I remember the school I work at making a mud kitchen a few years ago and thinking how messy it sounded! Fast forward a few years and I now have one in my garden. I can honestly say that it’s the toy that Sophie plays with the most when she goes outside.
My husband built it last year using some old pallets when Sophie was still a baby.
He tried to convince me to let him turn it into a giant armchair but he didn’t win! Instead, it sat in our garden, looking like a giant outdoor toilet, for about 6 months until Sophie was big enough to play with it.
Craig made a hole in the top and placed a metal bowl into it to create a sink. I found some mini pans in Aldi and bought some matching utensils from Homesense. I want to paint some hobs on the top and put some hooks on the back for Sophie to hang her pots and pans but I haven’t got round to doing it yet.
We took Sophie out to play with it and she got stuck in tipping, pouring and stirring the mud.
She concentrated really hard to transfer it to different pans using the spoon.
The mud kitchen has been used so much over the last few months and the way we play with it has evolved and developed.
When I set up the carrot dig sensory box, Sophie used some of the carrots in the mud kitchen. We made soup, which was fun until she tried to force feed me! At Forest School, Sophie added pine needles and natural materials. There are so many ‘cooking ingredients’ that could be used in the mud kitchen and I am planning on creating a herb garden nearby so that Sophie can include them when she mixes her concoctions.
After using the mud kitchen at Forest School, I noticed that Sophie really enjoyed using the teapot to pour water so I bought a plastic tea set to keep outside.
Having a tea set prompted us to add water to our play. Which led to more mess, more laundry, more baths but more fun!
Sophie loves playing in the mud but every so often she will notice that her hand are dirty and sign that she wants them wiped. Sometimes I take a towel or flannel outside with us and leave it near the mud kitchen so that she can wipe her muddy hands then carry on playing.
Our mud kitchen cost nothing to make and has been used so much. I would highly recommend adding one to your garden. All you need is a bowl, some mud and a few pots and utensils.
This activity is good for:
- Shape, Space and Measures – enjoying filling and emptying containers.
- Being imaginative – beginning to make-believe by pretending.
- Mixing, pouring, pretending to cook.
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