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Mud Kitchen Play Ideas for Kids

Mud Kitchen Ideas for Kids

Last year, my kids got a mud kitchen for Christmas from their lovely grandparents. It’s been a very well played with and it’s probably one of our Favourite Nature Gifts for Outdoorsy kids so i thought I’d write a list of the best Mud Play Kitchen Ideas, all about things the kids love to play with in their mud kitchen and how to make mud kitchen potions and even how to have a mud kitchen party to help your little ones enjoy their mud kitchen too! And if you’d like some other ideas for outdoor play – you can check out this post too.

Mud Kitchen Fun Ideas

Why are mud kitchens great for kids? 

Mud Glorious Mud! First and foremost – mud play is fun! Making mud pies have been kid’s favourite games to play for many years. Peppa Pig understood the pleasure mud pies, mud cakes and mud potions bring to a kid’s life!! A backyard mud kitchen is great for developing little kids fine motor skills in mixing, making and stirring. It involves kids in hours of messy play Check out our favourite MUD EXPLODING MONSTERS SCIENCE EXPERIMENT for more fun with mud. There’s also a Scientific benefit to mud- it’s meant to calm and relax you which is why some people pay for mud baths. Apparently, playing in mud can also make you healthier – some doctors believe that our sanitised world is contributing to increased levels of childhood allergies and illnesses so some exposure to dirt and germs is important to strengthen child’s immune systems. Read this post if you’d like to know more about the benefit of mud kitchens. Mud kitchens are also great for fine motor skill development – all that mixing and measuring is great to develop this. But ultimately, we shouldn’t focus on the learning too much – mud play should be spontaneous and enjoyable!

How can kids benefit from a mud kitchen?

As well as being fun and great for sensory play, you can also use a mud kitchen to develop kids educationally too. Kids develop their numeracy via counting, measuring and weighing, and literacy through reading and writing recipes, shopping lists and menus or invitations to their mud kitchen through role play. Read here for more ideas of outdoor learning for numeracy and literacy.

Mud Kitchen Recipe Ideas

How to make a DIY Mud Kitchen

Mud kitchens are the best outdoor toys and can be as simple as a soil digging patch, with some pots and pans . This is why mud kitchens are so popular- all kids love playing house with gooey mud and this is even better if you add a sensory, messy play element. Mud kitchens can easily be made from recycled materials or natural materials (such a tree stumps or scrap wood.)  An Outdoor mud kitchen generally needs a storage space, a kitchen sink and a stirring/ mixing area for the much fun sensory experience. Mud kitchens work well all year round, they’re not just for warmer weather. Our kids love to play in the mud kitchen in the Winter too. Just add some all purpose weather gear such as an Outdoor Splash Suit or Winter Snow Suit. Kids will get the best out of a mud kitchen between the ages of 2 and 9 when they like sensory play, although older kids will still enjoy it too.

You don’t need an expensive mud kitchen, Mud kitchens do not need to be fancy and definitely don’t need to cost very much. You can make your own mud kitchen and they can be made out of pallets or follow this Mud Kitchens board on Pinterest to get some ideas for how to make your mud kitchen there are so many creative ideas! Essentially, all you need for a mud kitchen is a digging area, a spoon, some gooey mud and some pots and pans – everything else could be added later if needed. A good mud kitchen that will last is this one and you can even get mud kitchens that have running water! For our mud kitchen, we use this camping water storage with tap so the kids can pour the water and use the water for their potions anytime! 

And remember you can collaborate with the kids who will be playing with it, young kids will love foraging for things to use in their mud kitchen. My kids are all too quick to suggest they need one of my old pots or pans to add to their ever-growing collection in their Mud Kitchen. Young children and older children love playing in a mud kitchen, it’s great fun for them to have their own outdoor play kitchen and encourages imaginative play and leads to hours of independent play.

Mud Kitchen Ideas
Mud Kitchen Recipes

Best Mud Kitchen Ideas 

Mud Kitchen Accessories

You can kit out a mud kitchen very easily and cheaply. You can find lots of old kitchen equipment in charity shops. Here are some of our Mud Kitchen essentials that guarantee lots of outdoor mud play!

What to put in your Mud Kitchen

  • Cooking utensils
  • Whisks
  • Wooden Spoons
  • Sieve
  • Pots and Pans
  • Plastic Jars (to store things like making potions conkers, acorns etc….) We love these ones from Amazon here.
  • Muffin Tin or Yorkshire Pudding Tin
  • Pestle and Mortar (a little one for little hands is great for grinding flowers!)
  • Jug
  • Muffin tins
  • Potato Masher (amazing for squelching mud!)
  • Spatula (an essential kitchen utensils for spreading your mud batter!)
  • Silicon Cup Cake Cases (because they can be left outside in the wet!)
  • Funnels (great for pouring water and mud through!)
  • Old microwave
  • Waterproof aprons
  • Flower Pots
  • Stainless steel spoons (so they don’t rust)
  • Fairy Lights or bunting for adding a personal touch
  • Sink Basin
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Raid the recycling box for plastic bottles and jugs
  • A mini chalk board is perfect for a menu
  • Measuring Cups (great for getting kids using their numeracy)
  • Old set of baking scales
  • Syringes or kid’s pipettes – you can use these kid’s syringes or calpol syringes also work well.
  • Flowerpots – good for mixing in.
  • Watering Can. Mud is even more fun when water is added!
  • See below for some natural items you can add to your mud kitchen!

