Mud kitchens are a fantastic idea for parents who want to support their child’s development and creative play.
Never heard of a mud kitchen? You’ve come to the right place.
We’ve got all you need to know about this messy but super-fun and natural style of play so that you can get one setup for your child right away.
Here’s everything you ever needed to know about mud kitchens:
What Is A Mud Kitchen?
A mud kitchen is an outdoor piece of playground equipment that you place somewhere in your garden or outdoor space for children or students to use. The mud kitchen is usually made out of high quality wood and is treated to be durable and long-lasting, even after lots of weather exposure (and plenty of play!).
A mud kitchen can include many different parts, such as a mud kitchen worktop, washing machine, or even a kitchen table. Of course, if your kids really take to it, you can slowly build a complete mud kitchen setup in your garden for maximum playtime and fun.
Why Should Children Play With Mud Kitchens?
For your children, being able to get messy, act out their imagination and interact with hands-on materials is something that they will enjoy, and something you can enjoy doing with them. It is also an activity that will give them plenty of exercise.
Scientifically, there are also a lot of great things to be said for mud play. Children can build their immunity, boost their gut bacteria, benefit from sensory play, use their imagination, construct, learn to play alone and in a team. Some studies also suggest that children have better wellbeing overall after spending time in nature regularly.
How To Setup A Mud Kitchen
To set up a mud kitchen you need to pick a spot that is at floor level so that it is easy for your children to access it. Many people choose to use sand instead of mud and actively set up a mud kitchen in or around the sandpit. Alternatively, you could simply use a corner of the garden that you don’t mind getting messy.
Once you have picked the perfect spot, we recommend investing in a robust mud kitchen setup, including vertical surfaces that are perfect for hanging lots of pots and utensils (hooks can easily be added). An enclosed space helps children to feel safe and encourages them to act out what they are imagining.
As well as the basic kitchen and surrounding area you’ll need to add lots of containers, buckets, pans, utensils and perhaps imaginative kitchen items like pretend sinks and cookers. Water, gravel, sticks, non-toxic soil and sand are other great additions to this space.
Lastly, it is often worth having a covered tub containing your childs ‘chefs outfit’ where they can get kitted up in waterproofs, wellies and other messy play clothes near to their mud kitchen. This will help to contain the mess. Alternatively, your child should know not to run in and out of the house in their ‘chefs clothes’.
“Play is our brain’s favourite way of learning.” – Diane Ackerman
Hopefully you’re already planning to install a mud kitchen for your children in your outdoor space. The benefits are far reaching, even if the cooking results do leave a little to be desired.
Soon enough you’ll be making the finest mud pies with your little chef, as well as some incredible memories, right in your own garden or playground.