Mud kitchens are universally popular with children of all ages. Children have been creating mud kitchens in the corner of their gardens for centuries. They provide hours of squelchy fun and are not just about making mud pies and dirt smoothies. Most schools have mud kitchens due to their immense learning potential. Teachers are able to change the setting of the mud kitchen into science labs, perfume factories and chocolate factories. Allowing them to organise learning activities relating to specific areas of the curriculum.
They are perfect for messy science experiments and developing speaking and listening skills. Children learn about scientific facts through play and are able to understand the concepts at their own level. It is easier for children to try the experiments themselves because they have more freedom to explore and try things out.
All you need to conduct science experiments in mud kitchens are measuring jugs, mixing bowls, sieves, water, stones, mud, spoons and usually a variety of mud kitchen accessories. There are two ways to introduce the science experiments to the children… The first method is to introduce, predict and demonstrate how to do the experiment explaining what you are doing and discuss what is happening. The second method is to give the children a set of equipment to choose from and a problem to solve. Both ways require different skills such as following instructions or problem-solving.
You will need sand, stones, water, containers, plastic ice cream containers with holes in it and sieves. The purpose of the experiment is to separate a mixture of stones, sand and water using available equipment.
Tell the children to put sand, stones and water into a clear plastic container and mix it all up.
Talk about the different properties of the three materials relating to size.
Tell them their challenge is to separate the three materials into separate containers.
Discuss how they might separate the sand, stones and water and what they would use to do it.
Give the children time to separate the materials.
Discuss how each pair tackled the problem and how successful they were.
If none of the pairs were successful demonstrate how to do the experiment.
Take photographs of the activity and children to write up the experiment in class.
You will need sand, clay, potting soil, water, measuring cup, ruler and disposable plates. The purpose of the experiment is to make the best mud pies by finding out which is the best type of soil and the correct amount of water.
Label each plate with sand, clay and potting soil.
Measure how much of the different soils they need to make the mud pies.
Children, measure how much water they think they need.
Children make their mud pies and shape it into a round disk on the plate.
Measure the width and depth of the mud pies.
Leave the pies in a warm place to dry.
Measure the width and depth of the dry mud pies.
Discuss which type of soil made the best mud pies and why.
Adapt the experiment to children of any age by changing the way they record the results. Make sure you take lots of pictures of the results to go in their books.
You will need water, sand, clay, potting soil, peat and any other forms of soil you can find. The aim of the experiment is to find out which soil type makes the best smoothie consistency and mixes well with water.
Tell the children they are going to find the best type of soil to make the best smoothie. The mixture has to become sloppy, thick and muddy.
Show the class the different soil types and talk about their properties.
Predict which one they think is most likely to be the best.
Children to mix the soil and water to see which makes the best smoothie.
Discuss the results of the experiment, which soil mixed the best which ones floated or sank etc.
Talk about where the different soils come from and what they are used for.
If you would like to discuss our selection of mud kitchens contact us and we would be happy to offer advice.
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