Spring Hill School Mud Kitchen

September 6 - October 11, 2017 

Throughout this six week program kids, ages 6-12, designed and built a mud kitchen for Spring Hill School in Waitsfield, Vermont. The mud kitchen play space includes a water pump, cupboard, canopy, cutting table, oven and a pair of sinks. The furniture and structures are meant to encourage imaginative play with natural materials such as mud, grass and sand, and household kitchen items like sinks, plates and kettles. This project was an opportunity for children to create something permanent that will be enjoyed by the SHS community for years to come.


Session 1: Brainstorm

September 6, 2017

On the first day of the project all the youth participants met at Spring Hill School to introduce the project to the preschoolers and to brainstorm all of the components of the mud kitchen. Almost all of them had attended SHS for preschool and were overjoyed to be back in the space reminiscing about their early childhood memories.

After introducing each other and discussing some possibilities for the project, the whole group walked down to Foster forest to see the site of the proposed play area. The SHS kids gave us a brief tour of the space, showing us the brook and some good places to find mud. 

After seeing the site it was time to roll up our sleeves and work on some projects together. A variety of activities were prepared to get everyone thinking about the play kitchen, including plywood pizza slices to be decorated with toppings and wooden crates to store all of our pots and pans.

Jasper showed the group an example of a menu he made out of plywood and chalk paint.


Session 2: Prototyping

September 13, 2017

On our first day in the shop the group started by putting their heads together and sharing some ideas. They were given a few items to help inspire the process - a couple of sinks, water pump, some PVC pipe and a pile of scrap wood.

Brainstorming session before building.

Jasper, Hannah and Mason started tinkering with the water pump. They attached the PVC pipe to the pump and experimented with a bucket of water. After toying with it for a few minutes they finally got it to work and started pumping water. The next step was to decide how high the pump should sit and how to design the stand to make it accessible for preschoolers.


Session 3: PVC Experiment

September 20, 2017

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Session 4: Build Session

September 27, 2017


Session 5: Build Session

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Session 6: Installation

Wednesday, October 11, 2017



Friday, October 13, 2017

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