Mud Kitchens – love them or hate them you can’t deny the face that kids and mud are like magnets. There’s so many benefits to letting kids play in a mud kitchen (see below) but the thought of having one in my setting (which is also my home) doesn’t appeal to me. So instead I often set up this Mud Kitchen Tuff Spot for my Little Tots which means when the mud is too much after a few days of play I can clear it away and pretend it never happened! 

I set up this mini mud kitchen for my 4 year old whilst the younger ones were napping giving her a chance to play with it before they came along to destroy it.

You Will Need:

  • Tuff Spot (affiliate link)
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Mud / dirt
  • Water

I placed our tuff spot in our garden and added pots, pans, bowls, spoons, whisks etc to it along with a jug of water. I then asked Georgia to collect her own mud and let her get busy making mud pies.

Straight away she added water to the bowl, mixed it up and then began adding grass, flowers and leaves and anything else she could find. Such imaginative play came about because of this. Firstly she was a chef in a large restaurant taking orders, next she was a mum baking for a kids birthday party and then she was a wizard making magical potions.

I also added some Mud Kitchen Challenge Card which I download from Twinkl which set out some fun challenges such as can you make a pie with 10 different ingredients and can you bake a cake and cut enough slices for all your friends. I also printed these blank Mud Pie Recipe cards which Georgia used to write out her own recipes with help from me but they got a bit soggy when thrown into a pie by her brother!

At one point during her play it was even my 53rd (cheeky girl!) birthday and I had to sit and enjoy my mud pancakes, mud pasta, mud coffee and mud cupcakes. Yum!

I wasn’t sure what Baby J would make of this when he woke up but as you can tell by his face he loved it! Firstly he used the metal spoons to bang the pots as loud as he could before enjoying mixing the mud in the bowl.

He actually spent just as long as his sister playing with this, nearly an hour of play. The other little one with me today wasn’t so keen though so I think i’ll try it on a much smaller scale with her to start off with next time.

Baby J loved it so much he’s even been back out every day since to have a play with it even though the weather hasn’t been as nice since we first set it up. I can see this boy and dirt are going to have a great relationship.

Benefits of Mud Kitchens

Yes there really is benefits to letting your kids play with mud, honest.

  • Sensory Play – exploring glorious sloppy mud is a wonderful sensory experience for little hands (or feet).
  • Gross motor skills – all the bending up and down, squatting, carrying the mud, lifting the tools, pouring water and generally being very active.
  • Imaginative Play – mud can be anything!
  • Working Together – role playing, creating muddy concoctions together.
  • Early maths and science – what happens to mud when it gets wet? how can we make mud thicker? counting petals to put in a mud pie etc.
  • Getting close to nature – getting outside and playing with the natural world around us – soil, plants, sand, stones, twigs etc is a great way to connect to nature and learn about the world around us.
  • It’s healthy – there’s lots of research to promote the fact that being exposed to dirt helps build up immune systems – don’t believe me? Read this post from Stay at Home Educator – The Dirt on Dirt: How Getting Dirty Make for Healthy Kids.

But the most important benefit has to be happiness. Have you ever seen a child playing in mud that isn’t happy and contented? Kids are drawn to dirt and just love it! Have you got a mud kitchen? We would love to see yours.

I’ve linked this post up with the A to Z of Spring Outdoor Activities Blog Hop hosted by Something 2 Offer so don’t forget to check out all the other great outdoor activities below:

 

Alligator Action Rhyme from Preschool Powol Packets

10 Favorite Outdoor Ball Games from Creative World of Varya

Chalkboard Pretend Play from Our Whimsical Days

Dandelion STEM Activities from My Bright Firefly

Froggy Fun Outdoors from Mrs. LeBlanc’s Learners

Growing Tuff Spot from Tuff Spot Play

Hiking Activities with Young Kids from Royal Baloo

Jungle Gym Fun  from Something 2 Offer

Let’s Go Fly a Kite from Something 2 Offer

Mud Kitchen Tuff Spot from Clare’s Little Tots

Nature Art Project for Young Children from Uno Zwei Tutu

Exploring Life at the Pond from Natural Beach Living

Rock Painting for Kids from Something 2 Offer

Ways to Play with Sidewalk Chalk from Crafty Mama in ME

Tactile Nature Letters with Free Printable Letter Templates {Montessori Monday} from Living Montessori Now

Underground Scavenger Hunt from Preschool Powol Packets

Xylophone Jars from CraftCreateCalm

Y is for Yellow Photography from Preschool Powol Packets

Our Zoo Atlanta Visit and Review from Crafty Mama in MEA to Z Spring Outdoor Activities Blog Hop

mud kitchen tuff spot

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