Children in the Eurobodalla are being encouraged to satisfy their natural curiosity for sloshing around in the mud through a community project at Moruya Public School.
Inspired by a 2012 initiative which resulted in the building of a mud brick cubby house at the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Garden, the project aims to build not only a structure, but a solid sense of community.
Driving the project are Moruya Public School’s P and C, Uniting’s Ability Links and Mud Fun Australia.
A musical mud stomp held at Moruya Markets last month kick-started the project, with the mud bricks produced to be used in the building of the structure.
Artistic director David Mitsak, of Mud Fun, said the Moruya cubby was a creative way to involve children of all abilities in a community project.
“Initially, the real goal was to work with children who had disabilities and make them feel inclusive, so it was all geared around that,” Mr Mitsak said.
“When we notice kids have special needs, we separate them to address those special needs, but then we don’t want to keep separating them and there’s times when we want to bring everyone back together.
“So far (the project) has achieved that goal, but we want to keep going with it.”
He said the project blurred the often rigid boundaries between art and construction.
With options to build anything from a small mud model, to an outdoor pizza oven and beyond, Mr Mitsak said more ambitious plans were made to construct an earthen masonry cubby house for students.
Moruya Public School principal, Peter Johnson, said the cubby house would give students an additional space for constructive play at the school.
The real goal was to work with children who had disabilities and make them feel inclusive.- David Mitsak
“Schools have all the modern play equipment but this is a backyard cubby that’s a bit more traditionally attractive to kids because we made it and it’s made out of materials sourced locally,” Mr Johnson said.
He said the project had an added educational layer and would involve students from the early design stage through to completion.
“It’s quite innovative and for the kids it develops their natural inquisitive nature about using local materials while developing those skills for constructing and building,” he said.
The play space is expected to be completed in early 2018 and will include an obstacle course and musical equipment.
Further mud stomps will be held at the school over the coming months.
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