Choose the place

January 9, 2018

Section 2 of the Making a Mud Kitchen book.

2 boys playing in a mud kitchen
Author: Muddy Faces

Age Range: all ages

Duration: 1-2 hours

Location: anywhere

Time Of Day: any time

Season: any

Tags: mud, mud kitchen, mud kitchen book

Category: outdoor play

Choose the Place

The kitchen needs a handy and ample supply of the basic materials of sand and/or mud.

Offering both provides contrast in colour, texture and mixing behaviour – and many more possibilities for imaginations. Being situated near the sand area or mud patch may give the kitchen more context and meaning, but big pots of these basic materials will also be fine, preferably at floor level for ease of access.

children playing with a big muddy pot

Mud kitchens that have walls, fences or other vertical surfaces on one or two sides then have potential for hanging pots and utensils on them or for installing shelving, making it feel more kitchen-like and better to use.

A corner also creates room-like enclosure that feels cosy and safe, which research suggests is good at generating dramatic play in young children.

A water supply is essential, but it does not need to be in the kitchen or even close-by, as children love to fill containers both large and small to transport across to the kitchen for use. Make sure however that there are several types of collecting containers for this activity and an ample (preferably running) water source, such as an outdoor tap, water butt or a large container of water.

Gravel, pebbles and other natural materials are also natural companions for concoction making. If these are not generally available in the outdoor space, then good-sized containers need to be kept topped up for good supplies (consider drainage of these if kept in the open air).

child running a hose into a saucepan