Mud Kitchen

Mud Kitchen

Location: outdoor

Materials: mud, shovels, pots, pans, cooking utensils

Depending on your outdoor space, you might end up with mud to play with whether you like it or not. It might be tempting to try to close the space off to keep your kids out of it and clean, but mud is such a great (and free!) material for sensory exploration.

Before introducing mud, you might want to warn the parents. You know your parents the best, and will know who might be upset about their child coming home messy. Make a plan for how to handle this. You could invite your kids to wear smocks similar to what they might wear to paint, or you could have a specific day of the week (Mud Monday!) where parents know their kids will be getting messy and plan accordingly. Regardless what you decide, make a plan that you think will work and communicate it out with parents. We can't always plan for mud, but it's great to be prepared.

If you don't have mud in your yard, but want to create it, use your sand table, a few large plastic tubs, or one of those small kiddie pools. Fill your chosen container with dirt and give it a splash with the hose.

Once you have a mud source, you can inspire different kinds of creative play by adding in different materials. You could include the typical toys you might find in the sand box, or go to the thrift store and buy some used kitchen utensils, pots and pans and make it a true mud kitchen. The possibilities are endless.

Possible Extensions:

  • Add in paintbrushes for mud painting
  • Use spatulas and potato mashers for stamping activities
  • Include animals or vehicles that can hide or make tracks in the mud

What We're Learning:

  • sensory input
  • fine motor and hand muscle development
  • exploring the natural world
  • creative expression