Written by Tahnee Moore
A mud kitchen ticks all the boxes for holistic developmental play with toddlers. It is a sensory activity that connects children to the elements (sand, dirt, water, flowers, seed pods, etc.) and it allows them to play out adult roles. It is free form, imaginative and open. Feeling that their work is purposeful is important for little ones who love the opportunity to imitate the adults in their life.
The activity of creating the kitchen in the first place can be a memorable and shared experience
- Find a place outside that can be dirty. A corner of the balcony that is cleared and can be hosed. Let the children assist you in clearing the space by giving them little cleaning jobs: A cloth and a spray bottle, a dustpan and brush. You could even designate some cleaning items for this space so the children can keep it clean themselves.
- Find some old bowls, saucepans, spoons, old teapots, cups, empty containers, old baking trays.
- Add sand, dirt, fold flower petals, leaves.
- A small plastic vessel of water.
- Let them go and get muddy, messy and creative.
The mud kitchen can always be expanded, changed. If you notice the children have stopped engaging with it it is time to clean out all the mess and renew the space. Children can help with the cleaning!
You can always request that your little one prepare a meal or even a dinner party for all of your (washable) friends.