Mud kitchens are a great addition to any nursery, primary school, playgroup or garden. If you’re thinking about getting a mud kitchen you may have questions. Including ‘what age range are mud kitchens for?’.
Well, you’re in luck. Because we happen to be experts in mud kitchens and outdoor play equipment. In this blog, we’re going to outline the benefits of mud kitchens for children of various ages, including nursery and primary school children.
Why Are Mud Kitchens So Popular?
Mud is fun! And children of all ages love it! Mud play gives children a sense of freedom and engages all the sense whilst stimulating creative play. Once you give children the permission to get dirty, they won’t hesitate to make joyous memories playing in the fascinating yet simple combination of dirt and water.
Using kitchen utensils and natural materials, such as twigs, leaves and pebbles, children will spend hours letting their imagination run wild. Mud pie anyone?
The Benefits Of Mud Kitchens Children Of All Ages
Not only are they tons of fun, but mud kitchens also have a range of health and development benefits for children of all ages.
For example, mud kitchens encourage children to spend quality time outdoors. This is essential in a society where children are no longer reaping the benefits of the great outdoors.
A study carried out by the National Trust in 2018 found that children are spending just four hours per week playing outdoors – less than half the time their parents spent outdoors as children. I suppose we’ve got modern technology to thank for that eh?
There’s plenty of evidence suggesting that mud play can boost mental and physical health. Research has found that a soil microbe called Mycobacterium vaccae stimulates the brain to release the hormone serotonin, which is known to improve a person’s mood.
Similarly, other studies show that regular outdoor play can reduce childhood anxiety and stress. Being exposed to mud and other outdoor elements can also build a stronger immune system and reduce the risk of developing illnesses and allergies.
Nursery Children (Age 2-4)
Children who attend nursery or pre-school are aged between 2-4 years old. For children of this age, mud kitchens provide an opportunity to achieve key development milestones.
Mud kitchens improve communication and language skills in younger children by encouraging them to talk openly to others, describe what they’re doing and share their thoughts. This also improves socialising skills and enables children to make new friends.
Physical developments are also to be expected when children are playing with mud kitchens. For example, holding the various kitchen utensils supports the development of fine motor skills. Similarly, tasks such as mixing and stirring the mud improve hand-eye coordination.
Nursery children are still learning about the world they live in. Mud play and mud kitchens provide an opportunity for you to help them understand the world.
Aside from exploring the environment (including various plants and bugs), children can also experience the play through all their senses. Nursery teachers can encourage children to describe their senses, for example, “What does that feel like?”.
Primary School Children (Age 5-8)
Primary school children, particularly the younger children in Key Stage 1 will love playing in a mud kitchen. And don’t be surprised if the older children (even 9-11 year olds) find themselves enjoying mud play. It certainly doesn’t have an age limit!
For primary school children, mud kitchens provide an opportunity for Personal, Social and Emotional Development. The children will recognise the social aspect of being in a kitchen environment and will usually enjoy role play. Roleplay is a huge part of our childhood and effectively improves social and communication skills.
Mud kitchens are also great for outdoor learning. From mathematical activities (measuring out ingredients) to wacky science experiments; children can learn and have fun through messy play.
When it comes to creative play, mud kitchens are wonderful for sparking the imagination. Primary school children will be challenged to think creatively and use their imagination to ‘cook’ pies, cakes and other mud kitchen classics.
Get In Touch
If you are looking for a mud kitchen or other wooden playground equipment, we can help. At Discovering Days, we design, and manufacture quality outdoor playground equipment.
Our wide range of wooden playground equipment is made with love and care to ensure the utmost safety and durability. We also pride ourselves on meeting all playground equipment safety standards.
You can contact us here for more information or you can call us on 01282 416 755 to discuss any of our products.
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 worked with a range of schools in the past and understand the challenges that come with creating playground equipment for children of all abilities.