Outdoor play is an extension of the indoor classroom and is very important to us as it can offer unique opportunities that are not available inside.
Children lead the way with their learning and our outdoor environment offers them opportunities to take risks and challenge themselves in a safe and supportive way.
Sensitive adults encourage them to be creative and 'have a go' within consistent boundaries that have been established together.
We have access to the outdoor all day long. We have 3 gardens, (toddler, natural garden and big garden) and a big open space.
From 2 years old we have outside classrooms, where we extend out ‘indoor learning in an outdoor environment.
We use our outdoors spaces in all weathers.
What is it and why have one?
A mud kitchen is not the same as a soil or digging pit. It will have structure and a defined space that is well resourced. A ‘kitchen’ is used as it is a familiar link to a child’s own home setting.
Mud is used as it is usually available and is a versatile resource. Everyone has some memory of mud play in some form or another from their own childhood.
It is not solely about the mud, natural resources such as, pebbles, bark, gravel, wood chips, pine cones, shells, corks, sticks and moss will give the opportunity for further exploration and experimentation.
A mud kitchen is something that can grow and develop with the children. It is likely to evolve as children become more confident and imaginative.
Whilst working in the mud kitchen children will be experiencing opportunities to develop skills across the Early Years Foundation Stage areas of development.
Playing in the mud kitchen children develop new skills such as:
filling, pouring, emptying, transferring, transporting, transforming, sorting, whisking, splatting, counting, handling, mashing, sharing, scooping, gathering, estimating, decanting, adding, stirring, sieving, foraging, serving, ladling, squashing, grinding, moulding, smoothing, patting, splashing, picking, selecting, collecting, crushing, measuring, separating.
These can all be explored, developed and consolidated although not necessarily all at once or in the same day.