Our Muddly Puddly Laboratory was born when my son was given a mud kitchen for his first birthday. Lovingly designed and built by us out of upcycled materials, it was a magnificent thing to behold, and completely changed the way we played. Now, we were drawn outside more and more, digging for dirt, and foraging for fallen seed pods and other natural treasure to use as ingredients in our kitchen.
And we found that we were more relaxed out here. I didn't care about any mess and cleanup - let it all join the dirt. And the children were calmer and felt freer out in the open.
Something about this just felt right, which is why our play ideas incorporate our outdoor space and its natural materials almost all the time. Of course, no-one needs a fancy mud kitchen to play outside, but, for us, it certainly was the start of a new chapter in the way we connected to play, to nature, and to each other.
I am Avvy, an early years STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) communicator by profession. My two little Muddly Puddlies and I love creating things, imaginative play, making mudcakes, potions, experiments, books, wheels, unicorns, and puddles.
Our play ideas will often have a STEM component being highlighted as I tend to make STEM an everyday conversation and see it in almost everything we do. I am an advocate for laying down the foundation for developing a STEM mindset in the early years, so that our children can have a better opportunity to be problem solvers, change makers, and active participants in a rapidly changing planet.
Our play ideas and MakeMUD products are also eco-conscious, with a strong connection to the beauty and importance of the natural world, and we hope this encourages the next generation of inspired, caring and cognisant humans to take care of the wild that was inside them from the very beginning.