Let’s Get Cooking in a Mud Kitchen

8 September 2013 · 10 comments

in Early Years Outdoors, Nature Play & Learning

Today’s post is written by Lesley McLaren. She works behind the scenes here at Creative STAR doing various administrative jobs. It’s her first ever blog post! So congratulations and thank you, Lesley.

Inverallochy Mud KitchenOh what to do in the school hols with a 6 year old? Lucky for me, my “little man” (LM) as we call him, is a natural born outdoor explorer with a great interest in all things outdoorsy. Therefore I booked a session with the outdoor activity providers Mud Pies, for an afternoon session.

On the morning the sun was out, but as is usual with the Scottish weather, just as we were to set off for our adventure, the heavens opened. Right, quick change needed, LM was then donned in his salopettes and wellies, waterproofs and wellies for me, but, (and yes he did regret it) hubby set off in jeans! Once we reached our destination – Countesswell  Woods, near Aberdeen, the weather just added to the atmosphere with all the tall, dense trees surrounding us.

Our guide, Mandy Tulloch, couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about the surroundings, pointing out certain trees and other nature along our walk through the woods. She was very patient and talkative with all the children in the group. Our first mission of the session was to collect small stones and other goodies to place in the soup, which was first on our menu. The detective in the children came out with many items going into the little cloth bag each child had been given. Pine cones, twigs and other bits were collected but could we each find a piece of bark large enough to represent a plate for the meal?

Emerging from the trees to a small overgrown field, we were led to discover and taste wild blaeberries and wood sorrel. Now for all you parents out there which have fussy eaters, as I do, you will agree that no way  would my child even try this at home let alone in the wild. But by some miracle everyone, even the adults were up for a bit of taste testing. The wood sorrel (which for us not in the know, have probably walked past hundreds of times not realising it was edible) had a little surprise to it by tasting of nothing until you crushed it in your mouth and then a sharp lemony flavour appeared.

LM Den

Branches against the tree made great shelters

Next we set off for camp with a promise of juice and biscuits which for some strange reason seemed to make all the children speed up a little. On our way we passed some small shelters made from large branches against the trees, which of course required a visit. And then…..CAMP!!!! It had been discovered!

LM Tarp

The canopy provided a dry shelter from the rain

Now to get messy. First up the soup, a lovely blend of slightly brown water with small multi-coloured stones…yummy.  Next course- mud pies, so the hunt for some earth began with children running in all directions, spoons & pots in hand ready to excavate!

LM Digging

                                                                   Lots of earth here for a tasty mud pie

Back at camp lots of excited muddy fingers were making many mouth-watering dishes, including a culinary speciality -Mud Truffles.

LM Mud

                                                                               Mud glorious mud!

Finally some woodland friends were served their meal round the campfire and the chefs (and helpers) were rewarded with the earlier promised treats.                                                                           

LM Teddy Bears

A feast fit for a king

 After a quick play and run around, it was time to say goodbye to our guide and the woods. I would really recommend the classes, which were both fun and educational. MUD PIES hold classes for ages 2 – 8 in the holidays, but in term time 2 – 5 year olds are invited along for classes each week. Visit the website for details and how to book. And most of all…..have fun!!!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Kierna September 8, 2013 at 09:21

Congratulations on your 1st blog post Lesley but I suspect it won’t be your last! I’ve been following Mud Pies adventures so it’s great to see 2 of my fav ‘people’ meet up!! Would you consider adding his to the latest Outdoor Play Party, Juliet?


Juliet Robertson September 9, 2013 at 06:14

Will do Kierna!


Mandy September 8, 2013 at 20:12

Lesley and Juliet
Thanks for this lovely blog – as Kierna says, I hope not your last! That was a very wet afternoon but just shows you how much fun you can have if you just decide “Let’s do it!”
Hope LM has made more mud truffles at home and I look forward to your next “snippets”!


Coombe Mill - Fiona September 9, 2013 at 16:56

Messy play is often the best play and it was obviously a success. What a fun adventure to go off into the woods exploring and having fun together. Well done on a great post and I look forward to reading your next one. Thanks for linking up and sharing some great outdoor fun with Country Kids.


Jenny @ The Brick Castle September 9, 2013 at 19:52

We went to something very similar in Manchester last week – how much fun?! It’s such a great thing to just play outdoors with sticks and stones and dirt 🙂


Hannh @ Making Boys Men September 12, 2013 at 19:08

We love the woods and if I let them the boys could play all day in mud, what a great adventure! Thanks for sharing at the Outdoor Play Party


Lisa September 13, 2013 at 23:23

Thanks for introducing me to Mud Pies, will have to go find out more about them now! Hopefully my daughter can go next summer, it looks like a great adventure for the kids


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