Wednesday, 17 July 2019 00:00

Pensthorpe’s Junior Board get messy at new mud kitchen

Written by  Danielle Sparks
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images courtesy of Steve Adams images courtesy of Steve Adams

Members of Pensthorpe’s Junior Board, and their siblings, were the first to try out Pensthorpe Natural Park’s new mud kitchen and trial some of the activities for its new summer event, Nature’s WILD Tribe.

The outdoor mud kitchen is the latest addition to WildRootz and the 4.3 feet wide kitchen was built onsite by the team in four days. Featuring four bowls, utensils such as spoons and whisks and a tap, it is made from recycled materials, including an old wheelbarrow and uses some of the reserve’s old signage as blackboards.  

Kelly Lovick, Play Manager at Pensthorpe Natural Park, came up with the idea of the mud kitchen and comments: “Messy play is not only important to support with the development of fine motor skills, but is also a fantastic sensory experience and great for imagination and role play. It also creates nostalgia for adults, so all ages, including mum and dad, can join in the muddy fun! When I was young we didn’t have the technology that children do now, so I was always making mud pies and getting dirty in the garden. That’s why we wanted to build our own mud kitchen and it is such a simple and fun thing that adults can enjoy with the children.”

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Aged between nine and eleven, the Junior Board also went on a sensory barefoot walk, leapfrogged over tree stumps, battled it out at ‘giant’ noughts and crosses and built a den – all new activities for the Summer holiday event, Nature’s WILD Tribe, launching on Thursday 25 July and taking place daily throughout the school holidays until Tuesday 3 September 2019.

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The Junior Board are a group of 12 nature enthusiasts recruited by Pensthorpe in 2018 to offer their opinions and knowledge, help influence future developments and be the first to try out new events and openings at the nature reserve.

Deb Jordan, owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park, said: “Feedback from our Junior Board on our new mud kitchen and Summer event has been really inspiring as they loved the trails and having a go at the various challenges and activities on offer, and what child doesn’t love getting messy! We really want to encourage that ‘lightbulb moment’ connection in children and to get them to love nature and all the wonders of the natural world and we hope that a day spent outdoors letting off steam and being surrounded by nature will allow them to disconnect from technology for a while. Families should arrive early to make a whole day of it because, as well as new activities and our mud kitchen, there’s also red squirrels to see, hands-on pond dipping sessions, flamingos to wonder at, craft activities, a bird feed, award-winning eco play areas WildRootz and Hootz House, a Hootz & Friends Discovery Stamp Trail and a secret trail of sculptures. All of these activities are a great way to spend some quality family time together and create some wonderful memories.”

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Teddi Brindley, aged 11, from the Junior Board really enjoyed trialling everything on offer, as her mum, Alexandra commented: “Teddi talked about the Barefoot Walk enthusiastically on the drive home and really enjoyed climbing on everything. She loved the mud kitchen and did not want to leave and enjoyed the giant noughts and crosses. She really raved about her experience and said it was the best yet. She is completely in love with Pensthorpe and can't wait for the holidays so we can do a whole day visit again.”

Nature’s WILD Tribe runs between 10am and 5pm. Adults £11.95, Seniors £10.95, Children £10.95, Under 3’s free. Receive £1 off per person when you book online.

For more information about Pensthorpe visit pensthorpe.com or call 01328 851 465.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 17 July 2019 17:19

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