Being a good assistant

January 9, 2018

Section 7 of the Making a Mud Kitchen book.

2 boys in a mud kitchen
Author: Muddy Faces

Age Range: all ages

Duration: less than an hour

Location: anywhere

Time Of Day: any time

Season: any

Tags: mud, mud kitchen, mud kitchen book

Category: outdoor play

Being a Good Assistant

The main role adults need to take is of facilitator and enabler – making the kitchen available (best constructed by helping the children to create it to their own specifications), and supporting the play that then emerges from the children.

Good adult support consists of observing (noticing what is really taking place), striving to understand (recognising the significance of this for this child and this group of children) and then responding according to careful consideration as to what would help the child the most (which might be standing back out of the way!).

Supplying useful language for equipment, actions and descriptions can be very helpful provided it is done in context where it makes sense (and is not overdone!).

There is so much to mud kitchen play and its deeper meanings for children that the role of researcher would be highly valuable.

Other adults may not understand why this is all so valuable and important, and may have many objections, so supporting adults also need to interpret what is really happening and advocate for mud play in all children’s lives.

woman having her face painted with mud