How to make a mud kitchen on a budget
There are fully established mud kitchens on the market but instead of spending your hard earned cash on one, you can easily set one up at home on a tight budget. It is not something that my kids play in every day so I would rather set one up when they have the urge and make it different every time.
In addition to the mud kitchen, you can set up a drinks station, pie shop or bake sale.
I picked up a whole range of items including spoons, tongs, saucepan and frying pan, baking trays, plastic cocktail glasses and a drying rack – all for $7. Other ideas would be to try op shops and other second hand stores, gumtree and garage sales to find old items that are cheap (or free). Maybe you even have items in your kitchen cupboards that you are looking to get rid of. It is handy to have a set of pots and pans that can stay with the mud kitchen so you don’t have the added hassle of washing up afterward.
- Find a suitable location for your mud kitchen. There is going to be a whole lot of mess so away from the house is a good option. We set ours up under our playground equipment in the backyard. There was a space underneath that the kids don’t use and this was perfect for mess making.
- Hunt around the house and find a few items that can be used as benches. I found some Styrofoam boxes, plastic tubs and a thick cardboard box that were perfect.
- We made a simple oven using a thick cardboard box, a plastic tub and a few milk bottle lids. I sat the plastic tub on top of the cardboard box and taped on some milk bottle lids for the knobs of the oven. You can’t get any easier than that!
- Set up the kitchen with pots, pans, cups, trays, utensils, measuring spoons etc. You can use the ones from your kitchen but I sourced mine from the recycling shop that can stay outside permanently. This way, a quick hose down when the kids are finished and they are ready for play again.
- I also added some spice jars, straws, patty cake pans, oats and coconut to the kitchen so the kids can use a number of ingredients and get creative.
- Make the mud! Most people don’t have huge backyards where mud pits are commonplace but you can create mud in the smallest space without doing too much damage to the grass. Fill a tub with dirt, add some water and go for it. We made a few big tubs of mud and once the cooking activities were over, the kids ended up tipping them out and jumping in the mud. Because they just weren’t dirty enough!
- When finished, hose the kids and the kitchen will be ready for play again tomorrow.