Muddy Animals Small World

We weren’t very successful last time we did Small World, so today we tried again but with a change. Today we did Small World OUTSIDE! My goal was to take the pressure off the activity. We had the whole outside to explore if we didn’t fancy playing muddy animals. No pressure at all. 

What you’ll need

  • A couple of old plastic trays or tubs
  • Some mud, I used Angel Delight mixed with Shreddies, but you could use actual mud
  • Hard plastic toys, nothing with holes in
  • An old tooth brush
  • An old towel
  • Water proofs and wellies


  1. Put your mud in a tray
  2. Put some hot soapy water in a tub
  3. Get your animals all muddy
  4. Give them a good scrub clean
  5. Tuck them up to get warm and dry in the towel


Doing a Small World activity outside is much better. It doesn’t matter if we get really messy. It doesn’t matter if we’re not that in to it and want to inspect a woodlouse instead. We were really into it though, in fact we had hysterical laughter the whole way through. A bucket load of imagination was used and we connected together a lot of different skills like :

  • Rhyming. Scrub a dub dub in the tub
  • Onomatopoeia. Splish splosh
  • Caring and empathy skills. All of those animals were looked after beautifully during their cleaning process
  • Noticing, focusing and checking when we made sure all the mud was off

By taking the activity outside we also got to notice a couple of exciting things happening with the weather. The clouds were blowing over quickly and one was full of hail. Ice was falling out of the sky! We would have missed it completely if we been inside.


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