artsy ideas for kids and families

Mud Pies. Story 1.

Scooping Purple Flowers Water

I have been gathering photos and words from mud pie experiences since the very early Spring. I have three stories to tell so far. This is the first one.

This mud pie adventure began this winter, long before the hope of goopy, wet soil. I came across a sweet, delicate, well-written little recipe book for dolls at the library. It’s over 40 years old and is now out of print.“Mud Pies and Other Recipes: A Cookbook for Dolls” by Marjory Winslow and Illustrated by Erik Blegvad.

Kool-Aide is cool

This is one of the recipes I found in the book. It goes a little like this:

“Left-Handed Mudloaf and Right-Handed Mudloaf: For Left Handed Mudloaf, sit on the ground with a bowl in front of you full of thick mud. With your left hand, reach out a add a fistful of whatever you find there. Stir and pack into a loaf pan. Mold with left hand. For Right-Handed Mudloaf, follow the recipe for Left-Handed Mudloaf, but this time use your right hand.”
So cute, so funny. Right up our alley. Due to the cold weather and a few feet of snow covering our yard, we had to work with “what we got.”
TinkerLab posted a great Creative Experiment using flour, salt, water, baking soda and white vinegar.
A quote from Rachelle, author of TinkerLab, “made missing a nap totally worthwhile.”
She had me there.
I tried this with the boys when Big K was working late one night, with a cookie sheet on their little table in the kitchen. I did not use the camera for this one. The messiness went from 0 to 100 in a matter of seconds. It was a blast, took me a couple of days to remove the “better than glue” mixture of water and flour off of the cookie sheet, one of those times the mess gets ya when you put creativity before a perfect house. It was worth it.

Mixing the Cupcakes

In the warmer part of spring, I read a post from The Chocolate Muffin Tree. They were cooking up some Dandelion Cupcakes. That very day J was deadheading some Dandelions and giving me bouquets. We had to try the cupcakes. I used an old muffin tin, an old bag of flour, some old glitter, kool-aide, a couple of kitchen tools and the garden hose. He had about an hour of quite fun. If you have a spirited boy, you know this is delightful and very lovely difference in energy. I watched him in a happy haze, ran for tools when needed, and took lots of photos. It took me a week to clean the muffin tin too. Also worth the mess.

The finished Cupcakes.


  1. Haha! The mud pie cookbook for dolls is such a crazy idea. First of all, can mud pie chefs even read? And I can just imagine the horror of finding all of my daughter’s dolls faces covered in mud. But those instructions are even better! Someone had a sense of humor. So, do you think this would make missing naps worthwhile? :)

    • Jena

      May 26, 2011 at 7:09 pm

      Oh, the book is so charming, you should add it to your library list, especially, with two girls! The author is very funny. Definitely, one of the best ways to skip nap time.

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