Appalachia children Games

Making Mud Pies


One of my favorite things to play when I was a girl was mud pies. I found mixing dirt and water together with a stick or my hands very satisfying. Once I had the mud made I could produce all manner of creations by using leaves, flowers, grass, and mushrooms as decorations.


I taught Chatter and Chitter to be expert mud pie makers at an early age. I’m telling you they could come up with some real fancy things for The Deer Hunter and me to pretend to eat.

Someone got them a little kitchen for Christmas one time. Not sure if it was Papaw Tony or Miss Cindy. Anyway, when they got tired of playing with it inside and were actually really to tall to play with it, we moved it to the backyard and it became an a number one mud pie making station.


They used old butter containers, dishes, and silverware that Granny and I donated to to their enterprise. I’d fill up a 5-gallon bucket with water and let them go at it. They’d play out there for hours and make a huge mess. Once the day was done we piled all the stuff into the empty bucket and shut down the kitchen till the following day when they’d do it all over again. They were especially happy on the days their cousin came and spent the day in the mud with them.


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  • Reply
    August 19, 2018 at 6:33 pm

    Mud pies and tea parties! I can still remember the odds and ends of discards – a tin plate, a plastic cup, an old metal breadbox (that was a treasure! wish I had one just like it now), and an old metal teakettle. Day after day after day. Imagination was the most important element 🙂

    • Reply
      Kim Emery
      September 10, 2019 at 5:17 pm

      Mud pies and necklaces and bracelets made fron clover…. blissful days of childhood ❤️

  • Reply
    Mary Lou McKillip
    August 19, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    I used to make mud pies or ginger bread boys as I called them I went into miss Julie’s kitchen muddy hands and all found some real ginger bread boys I left one of mine in place of the real one. Sneakie huh Mary Lou McKillip

  • Reply
    August 16, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    Love making mud pies as a kid. Liked feeling it wet threw my fingers. Making all kinds of things. My husband said as a kid , he and his sister was making them and he had her to eat one. Yuck!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    I used to use old frozen pot pie pans and make sand pies in our sand box. We had an old spoon and my brother used it to try to dig to China. We had more fun in our sandbox.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 16, 2018 at 11:33 am

    We never made any mud pies, but after a rain we’d make the creek wider, digging in those clay banks.
    Daddy made us quit when he saw it tho, said we’d reach China pretty soon. It was fun getting in there and getting your hands dirty. Our creek ran pretty close to our house then and was easy for our chickens to get a drink of Mountain Water to wash down junebugs or any other insects. …Ken

  • Reply
    Pamela Danner
    August 16, 2018 at 10:43 am

    I had great fun making mud pies when I was a child, decorating them with pretty flowers, leaves and pebbles. We also would catch tiny little toads and have a toad circus coaxing them to jump over sticks and letting them swim in shallow pans of water. Dress up was so much fun, and a little friend and I dressed up in the middle of summer and went trick-or-treating in on our street. Everyone thought we were so cute and played along and gave us treats. Huge tree forts were lots of fun and whimsical. It was like you were in a fairy Forrest. Of course riding bikes or going on long walks were always fun. I feel sorry for kids today, they have there noses stuck in video games and cell phones.

  • Reply
    harry adams
    August 16, 2018 at 10:30 am

    This goes with yesterday’s discussion on childhood activities. I played in mud, dirt and sand. Sand was a luxury as we only had it if there was some kind of construction requiring cement. My brother actually gave his young son a dump truck load of sand for Christmas one year when my nephew was about 6 or 7. A happy youngster that Christmas with all of his Tonka trucks and his sand mountain.

    It wasn’t as much where you lived in the fifties, but the time. There weren’t many other distractions as 500 channel tv, internet or video games. There wasn’t any money even if those things were available. It made our generation more creative with our hands and mind. The previous generation dealt with the depression and war.

