We asked our director Liz Edwards to pick the winners - this is what she said....
"Many thanks to everybody who has contributed to help build this page - its been amazing to read through all the ideas and there were a couple of things I have never seen, such as the Giacometti sculpture idea from
Becky Young - re-emphasising the expansive opportunities of mud play - we are always learning!
There is no surprise that I found it virtually impossible to choose a ‘winner’ from all the useful ideas and tips!
Many people suggested how to tackle the sticky situation of ‘getting dirty‘ - the inevitability of mud play - with helpful suggestions on how to approach concerns for both the children and adults. Carryduff Playgroup, Belfast, NI mentions clothing and an enthusiastic approach from staff.
Among many other things, Vickie Stainsby explores curriculum links, Marion Baynes suggests recycled items to try out, and Sara Herrington suggests seasonal herbs as a sensual addition.
I have chosen one paragraph from a brilliantly in-depth contribution that I feel strongly about, and which we highlighted at the start of our mud campaign in Making a Mud Kitchen in 2012, and that is to provide recycled items that are mobile and adaptable - these types of resources provide opportunities way beyond the mud kitchen play that an expensive static unit can, and at a fraction of the cost. I would really like to promote this concept that mud kitchens can cost virtually nothing.
With this in mind I'm going to choose Becky Johnston of floandfawn.com's contribution as the winner of the competition to win a mobile mud hob. Becky shares a number of good ideas and I would like to highlight one paragraph:
“You don’t need a mud kitchen - mud kitchens are great, but they’re also expensive and not everyone has the space to dedicate a permanent corner to one. The key is to create an invitation to play, to make your child feel free to get involved and to use their imagination. Even the most elaborate mud kitchen won’t get a child to play if they don’t feel free to enjoy it in a messy carefree way.”
These tips are from the experts - Forest School practitioners, outdoor leaders, teachers, families - people who love mud play and it’s benefits so much that they have generously shared their skills, knowledge and experience with us.
Outdoor play, natural play and nature play are different terms used to describe children 'being' outdoors. Being allowed to lead their own play, explore, investigate, be curious and take risks in a natural/outdoor environment.
Jan White introduces this section and details the importance and benefits of child-led and child-initiated play.
This section is filled with information surrounding the theory and practice of outdoor play - articles, policies, books and research.