Sunday, 19 July 2015

Outdoor Sand Kitchen | Playdate Idea

Some months ago, I finished the book Tinker Lab and was inspired to revamp our little outdoor play space to a dirty kitchen area where kids can just go crazy with mixtures and concoctions.  

It made for a super fun playdate afternoon:

This was the space set-up back then.  Since I'm always moving stuff around my house, the outdoor space was more cluttered than I like, but in the meantime it stayed like this:

The play invitation!

With some closer looks, you'll see that everything in here is repurposed old stuff from our kitchen.

Here's the DIY sand+water table which I've yet to write about.  It has sand, mixing bowls, old spoons and some leftover paint.  The paint had petrified in those cups so I added water to revive them for one last play time.  Some were actually a little smelly!

Two mixing bowls, two spoons, two ladles : stress-free for both play mates and mamas alike!

The original table held random stuff : leftover things from our sweet shop play like marbles, rocks, beads, and the usual spare glass bottles we keep outside for play:

I also put out all the expired flavouring which were leftover from failed DIY Montessori smelling bottles.  These go a very long way so you can dilute them with water and they'll still smell great:

These were the hit of the afternoon.

Since we did a purge of the pantry, I brought out the expired spices too.  And our extra jars I used to make permanent places for cornstarch, baking powder, and vinegar:

This was largely ignored except for the spices.  Kids are so intrigued when they get to use grownup stuff.

Among our permanent containers outside are these from her play kitchen:

Best tip is to always put out buckets of water for self-washing - they love it:

The sign is a small touch that explains it all:

Let me tell you, this was supposed to be activity where the mamas would leave and go shopping but we were absolutely fascinated watching them play and discover.

One thing great about this aside from all the sensory and imagination play was that there was no competition.  The goal was to work together and make yummy goodies to sell for the day.

They even did the first exploration together in one bowl

I had a sneaky goal to practice their spooning skills (independent eating is our goal this year):

Scooping sand ingredient

Spooning paint ingredients (some colors were too watery but they didn't mind)

Stir stir stir till everything's a blur:

Developing hand strength too
Teaching her to hold the bowl when mixing
Soon they got seriously concentrating on their own concoctions:

Yummy smells from the flavourings:

Spooning practice again for food presentation:





The chefs started the menu:

Then we played "what do you call your creation" and made some precious videos to remember.

And then the mamas left to shop the sales!  Woohoo!


When we got home I grabbed the camera to capture these finished masterpieces:

And the next weekend, she did it all over again with some neighbors.

The flavour bottles and spices were completely used up and happily disposed of after that.

Too, too fun.  Oh weekends, why so short.

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p.s. check out how we played with sand and paint to make art here.

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