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23 Mud kitchen accessories; the ultimate guide to keeping the kids happy!
Mud kitchen accessories can add lots of fun and functionality to your mud kitchens.You don’t have to buy any mud kitchen accessories because you will probably find lots of items (hopefully spare) that you can use from around the home, or possibly you can have a hunt around a friend or relative’s home. Another of my favourite places to hunt for mud kitchen accessories is at second hand shops. They are a great place to start your hunt and at the same time teach the children about recycling, and you get a fab & interesting activity to do at the same time. I love going around second hand shops to see what bargains I can find. I’m not sure though that Harry shares my enthusiasm. It’s also really important to stress that you can make your own mud kitchen. You don’t have to buy one. Have a look online. There are many simple ideas of how you can have lots of muddy play and fun without the cost and then you can still add all the accessories below, which in themselves offer lots of fun and interesting activities for your children. I have listed my best mud kitchen accessories and ideas in no particular order. If you still need convincing why mud kitchens are fantastic in helping your child find their creative soul then read about how children learn through play. As we all know play is so important for our childrens development, so lets get started with the ultimate guide in mud kitchen accessories and ideas!
1: Squeeze that ketchup!
Instead of throwing out any old ketchup bottles, keep one and refill it. Allow your child to add a little bit of ketchup or similar to the top of their mud pie recipes. Children love squeezing things and they will love the extra colour and smell that the ketchup or sauce of your choice brings . Also, it’s great for the environment to keep those plastic bottles and use them creatively and refill as necessary. Nothing beats a mixture of ketchup and mud!
2: Hit me with the rolling pin!
Perfect for making those mud pies. Mix up some mud and a little bit of water and then get your rolling pin ready for action. Remember to add an apron and a chefs hat and suddenly your child has turned into an awesome chef. Another fantastic role playing opportunity.
Mud kitchen accessory number 3: CANDLES
Perhaps not the most obvious one but candles are great for adding role play opportunities. Pretend it’s a birthday celebration and have a singsong once that mud pie cake has been created. Make sure though it’s an adult that lights the candles.
4: Smell those herbs!
Children love to smell things. If you have some old herbs or spices then let your child sprinkle them on their mud pie creations to make a spicy smelly sensation. This also gives you the opportunity to go through the different smells and explain the role of herbs and spices in creating flavour when you cook.
Accessory number 5: BOTTLES & JAM JARS
Old jam jars and bottles are great for your little explorer to put his or her findings in.Sometimes they will be full of just mud or sand, or it will become a compacted mixture of leaves, twigs, dirt and as we have found old food destined for the bin.
Accessory number 6: SIEVE
Great in the hunt for possible treasure. Good fun to gather all that mud, water, pebbles and see what comes out of the mix. It’s just another way of adding fun and variety to your childrens mud kitchen.
Accessory number 7: WOODEN & METAL SPOONS
This is an obvious one. How can you mix those mud pie recipes without having some cutlery? You will need a selection of wooden spoons and the odd metal spoon for a bit of variety. You will find plenty in most second hand shops.
Accessory number 8: SPADE
People look at me with surprise when I mention this one, but you need to dig up that mud somehow and what better than getting armed with a spade. I often find with younger children you have to soften up the mud with some water first otherwise an adult needs to dig up some soil initially and put it on top of the grass or in a pot and allow your child to access the mud from there. We give the children spades we use at the beach for an extra tool to move the mud around.
Accessory number 9: BAGS OF SOIL
Sometimes you can hunt on gumtree or similar to get some freebies or take a trip to your local garden centre and get a bag of soil. Doing it this way means you get some easily accessed soil to use & mix with other ingredients without having to dig up your flowerbeds. Great for starting a wormery, learn some fun worm facts before you do!
Accessory number 10: SAND
Children love the feel of different textures. If you add sand into the muddy mix then you bring something different to the mud party.
11: Lets create mud shapes!
Really good fun especially for creating mud art. If it’s a dry day use the grass or get a big piece of card or groundsheet (or just use the patio), cover it with mud and sand and let your child create an awesome piece of art.
12: Time to create mud art with your roller!
Add another dimension to mud art with a roller. Pair it up with a paintbrush, sticks and a shape cutter and we could have a masterpiece.
Accessory number 13: RECYCLED WATER
This might sound a bit strange, but when Harry was younger he enjoyed baths and we used to save his bathwater and use it to play with outside, creating mud pies or whatever took his fancy. Perhaps this way is best kept to family members only!
Accessory number 14: PLANT POTS
As you know we are obsessed with encouraging children to get planting vegetables & weird looking plants. If we can get them interested at a young age, who knows where it will end. Perhaps they could become the next Jamie Oliver. Harry loves coming to the allotment with me, exploring the other plots and seeing the world of wonderful strange plants and wildlife from slugs to beautiful butterflies. This is one of the main reasons behind our GROW range of kids mud kitchens. Harry has got more into healthy eating since we had the allotment. The amount of raspberries he consumes is incredible; I’m amazed there are any left for crumbles and jam. He still eats crisps and sweets, but he is aware of the importance of what goes into his body and he has even started cooking, which really thrills me.
15: Fun with ice cube trays!
Harry loves freezing things, we have had all kinds of experiments that have ended up in the freezer. This is fab fun and adds yet another dimension to play. Get some mud, make sure you have added some water and place them carefully in the freezer. The next day allow your child to remove them from the freezer, and watch their surprise when they discover how cold they are. Lots of fun and another great sensory experience.
Kitchen accessory number 16: WASHING BOWL
Perhaps the most vital accessory every childrens mud kitchen needs. We find it’s always handy to have some warm water and an old towel close by so occasionally your child can at least attempt to wash those dirty hands. Watch out though it could end up all over you.
Mud Kitchen accessory number 17: WASHING UP GLOVES
Gloves are great for adding a bit of role play fun and to keep some of the mud out of those finger nails.
Mud kitchen accessory number 18: BRUSH
Yes you guessed and no surprise with this one but every kids mud kitchen needs a brush. The debris needs to get tidied up somehow!
Mud kitchen accessory number 19: MEASURING SCALES
This might be something you can find at a second hand shop if you don’t want to use yours, but again it adds an extra dimension to mud kitchen messy play. It’s a great way of getting your children to develop their maths skills.
Mud kitchen accessory number 20: MEASURING JUGS
You need at least 2 measuring jugs for your child to measure out the ingredients for their mud pie experiments. Measuring jugs are a fantastic way of introducing your child to concepts like weight and volume etc. Children love mixing up their potions and pouring their muddy mixtures from one jug to the next, and if you have 3 jugs even better. It just goes on and on. Good for developing their mathematical skills .
Mud kitchen accessory number 21: SAUCEPANS
The more pans you have available the better. Once you have prepared your mud kitchen ingredients then it’s time for messy play fun. Saucepans are great for your child to use their imagination: What are they cooking? Whats on the menu? Endless opportunities to explore all the different ideas. To introduce other ingredients, we would often head to the woods and gather all manner of things and bring back ready to cook.
Mud kitchen accessory number 22: CHALKBOARDS
The chalkboard is essential to record what has been cooked, what ingredients have been used, the amount of ingredients and any other instructions.
23: Make memories with your mobile phone
Memories are so precious, I often wish we had more pictures and videos of Harry when he was growing up. It makes me a little bit sad that we were not more proactive in this way and with the technology at our finger tips there really is no excuse. When you have finished creating and playing take some pictures, post them on Facebook in a private family group page (for your eyes only) and then at the end of year create a photo book. In years to come you will have memories and each memory acts as a catalyst that leads you to another memory.