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Muddy Faces

Mud Kitchen Book - Background

Introduction to the Making a Mud Kitchen book

Outdoor Play



Jan White, a specialist in early childhood outdoor provision from birth to five, has been working in collaboration with Liz Knowles from Muddy Faces. Together they have set up an initiative which aims to deepen the understanding, importance, value and range of experiences from mud play as continuous provision and to support practitioners to achieve this.

What you'll need

  • mud
  • children
  • kitchen bits & bobs

This activity has been provided by

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    Item available from our shop

    Environmental Considerations

    Consider the environmental impact of preparing, carrying out & completing this activity. Could this impact be reduced? Specific considerations for this activity could include:

    Health & Safety Considerations

    Follow your usual operating procedures and carry out appropriate risk benefit assessments.
    Some considerations particular to this activity include:

    This initiative has three strands:

    1. Developing information and literature:

    Jan white is the author of this book and other fantastic resources available on her website A PDF version of this book and links to other publications, organisations and individuals promoting the benefits of mud are available on

    2. Developing a range of resources:

    Jan White has designed a Mud Kitchen range where each set is a collection of beautiful items that wonderfully support young children’s natural desires to explore and discover, imagine and create, relate and interact. Each collection has been carefully selected starting from what we know young children want to do and with strong regard for how children’s play and learning is best supported during the early years. To find these collections and many more inspirational and open ended resources visit the Muddy Faces online shop.

    3. International Mud Day:

    Supporting the World Forum Foundation’s Nature Action Collaborative for Children annual International Mud Day. Which aims to bring together children and early childhood professionals all over the world celebrating nature, outdoors, and mess by getting really muddy. To find out what’s happening in the UK go to, for an international perspective go to


    This book is dedicated to all the children who have shown us the deep pleasures of mud play, and to all those practitioners who push the boundaries to enable young children access to the outdoors in an elemental and meaningful way.

    Thanks to contributors:

    Many thanks to the children, adults and settings who have so generously shared images of their own mud kitchens at work: Carol Duffy – Early Childhood Ireland , Jan White, Jane Wratten & Slinn St STARters, Liz Magraw, Ruth Sharpe & Hind Leys Preschool, Liz Knowles – Muddy Faces, Menna Godfrey & Quackers Preschool Playgroup, Suzanne Scott, Ann Thompson & Sandfield Natural Play Centre, Vanessa Lloyd & Christchurch County Primary School.


    Text copyright © Jan White
    Photographs copyright: cover image by Carol Duffy, Photographs © Sandfield Natural Play Centre, ©Carol Duffy, ©Jan White, ©Jane Wratten, ©Liz Knowles, ©Mena Godfrey, ©Vanessa Lloyd.

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without either permission in writing from the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying.


    The author and publisher cannot take any responsibility for the use of the ideas and guidance given in this publication. As with any aspect of early years provision, it is always necessary to carry out ongoing risk assessment and management according to the specific children, situation and conditions pertaining.

    The information and ideas provided have been created to help increase the understanding and confidence of practitioners aiming to develop mud play and mud kitchens with groups. The author makes no claim that the information in this book is complete. Neither the author nor contributors can accept any legal responsibility for any harm, injury, damage, loss or prosecution resulting from any activities or guidance described

    Disclaimer: Muddy Faces cannot take any responsibility for accidents or damage that occurs as a result of following this activity.You are responsible for making sure the activity is conducted safely.

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