Maria Montessori advocated for children to have free access to the outdoors, with no separation between the indoor and outdoor classroom. This is something we can encourage at home.
Nature, in and of itself, is an incredible teacher and the space of the outdoors facilitates growth, energy and creativity but preparing an outside-activity for children to explore is also a great way to foster fun in the garden. With spring on its way, what better outdoor accessory than a mud kitchen? And you can build your own. Better yet; get your child to help you!
Here are some top tips:
- Find the ideal spot: perhaps near a flower bed or water source.
- Mud kitchens can be made from anything: take an old indoor kitchen outside and if you’re handy with DIY, wooden pallets/scrap wood are perfect for a basic kitchen structure (a couple of shelves and a back board).
- Cooking facilities – epic mud pies require a stove top, so remember to include that in your set-up.
- Kit your kitchen with: pots, pans, funnels, a grater, jug, strainer, sifter, mixing spoons, a whisk and ladle, measuring cups, mixing bowls etc.
- Storage: there must be some storage options for kitchen utensils. You could include hooks or nails to hang things, shelves or buckets and baskets are also good for storing bits.
- An outdoor picnic table and/or washing up spot are great additions to a mud kitchen area.
- Plastic is fine but not environmentally friendly so if you are able to slowly substitute kit with natural items, definitely do so.
Now, get ready for a mud pie extravaganza!