More than Mud Pies
If you follow us on social media, you’ve undoubtedly seen numerous posts about our new mud kitchen. What is a mud kitchen and why does it get early childhood educators so excited?
A mud kitchen is simply an outdoor play kitchen. Our LANK Café is complete with a child-sized counter, hooks and all sorts of cooking utensils. The mud kitchen is a quintessential childhood toy. It serves as a catalyst for natural socialization, creativity, and dramatic play at its finest.
You may have heard that food is the great equalizer. All children can agree that it is enjoyable to eat a delicious meal (even if just for pretend!). From the quietest child to the most outgoing, all children can enjoy teaming up to cook a delicious meal. As students interact and create together, they are developing confidence as well as language skills. Students bring their own traditions and experiences to the mud kitchen. I’ve been served everything from pasta with white sauce to elaborate salads and even sushi! There is rarely a quiet moment at the mud kitchen as pans are being clanked to explore new sounds or menus are being discussed and prepared for delighted teachers.
There are no real rules at the mud kitchen, no guides or plastic food even. It is up to our students to problem-solve by collecting sticks to be used as utensils and mulch for ingredients. Weeds make outstanding garnishes for any dish in a pinch!
We can’t wait to see what our students do next in the mud kitchen! We owe a special thanks to our PTO President, Jessie Ingham, for turning this vision into a reality for our students.
Kate Bauer, Executive Director