What?! You read it right! Mud. Pie. Math. What’s not to like about playing in the mud? I combined The Kid’s love of Disney movies, parties and mud pies to work on fractions! I pretended to get call after call from his favorite Disney characters with updated RSVPs of how many guests our party would have. In response to the updated RSVP, he had to modify his mud pie to serve the guests. We worked with halves, fourths, sixths, and eighths. We even branched into concepts of 2/8=1/4, 4/8=1/2 and so on. Talk about fun and challenge all in one exciting “task”. When I moved on to practice letter writing with The Red One, The Kid was still begging for more phone calls to update the RSVP count so he could change the pie fractions.
With The Red One, we used his mud cake as a writing surface! He whipped out his “smart finger” or pointer finger and we wrote “A” then traced it. We discussed colors and our sense of smell. Mostly, we focused on building stamina and completing projects from start to finish- these are the proper focus areas for a three year old. What’s most pivotal is building stamina and follow through as these are huge components for long term academic success.
For The Kid and The Red One, we used mud pies and chalk paint for some powerful STEAM play! They created colorful sidewalk murals, read them as stories to each other, then played with the sun to create shadow tracings of their bodies!
Making mud pies lead to a continued discussion on the water cycle and how “sun baking” will change their physical properties over time. So now, as our pies bake in the sun, we have a project on dehydration and water vapor movement. We also added the variable of a physical barrier between the pie and the sun when The Red One put a large mound of grasses over his mud pie. How will these pies “bake” differently?
And just for fun, the guys got to take an outdoor shower in the hose to wash off their hard morning’s mud and chalk play! Later, as they waited for lunch, the guys continued independent reading on our topic of Adventures in Texas with these books: The Black Cowboys by Gina De Angelis and Black Cowboys by Andrea Robbins and Max Becher. Finally, we rounded out the morning with our character building activity of reading and discussing Light as a Feather: 42 Laws of Maat for Children by Kajara NiaYaa NebtHet. This book has great pictures and provides great encouragement to discuss and think about our actions and words with the guideline of the ancient Kemetic principles set forth by the goddess Maat. Both little gentlemen had self-guided revelations of how they could apply a MAAT principle to their own behavior to improve the “weight of their heart”. That was so great to see!