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Mud, mud, glorious mud – that was certainly the order of the day when children at a farm-based day nursery went out to play.
As part of the run-up to National Children’s Day UK in May, staff at High Bank Day Nursery in Stapleton, near Darlington, created a ‘mud kitchen’ in the outdoor play area.
The idea of the kitchen, which includes an old microwave oven, pots, pans and a mud pit, is to encourage the children to use their imagination and creative skills using mud. This involves, for example, making mud pies and then selling them in their outside shop, and generally just having fun with earth, water and natural materials.
High Bank Day Nursery Manager Hayley Grainger explained: “The theme of this year’s National Children’s Day was the science and nature of play, so we thought the mud kitchen was perfect for this.
“It helps the children on a number of developmental levels, from measuring out ‘ingredients’ and creating different concoctions, through to getting them to think about money and how much they would sell their goods for. It’s also, obviously, a lot of fun.”