Fun In Nature – Starter Mud Kitchen Activities For Kids

Fun In Nature – Starter Mud Kitchen Activities For Kids

Mud kitchens are an incredible outdoor toy to have in your garden or nursery because they offer the setting for a world of fun, and many different benefits during play, including:

So, your child has their best wellies on, your mud kitchen is set up, you’re both excited to get started making the most of this innovative toy. Do you just let them go into the mud kitchen and start being creative? Absolutely! However, it could also be helpful to try some starter activities to really get things going, so your child has a positive introduction to play with the toy. 

Knowing different activities for a mud kitchen can also be a great way to try new forms of play to get different benefits from the toy on any given day, or break time. 

Let’s take a look at some activities to get started with, as you and the children in your care look forward to playing with their beautiful new mud kitchen: 

Mud Kitchen Café

Hello Sir, would you like our best mud cappuccino with leaf sprinkles? 

Kids will just love playing make-believe in their mud kitchen to serve the cafe or restaurant food or drinks they have ‘made’. With a DIY table and some plastic tableware, perhaps even a chalkboard with a ‘menu’, your child can get stuck into a wonderful play dynamic. Why not invite the teddies along for the cafe’s exciting special – worm spaghetti? 

Making Tea

A great way to include a child’s sense of smell and taste in mud kitchen play is to ‘make tea’. Safe herbs you are growing can be sprinkled into warm water, smelled and sipped as tea in the kitchen. To avoid blurring the lines of what is safe to consume or not outside, though, it could be worth sticking to pretend tea only. Kids could collect sticks, berries and flowers from the garden and make undrinkable ‘tea’ from that instead. 

TV Show

Many kids have seen cookery shows on TV where food is being made and the chef is talking to the screen. Create an imaginary camera to look at and start presenting your fake mud kitchen TV show! If kids have seen these kinds of programmes on TV they will love copying what they have seen and take their own TV show to new heights of fun. 

Kitchen Garden

With a little planter, or even just some plant pots, you can add a kitchen garden as an extension of your child’s mud kitchen. A little soil and some seeds and kids can learn more about nature with this tactile growing activity that, once the plants have grown, will contribute to lots of recipe making and other imaginative play in future mud kitchen sessions, too. 

Professional Restaurant Kitchen 

Why not create a busy restaurant kitchen environment where one child is head chef and the others are sous chefs. Or, maybe you are a sous chef as the adult, and your child is head chef. Kids can practise communication and speaking with this kind of game, which also enhances their confidence with speaking up and providing instructions to others. 

Recipe Following

Create a fake recipe, or follow a real recipe, and follow it in the mud kitchen using faux ingredients like mud, and measuring jugs, cups and even an old pair of mechanical scales you no longer need. This will help introduce your child to academic concepts like new words and measuring, whilst also utilising their fine motor skills as they pick up utensils and ingredients and use them to ‘make the cake’. 


Mud kitchens often contain more than prep space, faux hobs and cookers. They can often also have faux dryers and washing machines, along with endless play accessories like wooden or plastic food. 

With this in mind, one easy game you can play is laundry. It’s a good game for summer – just have  you child go to all the outdoor toy clothes and even teddies, collect them in a basket, wash them (this could be fake, or even done in a warm bucket of soapy water), run through the washing machine/ put in the ‘dryer’, and then hung on the line. Obviously, there is a lot of room for artistic licence, but the ‘game’ of chores for kids is a fun way for them to emulate you in and around the mud kitchen, and even play pretend home-making/ families too. 

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” – Albert Einstein 

The ideas above can help you to help the child in your care make the most of your high-quality mud kitchen. They’re great fun to try, but remember, just by providing your children with a beautiful mud kitchen, they already have everything they need to make believe the world of play that comes naturally to young minds. 

*This is a collaborative post

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