The Muddy Puddle Teacher Tribe
What is The Muddy Puddle Teacher?
The Muddy Puddle Teacher Approach was an approach created by myself, Sarah Seaman BSc PGCE MA. In a nutshell, we are an outdoor learning approach that uses natural materials to teach from EYFS-KS2.
At the heart of all we do we follow our three Muddy M’s:
- Mother Nature
- Mental Health
- More Kids Moving
So where does our story begin?
In 2018 I left her indoor classroom teacher post for a whole country teacher post. I had been a classroom teacher for almost 11 years, and I had worn various hats, as is required as you move up the pay scale these days. But one hat I did wear with pride was my outdoor learning crown. Better known at the Infant School I was at the time the ‘outdoor princess’. I have always had a strong connection with animals and nature from being small. I particularly loved horses and coming from a working class family at the time with little money to spare, I spent most of my childhood volunteering and mucking out stables to get that free ride that made my week. Going outside was my haven, not knowingly then I was dyslexic and being indoors and school, in general, are not great memories for me. Outside I could express myself, felt free and creative plus I could spend time in nature. Knowing that working alongside children I saw progressed, engaged and overall showed more positive behaviours when outside, I knew I had to work on this.
So that is exactly what I did. In 2018 I left the classroom and in Mosborough, Sheffield with the support of the council I set up an outdoor classroom and I taught all of the curricula outside. I made experimented, made mistakes, I learned I made mistakes again and I improved. After gaining an alarming 30,000 followers on a small Facebook group I created, in 3 months, I realised how much this was needed. I started to notice that actually what I had created with all this time outside was an easy-to-use outdoor learning approach that worked for educators like me but also tackled many educational issues such as obesity, mental health, speech and language and supporting children with SEND. I launched The Muddy Puddle Teacher Approach in 2019 and the rest is history.
How can you join the MPT Tribe?
We have a website www.themuuddypuddleteacher.co.uk and on the site, we provide accredited CPD online training on Outdoor Learning and other areas our approach touches upon. Such as sustainability, biodiversity and Zer Waste Teaching but also areas such as Muddy Phonics, Muddy Maths and more. We also have over 600+ resources including worksheets, lesson plans and schemes of work. We just provide everything that is lovely in the world, save you time finding it and package it up sustainably. We have two options in how you achieve this online or we can come to you.
So far we have 16K live subscribers on our site and in just two years we have trained over 70 schools who now are branding The Muddy Puddle Teacher Crest with muddy honour.
I also have my first book out with Bloomsbury: The Muddy Puddle Teacher: The playful way to teach an outdoor curriculum
Where can I get free help and support?
We are devoted and passionate that this is an approach and that people gladly can follow us on our social media channels take our free ideas and get free resources from our site. If you want our training it’s there but sometimes the time isn’t right but when it is we are there for you and will help you in any way which until then. Because the time will come! You can also even try a FREE mini-muddy boot camp.
Here are some free ideas to help you get the early years out this summer.
Whenever I am planning for learning outdoors I instantly look for the weather. Not to look for rain and plan to stay in but to focus on what gifts those types of weather bring and how I have to tailor my lesson towards this. In summer typically we get sun, warm weather and rain. So here are some of my best tips:
- It is important for children to learn about shade and that we need shade so get those cardboard boxes out and decorate them with falling bits of nature by glueing them on. Talk about the word camouflage and how animals build habitats like this and also need shade. Move to make the smaller scale and shaded habits as for smaller animals. How will they do this?
- Sun also brings shadows, children love to get the chalk out and draw around shadows of objects and themselves. Why not make some shadow characters, by drawing around a friend’s shadow and giving them features. From this then create a class story by adding these characters, giving them names and allowing each child to create the next part of the story and so on.
- Rain is a great opportunity to help children learn and talk bout the water cycle. Understanding that the rain comes from the clouds into a puddle and back up into the sky. It is also a great opportunity to link in capacity, all grab some containers and catch the drops, the children love it! Then add them all into one pot and record the volume. Do this each day when it rains and compare.