How to DIY Kids Mud Kitchen in Just One Weekend (2024)

Science
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Learn how to build a DIY kids mud kitchen in just one weekend with an easy tutorial from guest writer, Bryn. Your toddlers and preschools will love making mud pies in their new play space!

How to DIY Kids Mud Kitchen in Just One Weekend (1)

If you have a toddler or preschooler, you are probably familiar with the fact that they love to getdirty.

My 2-year-old and 4-year-old are always asking to do projects that involved making a mess. So when my husband proposed the idea of a mud kitchen for them outdoors I was definitely onboard.

Why is a mud kitchen good for children?

A mud kitchen provides an environment for kids to explore nature with their senses and connect to it through play.

A mud kitchen can offer a space for imaginative play, sensory play, nature science experiments and mixing, interactive play with friends and siblings a long with improving fine motor skills as they scoop and pour.

The benefits of a kids mud kitchen can easily be seen by trying this DIY in One Day and watching to see what your kids come up with.

What is a mud kitchen?

A mud kitchen is basically a place for young kids to take all of those messyactivities and move them outdoors. If you’re like me and you want your kids to spend asmuch time outdoors as possible. So, then it’s a no-brainer.

The mud kitchen we ended up with looks amazing and was actually really simple to build.

And it only took a matter of hours instead of days.

Here’s what you’ll need to make a kids mud kitchen:

  • Wood (we used two 2×4’s and four 1×6’s) – $9
  • Pallets – two half pallets or one full pallet that you can cut in half (can often find for free)
  • Wood Screws
  • 10 Pavers (you may have a few extra around your yard or purchase for around $3 each)
  • Sink (price varies greatly — you can use bins or try a Habitat ReStore for a cheapoption)
  • Drain strainer – $4
  • Flowers (a fun finishing touch — you could also have your kids plant seeds on their mud kitchen)

Step By Step How To Create a Mud Kitchen

First, we built the side table.

This just involved creating a tabletop by cutting two of the 1x6x8boards in half leaving four equal length boards.

We used scrap wood from a fence repair forthe cross sections and then used the 2×4’s as legs.

Next, we made the longer table which was a little more complicated because you have toaccount for the sink.

Again, we used the 1×6 boards to make the table top.

And measuredaround the sink to leave a drop-in hole for it.

You may want two separate holes if you’re usingbins.

If you’re using an actual sink it should come with brackets and screws to attach it to thewood.

Next, we attached the half pallets to each side of the main sink table with wood screws. And thenadded a bottom to the top section of the pallet so that we could plant some flowers in them.

This idea of adding a little natural beauty to our DIY mud kitchen made it that much more inviting for our kids.

Wedecided that if we ever need to re-plant something, we’d have the kids plant seeds so they canwatch the different stages of seeds to seedlings to plants.

We chose to leave the side table detached from the main sink table. So that we could move itaround to different areas of the yard.

This idea also gives us the option to even move it to use as a kitchen island to keep the kids mudkitchen layout evolving.

Sometimes the results of a small change like that can give a whole new life to an activity for kids.

The final touches included using some wood screws (hooks would probably be prettier) on the sides of the pallets for hanging the kids’ tools and kitchen utensils on.

We then laid out the pavers to make a floor and added a water-loving plant under the sink toabsorb a lot of the drippings.

Finally, the fun part!

A wagon full of sand and dirt that made for some amazing mud pies — andmud muffins and mud salads and mud coffee — the play was hours of endless creation.

Looking for more muddy fun? Try making mud prints!

Mission accomplished! Iwas pleasantly surprised by how easy this kids mud kitchen was to put together and for a very low cost as well.

We are very happy with the results and that it only took a matter of hours to complete.

We just spent one Saturday working on it and it has been such a crowd pleaser with our kids.

I’m thrilled to have another activity outside to keep them playing and using their imaginationsthis summer!

How to DIY Kids Mud Kitchen in Just One Weekend (13)About the Writer

Bryn Huntpalmer is a mother of two young children living in Austin, Texas where she currentlyworks as an editor and writer for Modernize.com with the goal of empowering homeowners withthe expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects withconfidence.

How to DIY Kids Mud Kitchen in Just One Weekend (14)

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How to DIY Kids Mud Kitchen in Just One Weekend (2024)

FAQs

How much does it cost to build a mud kitchen? ›

DIY mud kitchens are awesome but a little overwhelming

If you're looking for something simple, head to your local second-hand shop and buy some big buckets and cooking utensils. Grab some sand and dirt from your local landscaper and your kids will have a blast. This kind of setup will cost no more than $50.

How many pallets do you need to make a mud kitchen? ›

You will need

Approximately three to four wooden pallets 1200 x 800mm (local businesses are often willing to donated these) Three lengths of wood 1200 x 22 x 100mm.

Is 5 too old for a mud kitchen? ›

Mud Kitchens are a great resource for children aged 1 to 7 years. However, older children are likely to enjoy playing with it too!

What are the rules for a mud kitchen? ›

Like all interest areas, mud kitchens have some ground rules. In addition to the basics—share, be kind, take turns—a mud kitchen adds: “mud is not for throwing” and “do not eat mud.” The rules should be kept to a minimum and need to be explained before opening the kitchen.

Are mud kitchens worth it? ›

Mud kitchens stimulate creativity and imagination and provide engaging and valuable play to children in a wide age range. Children between age one and seven will get the most out of a mud kitchen, but older children are still likely to take pleasure from it too.

What soil is safe for mud kitchen? ›

A useful approach for mud kitchens is to supply soil from purchased loam topsoil rather than from gardens or uncovered plant borders (all garden centres sell this; don't try compost as it does not behave sufficiently like soil for satisfactory mud play). Freshly excavated mole hills also supply lovely clean topsoil!

How to waterproof a mud kitchen? ›

If you'd like to make the roof more watertight for heavier rain showers, try adding a silicone sealant along the grooves of the roof. Do this on the inside of both panels with one that dries clear. This won't affect the look of your playhouse but will give it that extra bit of rain protection.

How tall should a kids mud kitchen be? ›

We found that making the table a little over 2 feet tall was the perfect height to allow little kids and big kids to play. The back wall of the mud kitchen extends up another 22 inches. We wanted the boards, on the back wall, to have some space but not too much, so we space them an inch apart using one inch spacers.

What are the disadvantages of a mud kitchen? ›

The mud kitchen can take up space that children usually use to play freely in. Pots and pans filled with mud can be heavy and children may injure themselves if they are dropped on hands and feet.

What soil is best for kids mud kitchen? ›

A useful approach for mud kitchens is to supply soil from purchased loam topsoil rather than from gardens or uncovered plant borders (all garden centres sell this; don't try compost as it does not behave sufficiently like soil for satisfactory mud play). Freshly excavated mole hills also supply lovely clean topsoil!

Do kids need pretend kitchen? ›

According to Early Years Matters, play “underpins learning and all aspects of children's development”. Play kitchens are a great way to encourage little ones to play different roles and give them the freedom to explore imaginative scenarios in a fun way.

How do you make homemade mud? ›

Start by mixing 1 cup of cornstarch with ½ cup of water. Add a few tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa. (Add more water as necessary to create desired consistency.) Add pigs and other farm animals or dinosaurs for playing in the mud.

What kind of soil do you use for mud kitchens? ›

A useful approach for mud kitchens is to supply soil from purchased loam topsoil rather than from gardens or uncovered plant borders (all garden centres sell this; don't try compost as it does not behave sufficiently like soil for satisfactory mud play). Freshly excavated mole hills also supply lovely clean topsoil!

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