At Kodo, we consider the T in STEM, Technology, to refer to the basic tools and mechanisms which enhance our lives. This includes those fundamental technologies that help humans perform the simple but important tasks of scooping, pouring, sorting, rolling, lifting, and many more! These tasks are a major part of preschool sensory activities, and can be widely explored in your outdoor classroom! Get ready to get muddy...
Outdoor sensory exploration is vital to early childhood development, as it involves simple chemistry, transformation of natural materials, and explorations of viscosity, volume, and other forms of measurement. Mud kitchens often inspire dramatic play, which drives children to invent new ways of combining water, sand, pebbles, grass, pine cones, and more. Having a wide variety of tools in your outdoor classroom is a must if you want to encourage different ways of thinking about and handling natural materials.
There are many places to find tools for your mud kitchen and other outdoor preschool sensory activities! Your local restaurant supplier is a great place to look for interesting gadgets. Think about the possibilities for using turkey basters, fryer baskets, cooling racks, tea balls, mortars and pestles, hand mixers, and tongs of all shapes and sizes. Second-hand stores, garage sales, and your own shed and basement are other great places to look for unused bins, boxes, plates, and other tools for your mud kitchen. Even if you begin with just a few scoops and buckets, you’ll open the door to wonder and inquiry. Expert tip: have a bit of soapy water and a few towels standing by, this is one of those messy preschool activities!
At Kodo Kids, we support investigative play and the T in STEM with many great accessories. To further expand your sensory tools, we have whisks, mini mops, sand sifters, outdoor sifting diggers, hand sanders, and metal pails that can all contribute to a positive and inventive play session in the mud.
Looking for another outdoor sensory activity to supplement your mud kitchen? Check out our Slurry Chutes, which come with a variety of tubes, connectors, and chutes for children to create their own pathways to sent mixed slurry down. Slurry chutes are a great experiment in viscosity and chemistry!