Year 2 spent an afternoon developing the skills of 'Master Mud-hut Makers', inspired by the traditional method of the Masai Mara, as part of our African Adventure Project.
In true Masai style, the children first collected materials by searching the fields for suitably sized sticks and, of course, collecting the water needed in buckets. Although they didn’t have far to go, the children quickly realised it can be quite tricky to carry a heavy bucket over uneven ground! Next, they selected and prepared suitable sticks to stake in the ground in a circle. As the ground was very hard, the sticks had to be carefully whittled into a point using vegetable peelers – which was lots of fun. Mrs Hunter demonstrated how to do this safely, with the children making sure they sat in the right position and were always 3 spaces away from each other. It was lots of fun and everybody is keen to now build on these skills to make useful equipment during Forest Fun.
Year 2 then had to weave thinner sticks around their framework in a waffle style – which was quite tricky to do – picking the right kind of sticks can make a real difference to the success here.
Once the walls were complete, it was time for the really fun stuff … making MUD!!! In Kenya, they would use a mixture of mud, cow dung and ash but Year 2 decided that might be a little too smelly for them! So, using a combination of compost, soil, dried grass and wet clay, they carefully added the water collected earlier and mixed it with a spade until it was the right consistency. Then in went everyone's hands to squeeze the slimy mixture together and pat it against the wooden framework to achieve a good covering. Getting muddy was an inevitable consequence but this was definitely the most fun part of the whole afternoon!
“My favourite bit was when we got our hands in the muddy, sticky bits!” – Oscar C
Time was soon running out, making everyone realise just how long it would take to build an actual house. Everyone was very proud of all they achieved together!