Case Study: mud kitchen & digging patch in an Australian kindergarten
Redevelopment of the whole site was the perfect time to create these excellent mud resources, with donated time & kit.
Age Range: all ages
Duration: long-term project
Time Of Day: any time
Category: outdoor play
Baxter Kindergarten & Children’s Centre, outer SE suburbs of Melbourne, Australia
We are a community kindergarten run by a volunteer parent management committee. We run three groups of four-year-olds kindergarten, one group of three-year-olds kindergarten, an After Kinder Care programme, and our Baxter Explorers programme, which is a multi-age group (3-5). We employ nine educators and a business manager.
Author – Gill Wildish. Click for Facebook page
Our mud kitchen and digging patch came about as part of our whole centre redevelopment. We are currently in the middle of a $1.2 million building project funded by state and local government to add a second playroom, meeting rooms and storage areas as well as refurbishing our existing building. At the same time the kinder is funding our own playground redevelopment. We went through a detailed process of consultation with the children, families, the educators, the wider community and a landscape architect to design our fantastic new outdoor play space which we are constructing in stages.
The mud kitchen and digging patch were some of the first areas to be constructed and they have proved to be a very popular addition. The committee organised for the digging patch to be professionally constructed with drainage as the area is prone to flooding. They have provided class sets of puddle suits for the children to wear and organised for a local business to donate our kitchen benches. Families have attended working bees to paint the fences, plant trees – including a hedge of lilly pilly for some “bush tucker” – and constructed a deck area with materials recycled from our old fort. Generous donations from families of pots, pans, utensils, trays and a homemade set of scales add to the fun and creative play.
Our mud kitchen and digging patch at Baxter Kindergarten and Children’s Centre is just over six months old and is part of our ongoing playground redevelopment. We have recently added the decking to the kitchen area, which is recycled from our old fort and we have more additions to come including a shelter over the mud kitchen and some more storage.
We love our kinder and are very proud of what we are creating for the community.
Thanks for the opportunity to share it with you,