Thursday, September 1, 2011

"O" is for Outdoor Play Kitchen (A 'Teach Preschool' Celebration)

Today I join a bunch of pretty amazing preschool bloggers in celebrating Deborah Stewart's Teach Preschool facebook page reaching a whopping 20 000 'likers'. 

Each blogger chose a letter of the alphabet to focus on, and together we will produce a whole alphabet of posts about early childhood learning and play.

I bring you the letter "O" for Outdoor Play Kitchens.

Have you seen all of the outdoor play kitchens doing the rounds of the blogosphere?  I've added my 2 cents worth on a number of occasions:

... Making Mud Pies
... A Mud Pie Kitchen for our Dirt Patch
... A Mud Pie Kitchen for our Dirt Patch Part 2
... More Mud Pie Kitchen Madness

Our outdoor kitchen at preschool was slow to take off, but after a change of location and a few new additions it has become one of the busiest spaces in our playground:

If you don't have a permanent space for an outdoor kitchen, run out now and create one immediately!

The benefits to children's social, imaginative and creative play are clearly visible each and everyday as they cook, mix, collect ingredients, imagine and work alongside each other.

Engaged, self-directed and interested children also contribute to a more harmonious play space, so additions like an outdoor kitchen free teachers up from time spent managing behavioural issues.

After cooking on our campfire, a couple of little camping enthusiasts created a campsite in the outdoor kitchen:

If I was lost in the wilderness, I'd be wanting these boys with me.  They build a mean fire.

They even scrunched up red paper for the flames.

What's been cooking in your outdoor kitchen lately?

What spaces in your playground see the most action?

Now hop on over and browse through the other posts in Deborah's The ABC's of Teaching Preschool - you will be sure to discover some wonderful ideas, and maybe a few new bloggers too.

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