Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Great Mudbrick Weekend



The weekend was two sleeps ago but it’s taken me this long to defrost. Wallowing in Daylesford mud, in the middle of autumn, is guaranteed to turn every extremity blue. Nonetheless, stupendous fun was had – and all in the name of Education.

The Middle Kid’s class is studying ‘dwellings’ as their main lesson. Their current homework project is to construct a hut/teepee/yurt/cave/ger/whatever-the-imagination-dictates. With great foresight, the teacher has emphasised this a Kid Homework Project. Parents wishing to get involved in the fun, should Jolly Well Make Their Own. But we ALL got to join in with the mudbrick making...



Here we are, getting straight down to the nitty, gritty, business of things – the preparatory mud wallowing:



These are the mudbrick moulds:



And releasing the mudbrick from the mould:



Here is some good, old-fashioned teamwork:



And some sheer, unadulterated MUSCLE:



Once the mudbricks are dry they will be transported to school and we’ll all get together to build some sort of...um...structure.



(Can you tell we haven’t thought that far yet?)

After the mudbricking, it was straight down to the nittier, grittier, business of things...



The mudslide.



This is one of the impressive, flying mud splats:



And that is a Washing(?) Basin in the foreground:



Amazingly, throwing fifteen or so kids and one crazy adult into an outdoor, wood-heated bath, in frosty temperatures, was a streamlined process.



(can you imagine how glorious, to soak under the stars?)

After the mudsliding, it was straight down to the nittiest, grittiest, business of things:

The huddling around the campfire, the heady waft of simmering gluhwein in the air, the sharing of food – and the sort of conversation that is never spoken, in the bustle of the normal school pick-up routine. While we adults were distracted with all that, most of the kids rushed into the bush, morphing into country-kid, Wild Things. Look what they made...





There were four huts in all. Painstakingly decorated with moss-carpeted interiors and a path swept between them. To my shame, I don’t have better pics. I’m blaming the gluhwein and the warm of that campfire.



I’m really proud of that weekend, (now I’ve defrosted). This was not an ‘official’ weekend away, organised by the school. This was a ‘thing’ that happened, because one family owned a stunning block of land in Daylesford and were unfailingly generous hosts, who stoked fires and handed out blankets and dug mud pits. It also happened, because one teacher was mightily enthusiastic about a curriculum (and mud wallowing in general). It also happened, because the class families, (I think there were fifty or so bodies, in all), pulled on their gumboots and hauled their camping gear for an overnight stay, or daytripped their way into the country. All of us, together, made a whole lot of fun stuff happen.

BLOOMIN’ MARVELLOUS.



.........................

PS. Coming soon: actual, completed, CRAFT!
PPS: I know. Hold on to your hat.

41 comments:

Kirsty said...

Sensational stuff mate. That's the kind of weekend they'll remember FOREVER. xx

Kitty said...

Absolutely awesome!

Michelle said...

How fantastic. A community becomes a school becomes a community.

Cinnamon said...

That is amazing! The community formed, if even just for that weekend...
I love the stick huts made by kids on their own. And seriously, how do I get into that heated bath?

Cinnamon said...

That is amazing! The community formed, if even just for that weekend...
I love the stick huts made by kids on their own. And seriously, how do I get into that heated bath?

trudi@maudeandme said...

Education at its best!

Kate said...

The best!

Sue said...

I wish you'd adopt me!

Catherine said...

Wow what a great experience for everyone, one that everyone will remember for a long time. Sounds like you have some great friends and one fantastic teacher there too.

mel @ loved handmade said...

This all looks & sounds SO BRILLIANT!! So much fun had there, lucky ducks, what a wonderful experience..x

Jackie @ Fred-and-Cissy said...

Fantastic! My friends and I had a great time in 'the mud pit' at an annual youth group activity when we were growing up. Yours will have the 'structure' as a reminder as well, and that is even better. Cheers to all the adults for facilitating a weekend the kids'll never forget!

ellie said...

