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Mud Kitchen Tools and accessories

25 Reasons Your Kids Need a Mud Kitchen

It’s not hard to come up with 25 reasons your kids need a mud kitchen. And honest truth, YOU need it too. Beyond sensory play, a mud kitchen can be anything from a set of buckets and a couple of spoons to a gorgeous artisan-made play-set with curated tools. Oh, and everything in between – seriously, check out some of these awesome ideas. I made a DIY cheap and easy Mud kitchen for the boys’ birthday.

And if you just need some instant gratification, I’ve got a list of my favorite mud kitchens, tools, and accessories on this other post. And my Mud Kitchen rules are here.

Muddy kids are happy kids they need a mud kitchen
Mud kitchen is a great activity during fall and spring when kids benefit from water play but you don’t want them to be totally soaked.

Without further ado, Do your kids need a mud kitchen? Yes. Yes, they do.

In theory you are getting a mud kitchen for your kids. But let me tell you, there are a host of reasons why it will help YOU too.

  1. Go Outside and Play – Fresh air has endless benefits for your kids (vitamin D, exercise, change of experiences, mindfullness).
  2. Some parents and kids get stymied when it comes to choosing or engaging in outdoor activities. Say these words to your kids, “Do you want to go play in the mud kitchen.” and watch them light up.
  3. Fostering independent play makes your life easier. When your toddler and preschooler can safely on their own your life will open up.
  4. Mud is natural sensory play for children. Allowing them to engage all their senses (except taste, WE HOPE) while they play.
  5. Fine motor skills are best practiced in real life. Pouring, scooping, mixing, all of them are amazing ways to practice grasping, building upper body strength, and refining fine control.

Mud Kitchen as a homeschooling or unschooling classroom

  1. Curating the tools and items in your mud kitchen can target specific educational goals including math and science.
  2. Fractions are tough concepts for littles, measuring cups are the perfect tool for introducing the ideas.
  3. Manipulating dirt and mud is basic kid fun. Making Mud pies is the quintessential dirty activity for kids.
  4. An engrossing activity is key for parents looking for less screen time.
  5. Toddlers and Preschoolers need activities that are self directed, they don’t need your help mixing a pot of mud.

According to my preschoolers, your kids need one because:

  1. “To make mud and buildings” my 4 year old, “We get to get all mucky.” – J
  2. “Getting muddy is the best part. Except getting have a bath that is warm after.” “A warm bath” – K

Control and Sensory Play in the Mud Kitchen

  1. For sensory seeking kids mud play is wonderful.
  2. Mud kitchen is a way for kids to practice self regulation.
  3. A Mud Kitchen gives a structured place to make a mess for sensory avoiding kids. They can keep the mess confined to a sink or basin, use spoons or scoops instead of their hands.
  4. When kids are grumpy: add water. Guaranteed to perk up any kid’s mood.
  5. Giving kids a pitcher or basin of water lets you control the mess. Giving my kids access to the hose is a no-go. We have a well and the water is COLD, cold enough that letting them play with it shortens their play time outside even on a hot day.
  6. For kids who aren’t risk takers or reluctant to move out of their comfort zone, mixing mud is an activity they can be COMPLETELY in control of, giving them power.

We lock out the hose spigot using a handy lock.

Spigot lockout from StopOut my kids think the hose is the ultimate sensory play
This was worth every penny!

Beyond Mud

  1. Mud kitchen doesn’t have to be about mud. Paint kitchen? Slime kitchen? Confine the mess and keep it outside. I pretty much want my kids to always paint outside.
  2. Mud Kitchen is the perfect place to make stone soup.
  3. With limited resources or tools a Mud Kitchen is a low pressure way for siblings to work on cooperative play.
  4. Why not a Mud Restaurant? Order up sushi, or pot-roast. Or sushi on Pot Roast. Let the Chefs determine the menu, or order the most outlandish and complicated thing you can dream up and watch their imaginations soar.
  5. Mud kitchen can be outfitted with discards from your own kitchen or for pennies at the thrift store.
  6. Toy washing with a little biodegradable soap is a great “not dirty” mud kitchen activity.

Don’t forget to look for my post about my favorite mud kitchen accessories. I have a printable available of mud kitchen play ideas. And for those adventurous or frugal parents, I’ve got a post about how I DIYed my own Mud Kitchen for my Twins’ fourth birthday. You can find my favorite DIY tools for making your mud kitchen here. Also, my other favorite stuck at-home DIY project is here: a sensory swing.

Tell us your favorite mud kitchen hacks and ideas.

25 reasons your kids need a mud kitchen from sensory seeking to pure fun.

Kids natural state is muddy sensor play is what they need 25 reasons your kids need a mud kitchen

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