Sand or Mud kitchens
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    Default Sand or Mud kitchens

    Hello, Im just wanting to know do you have to have a mud kitchen, as outside I have a sandpit - which the children love to play in Can I adapt the sandpit adding pans, sieves etc or just keep the sandpit as a sandpit for them to make sandcastle, and explorer, any ideas or comments please

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    Do you have to have a mud kitchen???? No, certainly not!
    They are the latest fad and soon there will be another 'must have' coming along. But they can be fun and for some children they are a really good thing and can get a lot of use. But certainly not needed!
    Playing with natural resources, mud, sand, stones, shells, cones, conkers, leaves etc all have benefits and that is more important than whether it is supported by a 'kitchen' or a bench, plank, old tyre, bucket, tray, or just on the ground.
    In fact, I tend to feel that a pre-made 'kitchen' limits the play to 'cooking' type play where as a traditional sand pit or just an area where children can dig in the mud along with some water and inspiring 'loose parts' (sieves, cars, spoons, hammers, sticks, containers, rakes, dinosaurs etc) leads to far wider ranges of play.

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    Of course you don't have to have a mud kitchen!

    If you search this forum you will find that we have discussed it quite a few times. Lots of us don't have mud kitchens. Anything that the children might gain/learn from a 'mud kitchen' (whatever that has come to mean) can be gained/learned without having a 'mud kitchen'.

    In order to justify to yourself why you shouldn't have a mud kitchen if you don't want one - think of what the children would possibly be doing in a mud kitchen - there are lots of other ways of interacting with mud/nature, lots of other ways of playing cooking/mixing potions, lots of ways to not worry about getting their hands and clothes dirty...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Of course you don't have to have a mud kitchen!

    If you search this forum you will find that we have discussed it quite a few times. Lots of us don't have mud kitchens. Anything that the children might gain/learn from a 'mud kitchen' (whatever that has come to mean) can be gained/learned without having a 'mud kitchen'.

    In order to justify to yourself why you shouldn't have a mud kitchen if you don't want one - think of what the children would possibly be doing in a mud kitchen - there are lots of other ways of interacting with mud/nature, lots of other ways of playing cooking/mixing potions, lots of ways to not worry about getting their hands and clothes dirty...
    I have an outdoor kitchen area, but I'm am considering removing it as it is not really played with at the moment and I don't like limiting play. I am thinking/ planning on putting some open shelving in its place to hold all the pots and pans, sieves, buckets etc etc and 'loose parts' such as sticks, fircones etc.

    I already have a play kitchen in the play house in the garden.

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    Thank you for all the replies, I think I will stick with my sandpit

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    I have a play cooker out side but certainly no mud in it. Hate the thought of mud kitchens. Have pots and pans and also a sandpit with shells, buckets and spades, dinosaurs etc in.also have a water table but not near the sand!!

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    I think both is the way to go.
    We have a little raised bed next to the bug hotel, all ages have used it, there is just something different and exciting about digging in soil.
    Various focus in it, just digging, diggers and vehicles that make marks, loose materials to make a little garden.
    It is emptied every week or so, they use the big spades and transfer the soil into the wheelbarrow...then put it all back. When it has been raining it moulds better than sand. They use it to plant seeds and small plants. Worms are dug for, great mini beast area...but strict hand washing rules after.
    I also have a sand tray...they love pouring it.
    I do have a very well used outside kitchen with pots, pans, Balti pans, used with soil, sand, loose materials galore....but never in a big messyway, just mixed together and enjoyed - they make up different dishes fo their menu, or spells, or sometimes it's a perfumery with leaves and petals.
    My kitchen was made by DH, it doubles up as a good bench when barbecuing and stripped of pans with some herb pots on the shelf it doesn't look like a play area when the garden returns to grown up land.
    If you don't offer soil as a regular, do try to offer a tray of soil now and then, it is invaluable for exploring and discovering.

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