Take a lot of dirt and some water, add preschoolers and some young-at-heart instructors, and you get some serious fun in the mud.
“I got muds in my feet,” said 4-year-old Andrea Cardoso as she slathered herself with wet dirt from head to toe while running through a 20-yard by 20-yard pit at Human Services Inc. Head Start program Thursday morning.
It was all part of the seventh annual observance of International Mud Day, where preschoolers from Johnson, Jackson and Brown counties in addition to the local Head Start and Early Head Start kids were invited out of the classroom and into the outdoors for a romp in the mud.
“It’s not the beach, but I’ll take it,” said Donna Taylor, interim executive director for the program. She was among the first to wade in to the mud pit and encourage the youngsters to follow.
About 50 kids and their teachers, school administrators, parents and grandparents could interact with the mud as much, or as little, as they wished — but getting dirty wasn’t really optional. Even spectators occasionally received a handful of mud flung at them from the pit as the preschoolers enthusiastically discovered mud could be delivered airborne.
Ava Persely, 5, braved the mud in a skirt and was undaunted as her formerly white outfit quickly became a new shade of mud-covered fabric. A large smear of mud was across her cheek which she didn’t seem to mind.
“I want to play in it,” she said as she ran back to the middle of the mud field, where the water tended to pool, adding more squishiness when stepping and rolling through the substance. “My mom lets me play in the mud all the time.”
Check back later to see — in pictures — how much they learned. And then look for full coverage in Friday’s Republic.