I wrote recently about a whole new wild adventures section for Coombe Mill starting with our wildlife trail. I have been thrilled with the response this has generated here on the farm and the number of people enjoying the challenge each week. I mentioned in the post that it was just the start of a whole range of ideas along the wild adventures theme I hoped to introduce on the farm and that I wanted a at least one more up and running before the busy summer season took hold. I’m delighted to say that I have managed it and we now have a mud kitchen.
I identified an old log store next to one of our open air BBQ’s as the perfect location. It is rare that anyone uses the logs for the BBQ preferring the speed of briquettes and in recent years that log store had remained empty. I decided it was the perfect place with a roof and sides to protect from rain or sun to design an all weather mud kitchen so that children could create in their own space while adults cooked supper next door.
Farmer Nick rescued an old sink and drainer and old kitchen cupboard from storage and set this up in the centre of the log store for me. From here I added some old pots, pans and baking trays, a plastic tea set and some cooking utensils. I hate to see things go to waste just because they are no longer good enough for the holiday properties. Now everything has a second life! I even created some fun recipes just to inspire the children and make the area resemble a real kitchen.
I have to say when you install something and children need no explanation but just dive in and play then you can be sure you are onto a winner. This is exactly the response our lovely new area has generated. Before we had even finished the children had been in filling tea pots with river water and making mud pies. One parent said her boys had spent all afternoon playing in there and that it was their favourite place, it was only half done at this point! We have used the recipe cards to make fairy food in activity hour.
Every week when I tidy the kitchen ready for our new guests it is evident just how much fun has been had in there.
A mud kitchen needn’t be as elaborate as ours, but supplying an area with some old pots and pans to play with really does give so many development opportunities for young children at so little effort:
Educational benefits from a mud kitchen:
Teamwork and role play creating with others
Independent play from adults
A chance to copy actions seen in a home kitchen such as stirring, mixing, baking
Safe messy play
Develops an appreciation of nature
Encourages hands on nature exploration
Full sensory experience as children touch and mix the mud
If you are visiting us on holiday this summer I hope you will be in receipt of some delicious treats from your children’s efforts, and don’t forget if you have a spare corner in your garden this could be the perfect way to encourage learning through play.
I’m linking up to my new monthly linky #Trash2Treasure for all upcycling projects. Do pop over for more ideas to make from throw away items or nature.
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.