Natural items for your mud kitchen

  • Dried Rose Petals
  • Acorns
  • Conkers
  • ​Dried Wheat
  • Shells
  • Herbs
  • Leaves
  • Pink Rock Salt (as pretend fairy dust!)
  • Red Lentils
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Stones/ pebbles
  • Bark
  • Moss
  • ​Twigs
  • ​Pinecones
  • Dried Lemon and Orange Slices

Mud kitchen games and ideas

Here’s some fun ideas for hands-on activities your mud kitchen. Use them with your at home mud kitchen or these are also great EYFS ideas for Mud Kitchens that would be perfect for a Reception Class Mud Kitchen and Outdoor Playgroups or Forest Schools.

  • Make a Mud Kitchen Cafe. You can find some cute printables such as these ones on the wonderful web to help you set up a mud play kitchen cafe
  • Set up an Outdoor Shop. Take a table outside and use your mud kitchen to make some mud pies to sell. Price them up and make some pebble currency and you’re ready to go!
  • Make Herbal Tea A firm favourite for our kids is to collect petals and herbs that are growing in the garden and infuse them with hot water to make tea.
  • Use Real Ingredients  – it’s a great way to use up old food and 
  • Make Mud Cakes Kids will delight in being given real candles so they can make a real mud pie birthday cake!
  • Herbs and Spices Use real spices and herbs (see below) so that children can practise using their senses by grinding and pounding the spices.
Mud Kitchen Games and Ideas
Mud Kitchen Essentials

Mud Kitchen Recipes

More play ideas for Mud kitchens could include using recipes. It’s fun to include Mud Kitchen recipes in your mud kitchen to help children use their numeracy and learn amounts as well as practising things such as doubling. Something we like to do is use the storybooks we’ve been reading as inspiration for our recipes.

For example, some mud kitchen recipes you could try are….. Find more mud kitchen recipes here.

  • Tiger who came to Tea cupcakes (try using mud, silicon cupcake cases and flower petals or grass to decorate)
  • Room on the Broom witches potion (see below for potion ideas)
  • The Twit’s Worm Sandwiches (preferably not using real worms! But try grass reeds or small sticks to be the worms!)
  • Fruit Soup from Handa’s Surprise (try using conkers and acorns to be the different fruits)
  • James and the Giant Peach Crumble (using red lentils to be the peach mixture)
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears Porridge (try using oats and mud but make sure the oats are uncooked so they can be eaten by the birds when you’ve finished playing!)

Mud Kitchen Potion Ideas

things to make in your mud kitchen

How to make a Mud Kitchen Potion kit 

For Christmas, I made the kids a Mud Kitchen Potion kit. They loved it and it’s given them many hours of playing time so far! They made wonderful herb soups, nature milkshakes, flower cakes and magic potions! Want to make a mud kitchen potion kit? Then sign up here for my free mud potion kit list and ideas for Mud Kitchen Recipes! It gives you the kit list to create your own Mud Potion Kit and mud kitchen recipe ideas to make some magical mud potions! 

There’s no end to the fun you can have with a mud kitchen. Although we have lots of ideas here – the best thing to do is to send your child off with a container and a spoon and see what exciting recipes they can create with their own imagination! What else do your little ones like to play in their mud kitchen?

How to Make a Kid's Mud Potion Kit

How to have a Kid’s Mud Party

Let’s face it. Mud can be a lot of fun, but it can also be mucky and messy! In the winter, our kids often wear waterproofs in their mud kitchen. (We like these waterproof trousers.) But we have, on occasions, let them go crazy and have a mud party and go as mad as they like in the mud! A Mud Party is THE best Mud kitchen play idea! They even love being hosed down afterwards too! Obviously it increases the washing and makes a ton of mess but kids really love it and its fun to do every now and then – they are only little for such a short time that its fun to watch them live their childhood wallowing in the mud like toddlers. You can always let them have a mud swimming party with their swimming costumes on if it’s warm, which cuts down on the washing! (My 11 year old is a particular fan of a mud party – long may it continue!) All you need for a mud party is some mud and a hosepipe or water! Here’s how to have a fun Muddy Puddle Nature Walk too!

How to have a Mud Party
Kid's Mud Party
Happy in Mud!
Mud Kitchen Play Ideas for preschoolers

*This Post contains Affiliate Links which means I may make a small commission if you click on the links. It doesn’t cost you any more though and I only recommend products I genuinely love! All thoughts, words and photos are completely my own unless stated*

NB: Some of these products were gifted for review but all opinions are my own (or my kids!).

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