We have just started to use our new mud kitchen - an area behind the playhouse in the main garden, equipped as a kitchen, with microwave, kettle, saucepans and other kitchen utensils, where the children can mix, stir and make mud pies!
"A mud kitchen includes elements of the much-loved domestic corner and cooking from indoor play, which are then hugely enriched through the special nature of being outside." www.muddyfaces.co.uk/mud_kitchens.php
We have already found that all of the areas of learning can be explored in this area in new, fun ways. We are limiting the number of children allowed in the area to 4 so that those using it can get the most out of it, the children have really taken this on board, doing some really good sharing and turn taking.
They are doing lots of maths - not only counting how many children are in there, waiting for their turn, but also weighing and measuring.
There are plants for them to pick and chop and add to their mucky mixtures, it is giving them an opportunity to explore nature in a different way.
Those who might not take part in role-play inside love the mud kitchen. EVERYONE wants to play!!
And it's not just our children who think messy outdoor fun is best!! http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardenprojects/10898829/Garden-activities-for-the-children-this-summer.html