Ideas & Inspiration

The Mud Kitchen Movement - Why are Mud Kitchens beneficial?


Mud kitchens aren't just fun, they're super beneficial for little ones too. The experts at Woody Craft reveal why:

  1. Elevates mood: Mud kitchen play increases the levels of serotonin in our brains, helping us to relax and feel soothed and calm, they say. Plus, fresh air and Vitamin D (obtained through being exposed to sunlight) are both great for boosting the spirits.
  2. Encourages creativity: 'Mud can be moulded and decorated and it responds differently than sand, clay or play dough.' Getting hands-on with tactile materials also stimulates imagination and encourages artistic play.
  3. Connects kids with nature: It's hard to care about things that you're not really involved with, and many kids these days spend more time glued to their screens than out-of-doors. But getting kids outside to play, act out make-believe worlds, and explore, creates happy memories with the one most primal element in our world: nature. Along with that comes a development of respect and understanding for the great outdoors.
  4. Helps kids learn and develop skills: 'Sensory, hands-on play feeds children's brains. Listing all the ways playing with mud – a delightfully sensory experience – can help children to learn and develop would be a whole post in itself.

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Our top tips:

  • Provide resources such as mud, water, flower petals, pans, beakers and tools to extend children’s play. Leave them to it, its great to see what they come up with!
  • Allow them to collect their own ingredients from around the garden or when you are out and about, such as pine cones, rocks, daisies and dandelions.
  • Remember it’s the process, not the product (although you may be handed some culinary delights!)
  • Join in! Show that its ok to get your hands dirty.
  • Dress appropriately! Nobody likes to be cold and wet.
Mud Kitchen Ideas

Mud Kitchen Ideas

These mud kitchen ideas are guaranteed to give your kids hours of outdoor fun. And, getting stuck in with hands-on activities alongside a big dose of fresh air will be a welcome break from screens.

Whether your garden is big or small, rural or urban, it can become a treasure trove of finds. What's more, mud kitchen ideas help children to connect with nature and learn life-long skills. 

They don't require tons of expensive equipment or unsightly toys either. In fact, the simpler the offering, the more imaginative the play becomes. A few basic containers for mixing, a hidden pathway through bushes, and some mud, leaves and soil can be all you need to keep little ones occupied, and they'll provide some great memory-making moments as well. 

1. Use Dry Materials

Sure, a bit of mud can be fun and all. But sometimes, it's nice to avoid it – especially when there's quite enough laundry to do already. But lack of mud definitely doesn't equal lack of fun.

Some ideas combine colourful toy fruit and veggies, felt flowers, brown crinkled paper, chocolate-flavoured cereal, lego, buttons, pegs and the list goes on... Almost anything can be used to make to a gorgeous Mud Kitchen set-up. 

» Rainy Day Fun: Play Dough Part 1: Play Materials

2. Make Mud Muffins

Get kids in the mood to bake – mud muffins that is. Grab an old muffin tray (you can often find them for very cheap second hand) and make a game of mixing up pretend cake batter with dirt, water, and maybe some torn up leaves for 'seasoning'.

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Encourage kids to decorate their creations with petals and stones for a pretty topping, and they'll soon look good enough to eat (but make sure they don't).

3. Add Bubbles To The Mix

Bubbles are bound to bring delight to, let's face it, pretty much anyone (pets included). But little ones will especially love watching them float into the sky, or jumping to try and pop as many as possible.

So why not add a dose of bubbly fun to their mud kitchen creations? It could be as simple as adding some washing up liquid to a bucket of water. But, you can also buy inexpensive tubes of bubble liquid with a wand included for them to blow.

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