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Mud Kitchens: 7 Inspiring Outdoor Montessori Playspaces

Maria Montessori believed that children needed to spend time in the outdoor world, “to understand and appreciate the order, harmony, and beauty in nature.” 

When they play outdoors, children can experience embodied learning and use their senses to feel, smell, and listen to a different set of inputs than what they experience in their own playroom.

Some of the same principles will help parents prepare an outdoor learning space that invites a child to experiment and self-correct.

Indoors, we provide children with a low shelf and a curated selection of toys with which they can work independently. Outdoors, we do the same. 

The “mud kitchen” is a popular prepared environment among Monti Kids families who want to invite their children to literally get their hands dirty.

Mud Kitchens for a Montessori Outdoor Space

Montessori Mud Kitchen
Photo courtesy @get_your_wellies_on

Pallets and crates, rubber tubs, bowls, and pitchers are the types of items that can be turned into an activity center for pouring, mixing, and sorting water, rocks, dirt, and leaves.

Photo courtesy of @jessica.dawn.home

Scooping and pouring help build fine motor skills. These actions can be practiced with spoons, shovels, pitchers, and tubs. Children will experience different weights and sensations when they work with water versus sand or found objects like sticks.

Photo courtesy @montessori.on.the.farm
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