It’s the school holidays and if you are enjoying a staycation like us your children may enjoy getting outside and playing in the mud. As a young girl, I loved cooking my own pretend mud cakes and flower stews. Over the years my children have all had their own version of a mud kitchen outside where they cook muddy foods and serve stones and stick meals.

Hamish had a wonderful wooden mud kitchen fully kitted for all types of Jamie Oliver pretend cooking play but you don’t need to invest in a costly wooden mud kitchen to help the kids enjoy the mud. Simply offer them a few pots and pans, plates, bowls, and cutlery. some plastic jars to hold flower petals, grass, stones, and sticks as the ingredients and a lot of imagination will keep them busy for ages.

Pretend or imaginative play is one of the best ways for kids to work on developing their ability to self-regulate.

To get started help your child make a mud stew in the garden
  • Bowl
  • Scissors
  • Wooden Spoon
Step One
Walk around your garden and collect things to use in a flower stew. you can take the time to discuss parts of a flower. Collect different rocks, leaves, grass, roots, bulbs, seeds, etc . Lay these all out once you are done and add in some scissors for older kids to snip and prune.
Step Two
Mix all the items together in the bowl. Have the kids use the wooden spoon to transport items needed from the table or floor into the bowl. this will encourage hand-strengthening and fine motor skill development.
Step Three
let kids mush the stew with their fingers for a wonderful sensory play element to this project.  Talk about the things you observe along the way to encourage vocabulary development and don’t forget to meet your child in their imaginative play by enjoying a  bowl of their delicious flower stew.
Some questions you can ask along the play process
  • What are some notable observations?
  • Different colors?
  • Different textures?
  • Can you feel the elements…maybe tear them to pieces?
  • Do they float in water?

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