In Indiana, wet and muddy days happen no matter the season. Winter? Slushy and wet. Spring? Sunshine and rain. But this summer, you can embrace a little extra mud. Mud is a great chance to explore science. It can also be the main ingredient for pretend cooking, stirring and baking after a rainy day.
A mud kitchen in your outdoor play space may be just the thing your little learner needs for a great number of hands-on experiences! What does it take to create a mud kitchen? Mostly, it’s items that you already have at home, just moved outside. Old pots and pans, spoons, forks and rolling pins are the tools you need.
What happens when your child is playing in a mud kitchen?
1. Build word skills by talking about feelings and textures. Gooey, sloppy, wet and dry are great. They each help your child learn new ways to express ideas.
2. Science happens when children sort rocks and flowers, and explore the bugs they find. They can observe what happens when we add more water to the dirt. Then, you can ask them why they think the mud changes or why the water dries away. These are great moments for discovery!
3. Math is everywhere! Full, empty, more and less — all are ways to compare. “Do you want another slice of mud pizza?” And children can count as they cook mud dinners, share with their friends and wash dishes. “How many cups fill the pitcher?”
4. Pretend play grows friendship skills! Children work together to find new uses for the mud and make sense of their world.
Want to see an example of how a mud kitchen works? Watch this video and see how other kids are cooking with mud!
Share mud kitchens with your care provider, through the Partnerships in Early Learning version of this blog post for more ways to share with friends.