Outside toy kitchen - What is a mud kitchen?
Outside toy kitchen: What is a mud kitchen?
A mud kitchen is an outside toy kitchen that allows children to combine the joy and benefits of role play with all the sensory delights of mixing up mud.
Kids love playing in the water and mud and there’s nothing better than mixing up a mud pie, making mud cakes or stirring a pot of mud soup to get the creative juices flowing and engage the senses.
Playing in an outside kitchen allows children to explore nature and get messy in a way they can’t do while playing indoors. And while mud kitchens are obviously great during the warmer months they are also a great way to encourage children to play outside in winter providing you have a good set of waterproofs.
Benefits of playing in an outside Kitchen
Mud is an excellent medium for learning. You can paint with it, model with it and mix it into mud pies. Mud gives great opportunities for experimentation and problem solving all while developing both fine and gross motor function.
There are also some surprising benefits of playing with mud. Mud contains microscopic bacteria which can apparently stimulate the immune system and increase levels of serotonin so playing in mud actually makes you happier and can improve cognitive function. Plus exposure to bugs and germs makes kids healthier as well.
Making a mud kitchen
Mud kitchens are available to buy ready-made. But they are also pretty simple to build yourself. Obviously the key ingredient is mud and you’ll need somewhere to put it. Water is a must but it doesn’t have to be nearby.
Adding different things like sticks, stones, pebbles, sand and flowers will all enhance muddy play so and area with these things readily available is perfect.
When it comes to building your mud kitchen we recommend a quick look online to get some ideas.
Having some vertical space is ideal as it helps to define the area and can be used for hanging pots, pans, and utensils. This could be a wall, garden fence or something you build as part of the kitchen.
A work surface and a sink of some description are pretty essential in creating your outdoor kitchen. We like the removable bowls best as they are easy to clean when needed and handy for bringing in mud or water from other areas of the garden.
Beyond that it really is up to you. You’ll see plenty of amazing mud kitchen made from wood and pallets but there are plenty of very achievable ideas for those of us with lesser DIY skills.
An Old tyre with a large washing up bowl in makes an excellent sink or mud store, a used cable reel is the perfect table, even a few bricks with a plank of wood on top makes a very passable mud kitchen.
Which style of toy kitchen is best is completely up to you, you might decide you’d rather stick to an indoor kitchen or you might end up with both.