Kids invited to ‘play in clay’ at Pioneer Museum

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, August 25, 2011

Not often do kids get to play in the mud and be rewarded for it. But that’s exactly what will happen on Saturday when the Pioneer Museum of Alabama presents “Toe Jam!” from 11 a.m. until 1:30 pm.

Museum Director Rachael Greve said that “Toe Jam!” is an exciting new take on the old rustic method of hand-dyed clothing and traditional summer fruit canning.

Kids will dye t-shirts using Alabama red clay but the method will be a bit unconventional.

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The kids will shed their shoes and stomp around in the mud with t-shirts under foot.

“This squishy, squashy, footloose folk craft will be fun for the kids and then they’ll get to take their t-shirts home to wear for fun,” Greve said.

Most of the time, moms will spend cups of detergent and bottles of bleach trying to get Alabama red clay out of clothing. But not this time. These “Toe Jam!” t-shirts are designer shirts and every kid that doesn’t have one of these unique tees will want one.

The t-shirt “designers” are reminded not to wear anything of value or special meaning to “Toe Jam!” There will be a rinse off area but Alabama mud is a permanent dye.

The “Toe Jam!” fee for kids ages four to 14 is $10 and includes the t-shirt, a slice of ice-cold watermelon and entry in the watermelon-spitting contest.

The spitter with the longest range will be the “Toe Jam” Watermelon Spitting Champion and will be feature on the 2012 “Toe Jam!” poster. The winner will also receive a one-year, family-plus membership to the museum, a $50 value.

Greve said the family-plus membership allows the immediate family, plus four others, to attend activities and programs at the museum.

Museum admission allows parents to join the “Toe Jam!” fun with their children.

Not only will parents get to see how much fun playing in the mud can be, they will also be invited to sample Agnes Johnson’s watermelon rind pickles and preserves on a hot biscuit. They will also be served a heaping, helping of apple cobbler straight from the Dutch oven and made from scratch by the Dixie Dutch Cookers.

“Toe Jam!” promises to be a jam-up good time for all and it’s still not too late to get in on the fun. To register, call the Pioneer Museum of Alabama before 10 a.m. on Saturday.