have been wanting to try for a while.  We woke up this morning to an extra dark, gloomy, rainy day and I decided we would give the "clean" mud a shot.  Now don't let the name fool you as this is not a clean activity by any means.  It's a good ole messy, hands on, dig in, squish, squash, make a mess fun activity.  It's simply a clean version of mud play because it's nothing more than soap, paper, and water.  In fact while there is a mess to clean up at least everything is already soapy.  Ava was confused as to why she didn't need soap on her hands when she was ready to wash them :)

I didn't quite plan this out 100% so we made due with what we could find around the house.  Most of the versions I have found call for either dove or ivory soap.  I have seen a few with more natural organic soaps but we had none of that.  In fact, we really aren't a bar soap type of family but in the back of the linen closet I was able to locate a few bars of lever 2000.  I cannot tell you how old it was and I'm almost afraid to guess but hey, it did the trick.  The difference being that our "clean" mud was blue tinted.  Ava was cool with that, in fact, she corrected me and told me it was snow and not mud at all.

Breaking my flow to say that as soon as Ava said it was snow I was immediately struck with an awesome elf on the shelf idea for next year.  Have the elf t/p the tree (which I know many did this year) but also have him leave instructions for how to make indoor play snow with the toilet paper so that it isn't wasted. 

While researching how to make this I found that there were a lot of varying opinions on amounts and many reviews saying it didn't come out just right.  So I'll tell you what we used but keep in mind you may just want to add a little at a time until it "feels" right.  We used:

  • Half a roll of toilet paper (the cheap scotts kind...I was not about to waste the good kind lol)
  • 3/4 bar of lever 2000 (or any bar soap) grated.  Again the original says ivory or dove which I would recommend if you want it to be white.
  • Approx. 2 cups of warm water.  We heated 2 cups but added it a little at a time and I don't think we used it all.
  • Hint: The more you play with it the more it becomes the desired shaving cream/whipped cream consistency.  
So here we go.  First grate your soap and while you are grating the soap you can have your toddler help with the shredding of the paper into the bin of your choosing.  Since it was just Ava playing we used a smaller Ikea bin but anything would work.  I'm happy to say I finally found something to do with the roll of scott toilet paper that has been in the linen closet for forever because no one likes it.

 Once the paper has been shredded we sprinkled the grated soap on top.
 Then we poured the first cup of water and mixed a bit then added just a little more.  I gave her some measuring cups and things to play with.

 The more you play the more like shaving cream it becomes.

 Ava played for about 30-40 minutes in the goop before she decided she wanted her hands cleaned.  It actually at this point called for a whole outfit change but it did the trick for those winter blues.  We will definitely be doing this again.

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