The Bristol website 80 by 18 has a list of 80 experiences each Bristolian child should have by the time they reach 18: Get of the house and play outside is one of those experiences.
Mud kitchens provided something quite different to a soil digging patch, Mixing soil, water and a range of other natural materials has a foundation role in the early childhood which has deep importance and endless possibilities for well-being, developmental and learning. The breadth and depth of what these experiences offer young children is truly remarkable.
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.
Keeping it Safe and Healthy
Contact with soil is actually beneficial as the bacteria in it help to build healthily functioning immune systems in young children and research also suggests that this contact produces serotonin in the body – which makes us feel happy!
A useful approach for mud kitchens is to supply soil from purchased loam topsoil rather than from gardens or uncovered plant borders
Hand washing is important after playing in this way, so routines and expectations will be agreed with the children
Children also need to stay warm and comfortable and mud kitchen work is likely to be wet and messy. Waterproof splash suits with wellies and in the best hot weather would be old T-shirts will be worn