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Some of you may already be aware that we have set up a Mud Kitchen at Playgroup. Here is some information to tell you exactly what it involves, the reasons for doing this, the benefits for the children and what you should expect!
What is a Mud Kitchen? ‘There is little more important in our physical world than earth and water and they are truly intriguing things, especially when they interact. Mixing soil, water and a range of other natural materials has a foundational role in early childhood which has deep importance and endless possibilities for well-being, development and learning. The breadth and depth of what these experiences offer young children is truly remarkable.’*
Mud kitchens provide something quite different to a soil digging patch, whilst also being much more easily managed. A mud kitchen includes elements of the much-loved domestic corner and cooking from indoor play, which are then hugely enriched through the special nature of being outside. We are planning that the mud kitchen will become a core element of our continuous provision outside.
To allow the children the freedom to play, explore and learn to their full extent in the mud kitchen it is really important that children are encouraged to feel the textures of the materials with their fingers, transfer liquids from one container to another to, splash, slop, stir and whizz. To create sticky mud and explore its adaptations.
This means the children will often become dirty. The children will be wearing either ‘playgroup puddle suits’ in colder, wet weather or adult-sized polo shirts, to protect their clothing. However, it will still be necessary for every child to have a change of clothing with them each day. If a child’s clothes become a little dirty and it dries out we will not be changing them, the spare clothes are for extreme wet situations. If you require your child to be clean when leaving playgroup, please bring further spare clothes with your child. Of course, the children will be washing their hands with warm soapy water once they have finished in the Mud Kitchen. It would be very helpful if you could ensure your child’s nails are kept short.
If you would like more information about Mud Kitchens please look at the muddyfaces website Making a Mud Kitchen page http://www.muddyfaces.co.uk/mud_kitchens.php
Thank you very much from the ‘Mud kitchen team’ at Playgroup!
p.s. if you would like to be involved more please just speak to a member of staff and we can discuss ways that you can help out developing our mud kitchen.