Sunday, May 22, 2011

play heats up in the outdoor kitchen

Things have really been heating up in the outdoor kitchen at preschool.  Since we created a permanent space for this wonderful sensory, social, imaginative and creative play it has become a hive of activity.


One of the bonuses of the outdoor kitchen has been that boys, who wouldn't be seen dead in the home corner inside, are cooking up a storm outside.  

There are a wealth of sensory play materials you can add to the outdoor kitchen - all of them inexpensive and readily available.  We have been cooking with wet sand:



We have been cooking with pebbles:


We pop out baskets of natural materials - leaves, seeds, twigs:


Just perfect to use to decorate cakes:


And last week we began cooking with sawdust:


Here are some other ideas for outdoor play kitchens that have been popping up around the blogosphere of late:

A Mud Pie Kitchen           ::: Child Central Station
Mud Pie Kitchen               ::: Children at Play
Mud Pie Kitchen Love      ::: Chasing the Seasons
Outdoor Mud Pie Kitchen ::: Simple Whimsy

And from the Let the Children Play archives:

A Mud Pie Kitchen for our Dirt Patch Part 1  Chronicles the making of our mud pie kitchen
A Mud Pie Kitchen for our Dirt Patch Part 2  Chronicles the making of our mud pie kitchen
Making Mud Pies                                           Ideas and resources for outdoor kitchen play
More Mud Pie Kitchen Madness                    Inspiration from other bloggers
Mud Pie Kitchens Revisited                            More inspiration from other bloggers

What have your children been cooking in their outdoor kitchen?

19 comments:

  1. How wonderful! I love reading your inspirational posts on creative play! I hadn't thought of using sawdust as a play medium before. We are planning an outdoor sandpit for our yard next, and I foresee many sandpies in our future. Thanks for linking to my little ol' blog!

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  2. I love all the natural elements and baskets! Great idea. Storing things away for going back to work....

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  3. Jenny - this is your blog at its best: clear inspirational photos that say so much.

    Forgive my forthcoming prissy comment: it's especially nice that you are presenting natural materials in baskets or on other natural products. Aesthetically it's more pleasing and strongly promotes the concept that we don't need an abundance or dominance of bright plastic to make a playspace attractive to children.

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  4. Cute. Looks like Bobby Flay's outdoor garden kitchen/cooking area on Food Network.

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  5. My eldest would be in absolute heaven. I think about 80% of her backyard play somehow evolves into cooking. She makes a lot of salads, using dandelions (which she's allowed to pull up) and other random plant leaves (which she's not supposed to pick but does anyway!) She adds "vinaigrette" and all kinds of other crazy things.

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  6. ohhhh... i love love love this post ... thanks for the link back -- and i love the pebbles for cooking !! what a lovely and inspiring post Jenny ....
    light and peace

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  7. Thanks for all the inspiration! This is definitely on our to-do list! I also love all the natural wicker baskets and items for the children to use- I think children take their work much more seriously when the tools resemble adult work as much as possible!

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  8. This is great, Jenny. I love the pebbles in the muffin pan. And those scoops of sand look wonderful. Your outdoor kitchen looks like a great place to explore and experiment.

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  9. I love the changes you have made :). Great minds are all on the same wave length.... I just picked up a bunch of great stuff to add to our kitchen at a yard sale this weekend. I can't wait to spiff it up a little bit. I found a great shelf (spice rack) and some new pots! We will give the shelf a quick coat of paint to help it withstand the elements before the children help us decide where to hang it. I'm sure there will be photos on the blog later this week!

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  10. cool cool cool! I so need to do this once we move. Sharing!

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  11. Jenny, this is just what Blue Gum looked like! A complete mess! It was wonderful :) I love this outdoor kitchen and can just imagine all the busy little people working away there. Love Love Love play-based learning :)

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  12. Oh, Jenny, I just can't say enough fabulous things about what you are doing!

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  13. Oh how fun! I know my girls would love this - they adore making sand cakes at preschool - using twigs and leaves to decorate. What lucky kids to have such a multi-sensory outdoor play area!

    Thank you for linking up to the Sunday Showcase - hope to see more at tomorrow night's linky party!

    Bernadette
    http://momto2poshlildivas.blogspo

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  14. Oh how fun! I know my girls would love this - they adore making sand cakes at preschool - using twigs and leaves to decorate. What lucky kids to have such a multi-sensory outdoor play area!

    Thank you for linking up to the Sunday Showcase - hope to see more at tomorrow night's linky party!

    Bernadette
    http://momto2poshlildivas.blogspo

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  15. Thank you for conjuring up a fond childhood memory! When I was little my cousins and I used to make "lily pad pizzas" with things we'd gathered from the lake and the woods near my grandparents' cabin.

    I'm definitely going to make sure my kids get to enjoy a similar activity!

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  16. Cooking with wet sand and pebbles, that is wonderful. I love your idea. That is great.

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  17. In addition to Monday Kid Corner, this week's theme is MUD. Brush off those archives and link them up at thejennyevolution.com. See you there! Jennifer

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