What’s more fun than playing outside and getting dirty? To a child, nothing. It’s the best. Now, imagine there was a way to create your own special space in your backyard where your kids could cook, mix, pretend and play in the dirt without ruining your carpet? There is – they are called mud kitchens.
Cubby houses are great. Sand boxes are fun too. But mud kitchens…this is where the real fun is at!
Every back yard should have a mud kitchen – an outdoor area that stores kitchen utensils, buckets of water, dirt, mud and other items discovered in nature. Let kids’ imaginations take flight with these awesome mud kitchens.
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Sure, they may look tricky to build, such as this amazing one from PBS, but they are relatively simple.
The first step is to collect old kitchen utensils – pots, pans, strainers, baking tins, muffin trays, mixers, measuring cups, wooden spoons, camping equipment and anything else you can find that could be used to bake mud pies, mix mud milkshakes and store mud pudding.
We love how the use of red and greens add a splash of colour to the mud kitchen space at Green Garden Preschool in the United States.
One of our favourite features of mud kitchens is the sink. If you don’t have an old sink laying around, you can easily create one with Ikea bins placed into hollow wood openings (such as Fazely Preschool did above).
Or, you can even use old tyres filled with water (just be sure to dump the water out after use).
Old pallets and furniture from inside can make an excellent mud kitchen set-up. You can even create your own wood burning oven out of an tree trunk, if you happen to have a massive tree growing in your back yard and a hefty chain saw sitting in the shed.
You can transform old dressers, drawers and even your child’s change table into the perfect space to store their kitchen accessories like this one found at Tinkerlab.
As long as you have a bit of space in your backyard, some timber or old furniture and a few spare hours of free time, you can design your own mud kitchen, the perfect learning space for outdoor explorers.