When I think about summer, I think of the sudden increase is dirt and mud everywhere! Baths are a frequent necessity. Strawberry and Kitty love to dig, apparently only encouraged by their brother, who is on a new emphatic hunt for “rocks” hiding beneath our lawn and play set.

The only way to get by is to embrace it, I know! I knew the perfect picture book to go along with dirt: I’m a Dirty Dinosaur! by Janeen Brian and Ann James.
cover I'm a Dirty Dinosaur

One thing I love about I’m a Dirty Dinosaur is that as the dinosaur gets progressively dirtier, he spends time relishing in the mess: first his messy feet, then his messy hands, and then his messy tummy, and so forth. Strawberry loves to act out the simple rhythmic pages for each messy part of the Dino.


The most clever part of the simple art in this book is that the dirty brown that covers this adorable dinosaur in each picture is actually mud!  To extend the fun, we decided to make our own mud paintings.

201506mud painting3

To do our mud painting, we waited for a sunny day and took the fun outside! This was a good choice, because it was a lot less stressful to me (the mess adverse) to know that any stray mud would be in it’s natural environment.

First, we first drew our image with markers, just as the illustrator in the book did. Then, we collected some mud from the yard, watered it down, and painted over our images!

Here are our final paintings!

201506mud painting1

My older daughter drew a collection of shapes and letters on her page, but whatever she intended to draw has been obliterated by her enthusiasm for the mud painting portion of the activity!

I drew an image of myself, because it would be fun to get all dirty. I was the only one who used my fingers. (Can I tell you the truth, though? I hate to get messy and couldn’t wait to wash my hands!!)

My son was the most creative. Although he did not want to draw a dinosaur, he had a perfect set of friends in mind: a pig and his friend turtle! I love his careful end result.

201506mud painting2

Our mud paintings were done on card stock, but even this paper feels quite thin. We definitely needed a thicker canvas.

It takes time for the mud to dry on the page, and the pages still feel quite heavy. I did warn them that we were not going to keep the mud art for long hanging out around our house. Nevertheless, the creation process was a fun one, and as we reread I’m a Dirty Dinosaur now, my daughter loves to recall her own dirty painting too!

See other summer-themed Story Corner Blog posts at these blogs: Summer Exploration at Whatsoever is Lovely Living | How Flowers Grow at Kathy’s Cluttered Mind | Glow in the Dark Ocean Bottle at Sunny Day Family | Seashore-Inspired Crafts at Bombshell Bling | Pirate Ship Summer Adventure at Pinchea Place | Camping Journal at To the Moon and Back

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