The mud kitchen provides our young learners with an opportunity to explore, inquire and connect with their natural world.

The first outdoor environment encountered by an exploring child is most likely the ground, and probably the dirt: gritty, cool, stony, sandy, smooth to the hand, brown or black or grey to the eye, and tempting to the tongue. Having access to a mud kitchen makes the process accessible and rich.

Realising that free play in a nature-rich environment is increasingly less available to young children, we value and provide opportunities for our young learners to connect with their natural world. Some of the experiences that our mud kitchen provides for children include:

-Creative expression and invention (mud can become anything!)
-Problem solving opportunities (e.g. how to make soup thin or thick, how to make mud meatballs stick together)
-Cooperative play possibilities (e.g. let’s cook dinner, let’s have a restaurant, let’s feed the baby—you be the baby)


-Mindfulness (being outdoors in nature helps children relax)
-Building stronger immune systems (research indicates that some exposure to dirt helps build resistance to bad bacteria)
-Growing affection for the stuff on our earth—soil, stones, sand, and growing plants (leading to care for our planet)

Read below to develop an understanding of the links to our written curriculum when students engage in learning through play.

APPROACHES TOWARDS LEARNING

Research skills
» observing: I can use my senses to understand things
» planning: I think about what I need to do and how I am going to do it

Self management skills
» fine motor: I can control little movements like cutting out, handwriting, tying shoe laces
» organisation: I can plan, carry out and complete activities

Social skills
» cooperating: I can work well in groups, share, take turns and respect members of my group
» group decision making: I can listen to others, discuss ideas, ask questions and work towards a group agreement

Categories of Play
» Dramatic: I take on roles within pretend games about familiar experiences
» Exploratory: I explore the properties and functions of materials, equipment and objects
» Imaginative: I imagine or pretend to be somewhere or something else
» Social: I am involved in games, conversations or working together with others

IB Learner Profile
» INQUIRERS: We nurture our curiosity, developing skills for inquiry and research. We know how to learn independently and with others. We learn with enthusiasm and sustain our love of learning throughout life.
» COMMUNICATORS: We express ourselves confidently and creatively in more than one language and in many ways. We collaborate effectively, listening carefully to the perspectives of other individuals and groups.
» RISK-TAKERS: We approach uncertainty with forethought and determination; we work independently and cooperatively to explore to explore new ideas and innovative strategies. We are resourceful and resilient in the face of change.

A link to further reading: http://www.daisykins.co.uk/daisykins-news/making-mud-cakes-in-the-nature-area/