At the beginning of spring, when the world is puddle-wonderful, as E.E. Cummings put it.
I got the wild idea in my head that we MUST have a mud kitchen. The girls NEEDED a place to build mud pies. With some old crates and decorative finds from the local thrift store, my husband graciously brought my vision into reality. We are tickled… brown?
Of course, mud is messy/sensory play, a very important type of play, but it’s certainly not just that. Fin carefully counts out how many shiny rocks she can find for her special cake. She engages in sequential processing as she lists the steps: Find dirt, add water, gather ingredients, mix, bake.
“Play is the highest form of research.” – Albert Einstein
Fin gains understanding of how different materials meld together. The feathers float while the rocks sink. In the goopy mud the sticks stand straight up. The sun dries the pie out and water makes it goopy again.
“The intention of the learning environment is to give children exposure to a range of materials, resources and experiences that give them practice in skill refinement, in language development, in creativity, and in play.” – Kathy Walker
She writes her ingredients down and hangs her recipe in her space as she works. Who knew mud could be a literary practice?
“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” – Mr. Rogers
Dramatic play, another pre literacy practice, unfolds as Fin acts out real life scenarios. She bakes her pie in the oven, watching it get hot, and careful pulls the “hot” pan out of the oven. Only to put it in again because its not quit finished yet. She expresses her ideas as she narrates her play.“Let’s bake another, we need a timer”.
“Let’s sing happy birthday”, “First we need candles”. “Sister when is your birthday? Let’s make a cake for you”
“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Fred Rogers
Mundane tasks, that we as adults take for granted, are works full of wonderment for children. Washing gathered goodies from the garden is a treasured moment for youngsters, especially when shared with friends.Dear E.E. Cummings,
We have had a “mud-luscious” spring indeed.
May we do all things to connect with and learn from each other ✨