When Marley came to play I filled the tuff spot with water and the plastic food and tea set for them to play with. This soon became a big muddy puddle! They splashed around and got the watering can and measuring jug to pour muddy water on each other. They also both lay down in it. It was one of those occasions I am glad I am not friends with people who are overly precious about their children getting mucky as both boys were covered in water and mud by the end of the picnic. My theory is clothes and children can always be washed so let them go wild! Children can sense our inhibition in situations and it can stifle their creativity. The beauty of childhood is living in the moment so if we can allow them to just be, then we should.
At Belsize Bears we filled the tuff spot with water again but this time it was set up outside on a concrete path with no mud around so it was an entirely different experience. The invitation to play we set up was drinking straws, beakers and an early learning centre pour and play run. I also filled an old washing up bottle with coloured water. The beauty of the tuff spot (or builders tray which can be purchased at builders merchants or ebay) is that children of all ages can access the play. This meant the whole group was engaged in an activity at once and it was lovely to see. They did pouring, squirting, splashing, paddling, imaginative play and were able to practice social skills negotiating a play space involving lots of other children.