Giving imagination free rein outdoors

outdoor imagination

The outdoors has become fashionable, and that's great. But we need to be careful not to make our children's outdoor environments too prescriptive. Take the role play area, for example. I have seen mud kitchen kits for sale that provide new pots, pans and utensils. You can even purchase a mud kitchen cooker. Are we going to tell the children "Be careful of the new cooker" when the play gets messy? I hope no one tells them "No, that's the cooker over there" when they boil water on a tree stump instead.

The whole idea when equipping a mud kitchen should be to recycle old stuff that children can use for whatever they wish. I believe children's free imagination and the outdoors are closely related. Give them loose parts in the form of big blocks, crates, guttering and a leaky metal coffee pot. Then let them get on with it.

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