WHY ARE MUD KITCHENS BENEFICIAL?
Mud kitchens aren't just fun, they're super beneficial for little ones too. The experts at Woody Craft reveal why:
- Elevates mood: Mud kitchen play increases the levels of serotonin in our brains, helping us to relax and feel soothed and calm, they say. Plus, fresh air and Vitamin D (obtained through being exposed to sunlight) are both great for boosting the spirits.
- Encourages creativity: 'Mud can be moulded and decorated and it responds differently than sand, clay or play dough.' Getting hands-on with tactile materials also stimulates imagination and encourages artistic play.
- Connects kids with nature: It's hard to care about things that you're not really involved with, and many kids these days spend more time glued to their screens than out-of-doors. But getting kids outside to play, act out make-believe worlds, and explore, creates happy memories with the one most primal element in our world: nature. Along with that comes a development of respect and understanding for the great outdoors.
- Helps kids learn and develop skills: 'Sensory, hands-on play feeds children's brains. Listing all the ways playing with mud – a delightfully sensory experience – can help children to learn and develop would be a whole post in itself.
Our top tips:
- Provide resources such as mud, water, flower petals, pans, beakers and tools to extend children’s play. Leave them to it, its great to see what they come up with!
- Allow them to collect their own ingredients from around the garden or when you are out and about, such as pine cones, rocks, daisies and dandelions.
- Remember it’s the process, not the product (although you may be handed some culinary delights!)
- Join in! Show that its ok to get your hands dirty.
- Dress appropriately! Nobody likes to be cold and wet.