When are mud kitchens not mud kitchens? When they are science labs. Like all role play equipment, mud kitchens can be adapted to suit any topic. Mud and science are a wonderful and exciting combination as children can really get hands on experience in complete safety. Mud kitchens provide the perfect opportunity to explore the properties of mud and learn how science experiments are conducted. The role play aspect of mud kitchens allow teachers to incorporate science into the early years curriculum in a play setting.
Children need to learn sequencing and how to follow instructions in order for them to explain what they have done in the correct order. A science experiment involves developing a hypothesis and predicting the outcome. Children will then have to follow instructions in order to complete the experiment. Afterwards the whole class will discuss the results and see if their predictions were correct. The whole procedure requires cooperation and a lot of listening and speaking. Younger children will be able to record the experiment pictorially while children will be able to write their observations down. The best thing about experimenting with mud is that all of the children can have hands on experience.
This experiment is a great way to develop children’s observational skills and will require access to different types of mud. Before the children look for their samples discuss where mud comes from and where it can be found. Consider different textures of mud – children will have probably noticed that some mud is finer than others. Mud kitchens should have all of the resources needed to conduct the experiment.
You Will Need:-
A number of containers for each group (dependant on the number of mud samples available).
A variety of different mud samples that are easily accessible (preferably in the original location)
Types Of Mud Samples:-
Dry hard packed soil.
Loose, flaky soil.
Composted leaves from under a tree.
Children should label each sample using a system that is most appropriate to their age. Children in the early years will have a teaching assistant with them so they will have help.
Back In The Lab (Mud Kitchens)
Discuss the children’s findings and where they samples were located. Ask the children how the dirt is different in different places. Consider locations where mud is gloopy, hard, dusty, slimy and any other textures they have found.
Record The Experiment
There are a variety of interesting ways that experiments can be recorded – this can be completed either as a whole class or individually depending on the most effective way to do it.
For more experiments involving mud visit Preschoolparenting.com for more great ideas.
When your children come home with a slightly dirty uniform, chances are that they have been spending playtime as scientists in the school’s mud kitchen. If you get chance to observe children playing into mud kitchens you will see that they cooperate, engage in conversations and share equipment. All of these skills are very important for learning and everyday life.
If you are thinking of installing a mud kitchen in your playground contact us and we would be delighted to talk to you about our mud kitchens.
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