Case study: mud kitchen at Ashton Keynes Preschool

August 9, 2017

With inspiration & the confidence to ask for support & donations, setting up a mud kitchen can be simple to do.

pots and pans on a mud kitchen stove
Author: Danielle Seatter

Age Range: all ages

Duration: long-term project

Location: anywhere

Time Of Day: any time

Season: any

Tags: case study, loose parts, mud, mud kitchen, preschool, tips, water

Category: outdoor play

Ashton Keynes Preschool, Wiltshire

“We are a village preschool taking up to 18 children a session, between the ages of 2yrs 6mths to 5yrs. The children who attend are mostly from Ashton Keynes, with some coming from the surrounding villages.” Information from the school website.

Case study written by Danielle Seatter, preschool leader.

“Having recently developed our garden area, we had been looking for ways in which the children could mud play in the new areas, as this was a favourite activity.

Our Early Years Advisory Teacher Jo Mawer introduced us to ‘mud kitchens’ and we were all hooked from then! We did some research and asked around for old cooker parts, and pots and pans, to add to our spoons and other utensils – to the delight of the children, who instantly accessed the kitchen and have been budding chefs ever since – making all sorts of baked items, meals and magic potions for us to try!

The big photo at the top is the newly-installed kitchen before the children had access.

girl playing in a mud kitchen

The children love exploring movement of water in particular, and have been adding this to the mud – developing their understanding of mixing materials and the properties of materials.

The children ‘wash up’ at the end of the sessions which they love.

Other than that, just providing handwash water outdoors helps children to keep themselves clean independently and we have a water butt which they also love to use!

child pouring water from a kettle into a bowl


• We initially introduced the idea to parents using a photo on our Facebook page and we got really positive responses to it. We do reinforce messy play to our parents and will be running a parental workshop about it this term to show parents the value of it.

• It only took us a week to get our mud kitchen up and running as we were lucky to be given the cooker parts and pots and pans from a local scrap metal business, always worth asking!