Jan White has just created something you’ll want to see: a 32-page book full of gorgeous photographs and inspiring ideas.
I loved Making a Mud Kitchen at first sight – perhaps because the photos bring back such happy memories of my own childhood, when my friends and I took our concoctions very seriously. We had a pot of “witchy brew” hidden away in the woods that we added to every time we chanced that way. Closer to home we had a fantastic sandpit and a cupboard where we kept our pots and pans. My husband Martin made "skunk cabbage perfume" as a child – something that can’t be made here (fortunately?) as skunk cabbage doesn’t seem to grow in the UK. Our own children made "granola" in a hole in a stump. I can still see our three-year-old stirring it with a stick, even though he has long since grown up. I’m sure everyone has some form of mud-pie memory, so the photos of makeshift shelving with old kettles and utensils will have meaning for all.
Jan writes that "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." The fact that all this sensory exploration and deep-level learning (Jan has a whole section on the pedagogical underpinnings of mud play) happens in a role-play context, creates the perfect formula for fully-engaged contented children.
Download the booklet from Muddy Faces' website
And here is Jan’s website so you can learn more about what she does.
I hope you’ll enjoy this new document as much as I do. Have a relaxed summer read, and put it into practice when the children arrive back!