Our Mud Kitchen is honestly the best and most used kids play thing in our house, no toy compares. If you're considering making a mud kitchen for your children or a preschool, don't feel as if it will be limited to Mud only and messy play, there are so many ways to play in an "Outdoor Kitchen".
Sometimes Dimples asks to go play in the Mud Kitchen but I don't feel like cleaning up muddy clothes so instead of allowing him to get really messy I give him some containers filled with coloured water (tap water and a drop of food colouring) & we go on a hunt for natural cooking ingredients.
This is just as fun as making mud pies but without the mess. Miss Cherub enjoys tinkering in the coloured water just as much as Dimples enjoys making rose tea and Sweet gum nut soup.
In the past we have done some pretty messy Mud play in this Outdoor Kitchen; A Mud Rally Box full of cars and diggers, Process Painting with Mud & Making a Mud Brick House. If you missed it I have also done a Post on Eight Benefits of Playing in the Mud, however the coloured water was a nice change.
Before making some colourful concoctions, Dimples and I fill up his orange buckets from the Renovated Mud Kitchen with Natural ingredients. Gumnuts, flowers, seeds, twigs, flower buds, and little bits and pieces found in the yard in preparation for his cooking session. Then he creates some beautiful concoctions, mixing together the colours and 'cooking' them, or boiling the water first then adding natural ingredients to stir through.
This type of play is so fresh and calming, Dimples and Miss Cherub could do this for hours. Actually, come to think of it they play happily together for a long time which doesn't occur to this extent in any other play space. There is something very tranquil about enjoying the sunlight coming through the trees on to the outdoor mud kitchen while the two kiddies play silently together with beautiful flowers and colourful water. They look so at peace in the world; nothing else matters.
Dimples & Miss Cherub explore the outdoor environment, search for natural ingredients, experiment with mixing colours, use great imaginations to create and cook up a serve, they role play as they cook and serve me fabulous looking dishes, they are also getting the social advantages of turn taking, sharing, cooperating and playing together. They are also getting hands on experience as they stir, pour, sift, transfer, mix, lift, empty and measure out the water and ingredients.
Benefits of being outdoors
Gross Motor - They're always moving as they lift, pour, mix, transfer, measure, stir etc.
Role Playing real life
Social Skills - cooperation, sharing, turn taking, collaborating, working together & helping one another.
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