International mud day: making rainbow mud paint

In honor of International Mud Day, I recently did some experimenting and I hope you will enjoy this mildly messy International Mud Day activity…

Finding the right kind of dirt here to make a good consistency of mud was not easy. The dirt in my yard was hard as a rock so I stopped by my husbands jobsite and filled up a bucket of dirt from there. The dirt is light and thick (almost a clay like texture) and had pebbles and rocks in the mix…

So with my nieces help, we chopped up the dirt into fine bits and threw out all the rocks. Once we had the dirt as fine as we could make it, we added some water to prepare our mud…

When the mud started to get a good texture (almost creamy) we spooned the mud into individual cups…

Our mud still had small stones in it but we went ahead and worked with what was ready. It seemed to add some texture into our mix which we liked. Next we added food color to each cup of mud. A lot of food color…

Now that we had our colorful shades of mud, we were ready to make a a few rainbow mud designs. We explored the process on different types of paper…

We also tried making designs on cardboard pieces I had left over from the box challenge. The cardboard held up under the weight of the mud a little better plus it had a more natural look which I liked…

We used spoons to drop the paint on the canvas and to rub it around or just leave it in blobs. The mud had lots of texture in it so we liked trying different designs…

We had plenty of rainbow mud left over so we then decided to make a large mud mural. My niece particularly liked splattering the mud paint – and it splattered easily – whether you wanted it to or not…

And we still had some left over so we poured the left over over a plastic cup to make our own Tall “Mud” Pour Paintings

It was a day of exploring and one of the most interesting discoveries that my niece liked was adding food color on the mud after it was on paper or cardboard. The food color would “crawl” out like little spider veins of color through the mud and she loved just watching how the colors flowed…

So this was our exploration of rainbow mud paint. We did all of these things with probably 4 to 6 cups of dirt which increased as we added water to make the mud. I had started out with 4 buckets full of dirt and only used less than half of one bucket so we had plenty to of dirt to do more if we had the time. There is always another day!

Don’t forget to stop by Scott’s blog, Brick by Brick, to check out Literacy Beginnings: chapter 3 of our 2013 book blog party!


You can see the 2014 Blog Book Party on Challenging Behaviors by going here!


By |2011-06-29T00:04:52+00:00June 29th, 2011|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Juliet @CreativeSTAR June 29, 2011 at 3:59 am - Reply

    Multi-coloured mud! What a simple yet super idea. I will remember this post.
    Thanks Debbie.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 29, 2011 at 8:01 am - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by Juliet – Getting colors is challenging but the mud makes for unique coloring possibilities.

  2. M. Faizan June 29, 2011 at 4:46 am - Reply

    Hey Deborah :D!!!
    Thank God for Triberr that i was able to stop by to read this post.
    Its so fascinating and yet so simple how mud can be used to make such beautiful designs, Wow!!! Looking at the images up there, its looks so wonderful indeed.
    And Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. June 29, 2011 at 7:59 am - Reply

      Haha – Triberr is a pretty cool thing! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. This is Great! Love the idea of colorizing the mud paint! Beautiful!

  4. Jena @ HappyLittleMesses July 1, 2011 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Oh, I’m saving this one…my kids would really like this. Did you try painting trees. A friend recommended this for us and I think I’d like to try the color mud on trees.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      No – we didn’t try painting on anything else – what a great idea!

  5. artsy_momma July 1, 2011 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    I love it when you do linky parties that are specific like this and different than the others that are out there…. would love it if you even did a monthly one!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. July 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      That is a good idea – I will suggest the idea to the other bloggers.

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