The mud kitchen is a timeless children’s favourite, and it’s no surprise. Messy play outside in nature is one of the most exciting ways for children to explore the world, with its sounds, smells and textures. Messy play allows children to build confidence in investigating and examining materials and how they work without the worry of breaking something or getting mud somewhere they shouldn’t.
At schools, mud kitchens are rising in popularity, and teachers are using mud kitchens to help younger children apply learnings in the classroom to play outdoors, and vice versa. Skills like coordination, manipulation, balance, spatial awareness and precision are all practised in a mud kitchen. If you are a teacher in need of mud kitchen accessories ideas, we’re here to help! We are an educational supply store and we know what should go in a mud kitchen. Read on to find out our top 20 kids outdoor mud kitchen accessories.
What is a Mud Kitchen?
A mud kitchen is an outdoor set up for children to pretend to cook, carrying out experiments, excavate, sculpt, or play any other kind of imaginative game using mud, sand, and water. A mud kitchen usually takes the form of a miniature kitchen as its name suggests, but you can get any number of different types of work station. For example, at Springboard Supplies we have a variety of outdoor mud kitchen for sale, from simple three-station potion benches for little ones to wooden investigation huts for older children.
A mud kitchen gives children the freedom to explore, experiment, and be creative using mud as a versatile material without the worry of completely ruining carpets and furniture indoors. Mud kitchens are an increasingly popular addition to the school playground to broaden childrens’ opportunities during playtime but also make outdoor lessons more fun and innovative.
How to Make Mud Kitchen Sets
Depending on what you’re teaching children you might want to tailor mud kitchen play to a certain topic or subject. It’s useful to keep a good stock of kids mud kitchen accessories that can be brought out and used in the mud kitchen to help enrich children’s learning. There are some fundamentals that all mud kitchens should have.
- Sensory toys that help children to explore using touch, sound, sight, and even different colours
- Mark-making and pattern-making toys that encourage children to try and manipulate mud and sand in different ways
- Kitchen utensils (this is a mud kitchen after all and a mud pie or two will be made!)
- Tools to help children practice motor skills and manipulation
Where to get Mud for Mud Kitchens
A little dirt is usually harmless and actually helps children to build up immunity, but, especially in a school setting, you will want to make sure that playtime is free from risks and hazards. Because of this schools might want to invest in mud rather than allowing children to use the mud is found around a messy mud kitchen so as not to risk finding any sharp or poisonous things.
Loam topsoil is the best ‘artificial’ mud available for mud kitchens and can be bought at most garden centres. Compost is not ideal as it does not act in the same way as natural mud, making it useless for games in a mud kitchen for toddlers.
Springboard Supplies’ Best Mud Kitchen Accessories UK
We’ve been supplying schools, nurseries, and caregivers with mud kitchens to make learning fun and playtime extra fun for years. Here, we’ve rounded up our top 20 mud kitchen accessories so you can make sure any mud kitchen is well-stocked and prepared for little hands.
1. Messy Play Utensils Set
Our most popular mud kitchen accessory kit, this set contains everything you need to whip up a potion or bake an award-winning mud pie. This is the perfect starter set to get a mud kitchen up and running.
The challenge of getting children excited about vegetables is not exactly unheard of. Associating vegetables with a game at the mud kitchen can help them to associated vegetables with a positive experience, something that might well translate to dinner time.
Save money stocking a class mud kitchen with this huge collection of mud kitchen items, which includes sensory play stones; pretend fruit, eggs, and vegetables; and cards with activities to follow. There’s enough here for children to play in groups and work on pretend projects together.
Mud pies come in all shapes and sizes and so do these messy play bowls and containers. Children can use these to collect mud and roleplay cooking activities. The shiny metal of the bowls offers a striking contrast with mud and makes them easy to clean afterwards.
Mud kitchens encourage children to be present outside and sharpen their awareness of the outdoors environment. Use these waterproof adventure cards as cues for discovery activities using mud, water and air.
Get children inspired to try more fruit with these robust fruit stones. Use them as ingredients to serve up a fruit salad or a delicious fruit pie. These fruit stones scrub clean after playtime (or before, as a lesson in food preparation).
Play eggs are guaranteed to withstand messy play undamaged. Use them to teach children about where food comes from and send them on an egg hunt around the playground.
The beauty of mud is its versatility, and playing with mud and water can give children the opportunity to understand different states of matter and how to manipulate them. Use pipettes to add water to mud or roleplay a science experiment based on topics kids are learning in the classroom.
Transport children back to the kitchen of old times with these rustic mud kitchen bowls. Encourage them to think about how what foods were available before supermarkets and how they might have been prepared.
Get ready for the new school year by stocking up on a complete collection of food stones for the playground mud kitchen. This pack includes fruit, vegetables, and foods of the world that are perfect props for learning about different cultures. Buy mud kitchen accessories in bulk from us to tick one more item off your ‘back to school’ list
If your school or nursery is new to mud kitchens and you want to ensure teachers have the resources to get involved with messy play, this book is a good starting point. Mud Kitchens and Beyond offers 50 ideas for messy play activities with guidance on what to do, promoting flexible learning.
Use these Foods of the World stones to give children a jumping-off point to discover new cultures. Ask the children if they are familiar with any of the foods and encourage them to talk about their own backgrounds.
Mark-making is an important element of messy play, helping children to understand the qualities of different materials. These rollers promote the exploration of textures while relieving exciting patterns and encouraging children to make up stories.
A container set like this helps to transfer mud, water and sand around a mud kitchen and can make cleaning up a fun activity, ideal for a small mud kitchen.
Whip up a storm with these metal whisks. Use the tools to create frothy muddy water and encourage children to listen to the sounds the whisks make. These can also be used to make unusual marks and patterns in mud or sand.
These standard plastic buckets are essential to any mud kitchen, helping with collecting mud or moving it from one station to the other. If a group of children is sharing a mud kitchen these buckets can be used to share out tools and other supplies.
Get kids inspired to make their own bread creations in a real kitchen through investigating these different breads of the world. Find out which ones they’ve never seen before, perhaps you could even have a bread-tasting activity afterwards.
18. Plastic Long Spoons pk 4
Again, essential mud kitchen utensils, make sure children have access to lots of spoons for stirring, poking, matting, scraping, digging, and generally getting very messy!
Mud kitchen outdoor adventures mean you’ll definitely come across a bug or two. Use these garden rollers to identify bees, ladybirds, grasshoppers, spiders and more, then see if the children can find some real ones using clues in the patterns.
Pastry brushes are extremely versatile and make a great addition to a mud kitchen. Use a pastry brush to add the final details to a cooking game, make pretty patterns in the mud or sand, or even turn mud into paint and get children painting with these brushes.
With even just a selection of these popular mud kitchen accessories, you can be sure that children have everything they need to make the most of a playground mud kitchen. Stock up on messy play toys with us by placing an order on the website. Orders placed before 1pm can be delivered the next working day, meaning that even with last-minute mud kitchen plans we’ve got you covered.