This is amazing. I'm going to chat with new class teacher about possibilities today. I love this. WOW - those kids are lucky, but then, all schools/kids should get to do this.
I can't wait to see what you build.
A pizza oven at the school would be super cool...... just thinkn' aloud here.
LOVE

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

How awesome is that!! Definitely a weekend to remember!!

Suse said...

How blessed are we that our kids go to Steiner schools?

Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY, xx

Mrs Smith said...

Brilliant! I want to play that game. Absolutely brilliant.

flowerpress said...

First off Happy Birthday (thanks Suse) and second 'how good is that!!!!!'
Love the bush explore and round the campfire chat, we had a bit of that in the holidays and it is balm for the soul.
And I think that they have done their homework already, just look at those huts!!

teddybearswednesday said...

TOO RIGHT!!! And looks like soooooooo much fun!!!
xo

Kylie said...

Wow! It looks amazing!! I never thought I could feel so EXCITED and so HORRIFIED at the same time! :)) Honestly, you guys do the most amazing things. Kx

Thimbleanna said...

Ok, now, that looks like hysterical fun! And Ha! It was your birthday! I hope it was a good one!!!

shadygrey said...

Mud, glorious mud, there's nothing quite like it for cooling the blood... I can't be only one with the Hippopotamus song stuck in their head now.

The Librarians said...

That looks like so much fine. What an experience, and what a memory to have.

BOB & MABEL said...

Bloody amazing! I love that everyone got in, worked together and had FUN.

rex said...

oh wow! this looks amazing. just beautiful to see kids out in the bush. so wish we lived near a steiner school. Nothing in the grampians region!

Amanda Tipton said...

This is just amazing...These are the kinds of things I need to do with my gang...Love it!!

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

looks so great! Just what you needed methinks, some school bonding, your photos are brilliant!

Nikki said...

Magic memories for everyone, forever... and perhaps a spiffy new mudbrick guinea-pig hutch for the school...?

Flaming Nora said...

wow! that is fantastic. I am really rather jealous. Wish we had had as much fun when I was that age.

Megsie said...

far out that's all kinds of awesome! love the feel of mud between the toes but yet to go flying into a mud splat. think i need to ammend for that

Sarah said...

These are the class lessons that will be in memories and they will LEARN stuff from...

Wish we were there - looked like great (even cool[ish]) fun!

A Peppermint Penguin said...

Amazing. Fantastic. Wonderful.

and I'm reeaaallllyyyy glad I wasn't there.

:D

Happy Birthday! (yes, I know I'm late, I didn't forget though!)

humble habit said...

What an amazing hands on experience. Wish my kids get to do that some time, just brilliant.

Fer said...

Oh wow! I wish we had a school like yours over here..... :/

Sally said...

It just looks so messy!!! I used to be the type of person who would absolutely love this... but now *boo hoo* all I can think of is the washing. I need to get out more!!!
Love you pics... even the fuzzy one at the end.

june at noon said...

Wow, what a fantastic experience! The closest I've come to that sort of fun is cleaning swimming pool covers stretched out on a huge hill. Big brooms and lots of suds = clean covers and a lot of slippage down the hill. But mud is probably a little more fun. ;)

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I'm jealous ! The most fun we ever had at school was on Friday afternoons . We'd knit dishcloths while Sister Winifred read us "The Lives of The Saints " .

Felicity said...

Now that's learning!

Tas said...

Oh. Wow. No such mud wallowing happening at our school as far as I am aware. Very disappointing!

craftschmaft.com said...

Marvellous, stupendous (that word should really be used more) and utterly inspiring in the world of mama-hood.

Lola Nova said...

Oh good gravy, wish I'd been there!

Tricia said...

Wonderful!!! I bet that weekend left many treasured childhood memories.

Hayley Egan said...

This.is.awesome.