104 Days of Summer Vacation: Dirt

We all get a little dirty when we play in the dirt or with the dirt.  Hopefully, we don’t eat the dirt.  When I was little I used to make mud cakes and pies.  I remember this was a lot of fun and a whole lot of dirty.  Here are some things to do with dirt, mud, or clay.

1. Make a Dorodango

A Dorodango is simply put as a polished mud ball. Making a dorodango is harder than you think if you are trying to make a perfect sphere with dirt.  Different dirt will give you different results.  If you would like to see a collection click here.  There are a couple of steps involved in the process of creating a dorodango; one of them is a lot of time.

Here are the directions from www.dorodango.com.

  • Step 1: Create the Mud
  • Step 2: Create the Core:
  • Step 3: Create Preliminary Capsule
  • Step 4: Draw the Moisture Out
  • Step 5: Create Final Capsule Layer
  • Step 6: Polishing

I have also included a video on how to make a dorodango.  This video is a video on how to make a dorodango but it’s short (5 minutes) and is packed with easy instructions.  You will never look at mud the same way again.

Two Mud Pies

2. Make A Mud Pie

This one is very easy and messy.

  1. Take dirt
  2. Add a rainy day
  3. Play in the dirt and water after the rain is cleared up
  4. Form mud into a pie

3. Make a Pinch Pot

Making a pinch pot is not that hard to do, unless you are making a video about making a pinch pot.  I find playing with clay a whole lot of fun.  I lack a kiln so I use air dry clay with my daughters.  The clay has its own problems; like you could never actually eat or drink with something you made and it’s delicate.  I have done several art projects with air dry clay and sometimes we need to do surgery (glue things back together) if something falls apart. The benefit is that it is relatively cheap to purchase and gives students a chance to experience clay without firing.  You can also paint it afterwards.

Steps for making a pinch pot

  • Step 1: Take a small ball of clay
  • Step 2: Take the clay and make a ball.  I like to make the motion like a chew chew train.
  • Step 3: Take your thumb and put it in the middle of the ball
  • Step 4: While pushing your thumb out take your other four fingers and push in (like your pinching)
  • Step 5: Set aside and let dry
  • Step 6: Paint your pot

I have included how not to make a pinch pot video so you can see how not to make one.

4. Paint with Dirt

Ever see a car that has dirt on it with somebody’s scribble of “wash me” on it. Well, Scott Wade takes it to a whole new level.  Again, I saw this on the History channel. Scott Wade paints with Dirt, well more or less removes dirt and revels his art.  He has a gallery of different images that can be found at http://www.dirtycarart.com/ I can’t wait until my car is full of dirt to create my own art.  What a cool idea.  I have included his official video.  This is something to watch.  It is almost four minutes long.

5. Put A Polish On Your Clay

Painting the hand

Well, for those of us who don’t have a kiln there is an easy fix to this.  Go to a glaze bar or studio.  This is a bit pricey, depending on what you pick.  I wanted to keep my daughter’s hand prints on something a bit more permanent.  So each of them had a pre-fired tile; we painted each of their hands and squished it on the tile.  I then added their name and year on each of their tiles.  This was a lot of fun and the ladies were so nice there.  In about two weeks I will go and pick up their tiles.



6. Dig For Worms in the Dirt

This one is my personal favorite uses for dirt.  When you go fishing you need some sort of bait.  Well, there are a couple of ways to go about this.  One, go to the store and buy a bunch of worms.  Or, go digging for worms.  I like the digging for worms because it’s free.  Usually, I find them under leaves, or when I am gardening.  There is also the worm day in the spring.  This is the day when you can smell them.  It usually happens after the thaw and the first rain.  All the worms come out of the ground and they are all over the place.  I try to save as many as I can and put them back on top of the grass, but alas not all of them make it.  Then you have their dried worm corpses all over the place.  I digress, once you have enough worms, go fishing.  See my blog about what to do with fish.

7. Muddy Up A Baseball

Mud is part of America’s favorite past time sport.  I kid you not.  I didn’t even know about this until I saw this on the History Channel.  I started to dig up the dirt on dirt .I couldn’t believe that baseball players purposely put mud on the ball.  Who would do that?  Well, I found this story about the secret mud that is on baseballs.  I found this video from CNN.  Click here for the link or go here if it doesn’t work http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/10/28/baseball.mud/index.html?iref=24hours

Go out and find some dirt to play in!

-Mrs. Berry


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn
    Jul 05, 2011 @ 16:24:54

    Mrs Berry
    Its okay you have been in my Google Reader since the beginning of the year so I didn’t lose you! Great art. Are you on Twitter?


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