Imaginative Play Setup: 'Cooking' with Nature

We've been enjoying many nature walks & collecting more goodies on our travels. Minnie has loved exploring all our finds but I thought I'd set them up in a slightly different way, so I left them out for her to find in the kitchen.

There were...

Herbs; 2 varieties of lavender, rosemary & thyme
Bay leaves

Selection of autumn leaves

Sycamore seeds & acorns

Ivy seed heads

Lavender seeds

Minnie was so excited to see the setup & wanted to 'get cooking' immediately!

As she played I loved hearing her enthusiastic comments. "You add one leaf at a go to the mix", "I have to keep stirring or I'll get stuck", & "It's yummy Mummy in my tummy!"

Once she had completely mixed her chosen ingredients she popped her 'cake' into her imaginary oven under the table & 'baked' the cake! When it was 'cooked' she emptied all the ingredients out  & started to mix them again, & again!

She found these in the kitchen so added them to the mix as well.

Later she asked for a baking tray, which was a great way of exploring the sound as well as the texture of the objects.

Even Peppa Pig stopped by & helped!

Minnie's next request was for a recipe book which she flicked through until she found her chosen recipe. ;-) More baking followed, this time with the addition of cupcake cases!

Through this process Minnie was able to explore texture, shape, size, quantity, colour, weight, sound, seasons, motor skills, & so much more.

Natural objects, a bowl & wooden spoon - a perfect recipe for discovery!


  1. oh this is way cool!!! I love natural materials play!

  2. Hello! Just hopped over from It's Playtime Link-up. Just wanted to say thank you for inspiring us with this autumn play cooking, we've had fun this week using autumn goodies for our pretend camp fire cooking. I've linked back to your post here, so hope that's OK with you.

    Here's the link to my blog post if wanted to take a quick look:

    Also loved your harvest playdough, such great ideas, definitely need to be stopping by your blog more often. Thanks for sharing your fun.


  3. With fall coming up again, we're definitely going to have to try this. My 4-year-old loves mixing things together so this is right up her alley. Thanks for sharing!