Making bricks out of mud is great fun for kids who love anything mud-related -- and what kid doesn't?. It also gives kids a chance to use their imaginations, and provides opportunities for parents and teachers to help kids learn about the science and history of mud brick homes, a style of architecture used in cultures from ancient Egyptians and toSumerians, to Pueblo and Hopi peoples in the southwestern United States, to contemporary environmental activists.
Basic Mud Brick Recipe
Mix dirt and water in a bucket to make mud. Use a spoon to fill an ice cube tray with the mud, or pour it in. After you've filled the ice cube tray, press down the top of the mud in each compartment with the back of the spoon, and let the bricks dry in the sun for about an hour, or put them in a 250-degree oven for 15 minutes.
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Experiment With Different Mud Mixtures
Make the mud bricks described above using a variety of mud mixtures using items from nature children can find outside. Kids can experiment with making mud mixtures using grass, straw, and/or dried crushed leaves. They can also create different textures of mud by mixing water with sand and/or clay in addition to dirt.
Mud Brick Cupcakes or Muffins
Pour or spoon mud into paper-lined muffin holders. While they are still wet, let children decorate the mud muffins with grass (sprinkles), small twigs, flowers, pebbles (or gravel), or put candles in them. Dry in the sun or bake in the oven as directed in Section 1.
Building With Mud Bricks
This project will give children the experience of building their own houses with mud bricks. Have your child or students make mud bricks in ice cube trays. If you want larger bricks, you can use cupcake or muffin holders. After allowing the bricks to dry according to the directions in Section 1, children can attach bricks together with plaster of Paris to make buildings and houses. If plaster of Paris is not available, the bricks can be joined using mud.