We’re enjoying the warm weather this week and the opportunity to play outside in the sunshine. As well as playing in their rock pool, the children have been cooking up sand pies and pebble cakes in their play kitchen. Do you have an outdoor cooking area for your kids?
As you can see, ours was improvised by the girls from a deckchair and items borrowed from our indoor home corner – a great reminder that you can encourage lots of creative play outdoors just by relocating resources from one area to another. Do you like the fire they made to heat their oven? Add in few pots and pans and they were ready to get cooking.
Play kitchens give children the opportunity to take on different roles, trying out the skills they see the adults in the family using. There’s lots of measuring and counting to be done and plenty to chat about as they prepare their meals. Providing sand, water or mud offers sensory play and science exploring, as the children combine wet and dry materials and observe how the textures change. Physical skills develop as they try out utensils and spoon and pour their ingredients. But even better than all of this, outdoor play kitchens are fun!
For more inspiring outdoor play kitchen ideas have a look at Worms Eye-View and let the children play. The Frugal Family Fun Blog has a diy travel kitchen, which you could take with you wherever you play – I’d like one made in a wipe-able oilcloth fabric which we could take with us to the beach. And Childhood 101 has a tutorial for transforming a cardboard box into a stove.
Do your children enjoy pretend cooking?