    Did you have society class distinction then? We were defined as country and city.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    August 16, 2018 at 10:29 am

    Loved your story of the girls and mud pies…We made mud batter and mud cakes n’ cookies…Later when I had outgrown my playhouse my Dad built and friends had moved as we did my ideas changed about mud…I went to the clay bank and made mud clay…I love to make things out of that clay…Vases, cubes, rope baskets etc. I would let them dry and paint over the red clay with tempera paints..They didn’t last long of course. Since I couldn’t fire them in a kiln. All this fun led to me loving to work clay later in life. I have fired small pieces in my miniature kiln…sometimes it worked sometimes it didn’t…A lot of clay artists today make their own clay mixtures for their pots and wares..
    Love this post today..
    Time for all the Fall flowers that I used a lot of in my clay impressions are beginning to bloom…
    Thanks Tipper for all the memories…

  • Reply
    aw griff
    August 16, 2018 at 10:08 am

    I have a brother that is only a year and half younger than me and we made mud balls and baked them on a piece of tin in the sun, then we busted them on the corn crib.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 16, 2018 at 9:56 am

    The best use for mud I ever found was for damming up the creek. Rocks and sand leaked too much so you couldn’t keep the pond full. Some good old slick thick red clay mud packed up against the dam made it practically waterproof. And it could withstand a pretty good rainstorm. If you left a weak place to wash out the rest of the dam would remain intact. Like plugging the bathtub, plug the hole and in a few minutes your ready to get wet.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2018 at 9:32 am

    We played outside and were exposed to all the ‘germs’. That helped us build a tolerance or immunity to them. That made us healthier than kids today are. Almost every family I know has one or two kids with allergies. We never heard of that when I was a kid.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2018 at 9:20 am

    My sisters and I didn’t have many store bought toys, so we learned to be creative with mud, rocks, wildflowers and leaves. Our version of mud-made fudge candy with nuts and chocolate pie with it’s perfect pie crust made of wood could have won an award on looks alone.

  • Reply
    August 16, 2018 at 9:03 am

    I loved making mud pies and cakes and other “delectables”. I don’t recall mixing the mud to do it; always did it when Dad was irrigating the orchard that surrounded out house – there was plenty of mud available then! I’d decorate them with chinaberries, queen anne’s lace, fallen citrus or blossoms as the season provided, anything I could find in the surrounding orchards and fields. Grandma taught me to “clean as you go” when working in the kitchen (or on any project) so making a mess when making mud pies and meals was not an option. That was saved for the times I’d jump into the irrigation water and sink a foot or so into the mud!!!

  • Reply
    August 16, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Do children ever make mud pies anymore? I am afraid it may be a lost art. We made them for hours, and always had fish with them which was milkweed pods. We went so far as to con my baby sister into trying one of the delicacies. It was fairly easy since she was always eating coal or something she should not be eating.
    We also would make baskets by sticking together some little round brier pods–the name escapes me. Now We could then fill out baskets with wildflowers. I would be not be able to accomplish this without getting briers in my hands.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 16, 2018 at 8:26 am

    I do not recall making mud pies but I remember making clay marbles. My brother and I baked them on top of the coal stove. Once when we had a batch baking and we were playing on the floor there was a sudden bang and clay bits went everywhere. One of our marbles had exploded.

    Our clay marbles were never very good because we didn’t get them round. They wobbled so their path was not predictable.

    The talk of mud though makes me think of doing a dirt shirt. I know they can be found online but I just kinda want to make one. I actually need some to wear in the garden and I have enough clay to make one. Not sure my wife would like it in the wash ……

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    August 16, 2018 at 8:24 am

    Mud pies were my favorite thing, too, Tipper! The highlight of my mud pie making years was the time I snuck an egg from the henhouse to mix with the mud and water. I thought that made REAL pies. Mama never knew about it, and I never did that again, but I still feel a tiny bit guilty for wasting a perfectly good egg.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    August 16, 2018 at 7:29 am

    I never did make mudpies but we had a very large sandbox. Lots of very creative things were made in that box.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 16, 2018 at 7:06 am

    I loved mud as a kid especially at the creek. I loved the creek and the mud once I actually found a clay vein at the creek. That wet clay was especially good to mold into anything I could imagine. I made clown faces on a small board and left them to dry in the sun. When I went back to check on them and see if they were dry someone had broken them up. I figured it was some other kid.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    August 16, 2018 at 6:07 am

    What fun! I don’t recall ever mak8ng mud pies, but it was a favorite thing to get out in the mud after a big rain. My daughter znd zi played with dough in sn actual kitched, she loved her little version of all my cookware and cooked at her little counter right beside me

  • Reply
    August 16, 2018 at 5:45 am

    No childhood is complete until you’ve played in the mud, we used to have these huge mud puddles on the side of the road after a big rain, where we lived and we’d play in them wading and pretending we were fishing, make mud pies, soup bowls, you name it we tried to make it out of mud, some folks pay a lot of money to go get mud smeared all over them, and we’d use to get it for free.

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