Mud kitchens are on the rise with nurseries and even preschools adding them to the curriculum in recent years - here's how to make your own.
One of my fondest memories as a child was spending hours outside my cousin's grandmother's house at a makeshift kitchen made up of an old cooker, fridge-freezer, microwave, sink and mud - lots of mud.
My cousins and I would be occupied for days on end decorating our mud pies with everything from grass to grains of rice. It's only now that I have my own children that I realise how beneficial it was for my cognitive development and fine motor skills, although I'm sure my mum didn't know it at the time.
Research has proven time and time again that children who play outdoors whatever the weather grow up stronger and healthier. In fact, children need to be around microorganisms found in both soil and grass to allow their immune systems to develop properly to help fight and defend against a number of diseases and allergies.
Unbeknownst to many, dirt contains Mycobacterium vaccae, a microscopic bacteria which stimulates the immune system while also increasing the levels of serotonin in our brain - an endorphin that helps calm us down, in turn, making us happier with regular exposure.
Mud kitchens are on the rise with nurseries and even preschools adding them to the curriculum in recent years and it is a wonderful thing to see - but what if you want to have one out your back garden?
Creating a mud kitchen of your children doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, in fact, most mud kitchen owners created them using materials they already had or that could be sourced easily.
To create a basic mud kitchen you will need some pallets of wood, screws, a saw, a screw gun, an old sink or a basin and a creative imagination - a handyman or woman wouldn't go amiss either.
We adore this simple tutorial, it is so simple and easy to follow and you will be guaranteed hours of backyard fun for the whole family.
And if you don't happen to have any old pots or pans lying around the house, reach out to friends and family because chances are they will have some otherwise hit up your local charity shop.