acepuppets

Mud Kitchens, Raised Beds, Outdoor Games Tables and a Chance to Reflect!

Posted on: April 22, 2015


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I have to say that I truly love my son’s school, they never cease to amaze me with their desire to promote natural learning as much as possible.  The school has a shiny new website that is updated regularly allowing parents to see exactly what their children are getting up to.  My latest visit to the Allithwaite CE School website informs me that they have developed a lovely quiet area with raised beds for planting food to harvest, a mud kitchen, outdoor games tables, benches and lots of wood chippings.  This information was reinforced when I picked my son up from after school club and he ran into the quiet area and with great excitement told me all about how they were going to grow food and how you can sit and relax with your friends.

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I am a firm believer that children need to find their own way to calm down, relax and find inner peace in their own way.  Learning to let go and let the chaos of the world clatter around you is a skill that is necessary in this technical age where everything is quantifiable and has to have been done yesterday.  The education system has forced schools to be concious of testing children so that they can gain a good OFSTED result so that pressure does inadvertently filter down to the children.  As someone who finds it impossible to switch off and truly relax I have been trying to encourage my son to develop these skills while he is young by allowing him to be a bit slobby at the weekends, not making a big deal about homework and spelling tests. I have told him that the holidays are a time to rest so that he can look forward to a break from intensive learning.

The outdoor games tables, which are similar to these by Playdale have made the quiet area look like a potential picnic area, where children can gather round and be sociable.  Even if there are not always dice and counters available the children will be able to look at and trace the numbers on the snakes and ladders board. My son has a great sense of ownership in regards to the school playground equipment and would quite happily sleep there if it meant that he could play with his friends even longer.

I am a little envious that they have installed a mud kitchen because making mud pies and playing with mud and soil was something I really liked to do when I was my son’s age.  My mum informs me that I when I was a child I could never wear my best clothes until just before we went out because I just got muddy and messy so easily.

It is going to be so exciting at Harvest time to see the vegetables they have grown.  My son just finds the world so very exciting and it is a joy to watch him learn and grow.

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2 Responses to "Mud Kitchens, Raised Beds, Outdoor Games Tables and a Chance to Reflect!"

Can’t say my daughter’s primary school was as good at this, but when asked whether she liked the climbing frames that came into the playground she said she preferred the circle painted on the ground as it sparked off so many ideas. Mud kitchens get my vote for understanding children’s inclinations!

It is the same as children enjoying playing with the boxes rather than the toys at Christmas time. I am convinced that a child’s imagination is so vivid that they can project the image of what they imagine onto anything. I wish I could have that level of imagination again.

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