Mud kitchens are great fun for children of all ages. They allow children to explore the outdoors, experience many of natures materials and enjoy imaginative role play. Mud kitchens also encourage child development through scientific questioning and experiments.
There are many fun, scientific experiments and tasks that children can enjoy when using their mud kitchen.
What Is A Mud Kitchen?
A mud kitchen is an outdoor kitchen play area designed for children to play freely and imaginatively with mud, sand, water and other natural outdoor materials.
Kitchens are often the social hub of the home. So, it’s only natural that children enjoy playing and learning in their very own outdoor kitchen.
A mud kitchen is usually made from wood and features a number of kitchen utensils such as pots, pans, jars, wooden spoons and whisks etc.
Mud kitchens are a great addition to any school, nursery or family garden as they provide an array of learning opportunities for children of all ages.
The Benefits Of Mud Kitchens
Not only is playing in the mud a fun experience, but it’s also great for a child’s health. Dirt, mud, soil, whatever you like to call it, contains a bacterium, which stimulates the immune system and boosts the serotonin levels in the brain. This encourages the mind and body to relax.
Being exposed to the germs within mud will also strengthen a child’s immune system, allowing them to fight off allergies and sickness bugs.
Mud play allows children of different ages to learn at their own level. It will allow younger children to refine their sensory and imaginative skills whilst older children will improve their mathematical and scientific skills.
Playing within a mud kitchen can also improve a child’s communication, physical development and creativity.
As well as allowing children to develop, mud kitchens are tons of fun! Kids love to get their hands dirty and play openly and freely with no agenda. They also love role-play and take great joy from “cooking” (whisking, measuring and mixing ingredients together) in their kitchen.
Fun Experiments For Mud Kitchens
Getting a group of children to challenge themselves AND have fun couldn’t be easier with a mud kitchen. Setting out fun, scientific experiments and tasks is a great way to help children develop. Here are some of our favourite experiments:
Separating Earth’s Materials
A simple yet fun task that is sure to occupy children for a while. Get the children to collect different materials such as mud/sand, water and stones into separate jars. Once they have the materials ready, get them to mix the materials into one big container. They can use their hands and wooden spoons to do the mixing.
Then once the materials are all mixed together, encourage the children to use sieves and plastic containers with holes cut out of the bottom, to separate the materials back into their jars. Ensure that you’re discussing which sieves work best for which material and why. This works great with mud and stones. Or alternatively use sand, water and stones.
Make The Best Mud Pie
Kids have always enjoyed making mud pies! So, why not turn it into a scientific experiment. Set the challenge of “who can make the BEST mud pie”.
Explain that the mud pie must be decorated with materials of different textures i.e. soft, rough etc. Encourage the children to search the outdoor area for materials that could be used, such as flower petals, acorns, twigs and pebbles.
When the children have collected the various materials, encourage them to make a mud pie and decorate it with their chosen materials. Ask the kids to explain why they chose each item and to describe the texture.
Paint With Mud
This experiment is all about mixing mud and water to get the correct texture. Encourage the children to add a little bit of water to the mud, mix it together and test it out on paper with a paintbrush. They may have to do this repeatedly until they have a paint-like texture.
Once they have the best mud-paint, you can add orange, green and yellow food colouring and encourage the kids to paint outdoors inspired pictures such as trees and flowers. The kids can even use leaf’s, flower petals and twigs to decorate their masterpiece (a touch of glue may be needed for this part)!
Measuring The Ingredients
This one is quite simple but is a great way to teach children about measurements. Simply label empty containers with measurements i.e. 130g of stones or 200ml of water. Then, teach the children how to use the weighing scales to measure out each amount until all of the containers are full.
For older children who are more familiar with measurement, this could make a great team-building game where the first pair or group of children to fill the containers with the correct measurement wins.
If you’d like to create a play area that encourages children’s development, allows kids to play freely and is great for health and wellbeing, you can’t go wrong with a mud kitchen from Discovering Days. You can contact us here for more information or you can call us on 01282 416 755 to discuss any of our bespoke or ‘off the shelf’ wooden playground equipment for schools and nurseries alike.
Our staff are all fully trained in the design and manufacture of wooden play equipment for children and are experts in understanding what works best in the space you have.
We have products suitable for Early Learning, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, so why not contact us TODAY to have a chat about our wonderful wooden mud kitchens for schools and nurseries.