This wonderful mud kitchen activity requires only a bucket of mud, a few kitchen items and a handful of stale dated pantry items. Kids can make mud pies garnished with lentils, corn, oats and spices for a spectacular morning of mud play.
If you’re looking for fun mud activities for kids to do for International Mud Day, this simple mud pie activity is easy to set up and will keep the kids entertained for ages.
The inspiration behind today’s mud kitchen activity was the awesome pretend “coffee shop” which kept the hooligans busy all last Friday morning.
It was a huge hit, and required nothing more than a few basic supplies and some sand, water and dish soap.
Outdated Non-Perishables are Perfect for the Mud Kitchen
For those concerned that we wasted food doing this activity, I want to say that all of the items you see in the round tray, are materials that we’ve used previously in many of our sensory bins.
When we’re finished with a bin, I store the pasta, lentils, rice, or whatever, in a sealed container and we re-use them for sensory play over and over again. We’ve been using these same dried food items for a couple of years now.
Shakers are fun!
As for the shaker bottles, I used a small amount of oatmeal, which lasted the entire morning, and some old dried dill that was past its best.
Supplies used to create our mud kitchen:
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- lentils, rice, pasta and corn kernels (from our stash of sensory bin supplies)
- shaker jars filled with oatmeal and dried dill
- meatball scoops
- biscuit cutters
- meatball scoops
- pie plates, tart tins and small bowls
- large bowl for mud
- water jug with spigot
To make our mud:
I used a mix of approx 50/50 sandbox sand and potting soil, and stirred in just enough water to make it moldable.
A second-hand coffee table is great for a backyard play table
We often set our mud activities up in the wheelbarrow (read more about out mobile mud patch here), but today I just set everything out on our second hand, $6 coffee table. It’s the perfect work surface for the kids to use for messy activities in the backyard.
Let the muddy bake-fest begin!
The hooligans spent the better part of the morning scooping, pouring, mixing and making beautifully garnished mud pies and cakes.
And I have to say; they looked fantastic!
I was impressed with how deliberately the preschoolers worked, carefully arranging and decorating their plates.
They snipped herbs and flowers from the garden and they added those to their creations.
The most popular items at the table were the shakers – perfect for adding the final touch to a dish.
The children first filled their pie plates, and then moved on to the bowls and tart tins.
After about an hour, I suggested that they use the water from our camping jug, to make soup.
Our water dispenser:
Our camping water jug is a much-loved addition to our outdoor play space when the weather is warm. They love having their own personal supply of “running water” in the yard. You can read more about it here.
It’s great for activities like this, because it saves me from running in and out of the house to refill pitchers with water, and the kids don’t soak themselves at the dispenser like they tend to if they’re using the garden hose.
I’d placed the water-jug a short distance away from the mud table, so they ran back and forth, filling their small bowls with water, and dumping them into the large bowl of mud, until it was brimming.
Then they added flowers, cut grass and their food items, and stirred and scooped the soup into their bowls.
Fun? You bet it was! Messy? Sure, but what a wonderful experience!
Clean up was a snap:
At the end of the morning, I drained the water in the big bowl off into the garden, and then I dumped the contents of the plates and bowls into the bowl.
I used the cookie lifter to scrape the mess on the table into the bowl, and then we dumped the whole thing into our compost bin. A quick spray with the hose had all of the tools and table clean.
When it comes to good, old-fashioned fun, you really can’t beat a bucket of mud for keeping kids engaged and entertained.
If you’d like to see a few more of our favourite mud activities, check out our muddy car wash and our one-of-a-kind portable mud-pit.
More Great Activities for Kids
- Muddy Car Wash Activity
- Melting Elsa’s Frozen Hands (Salt and Ice Experiment)
- Painting On a Mirror
- Shaving Cream Sensory Art
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Jackie is a mom, wife, home daycare provider, and the creative spirit behind Happy Hooligans. She specializes in kids’ crafts and activities, easy recipes, and parenting. She began blogging in 2011, and today, Happy Hooligans inspires more than 2 million parents, caregivers and Early Years Professionals all over the globe.
Erin- The Usual Mayhem
My sidekick would love this- He has what seems to be a magnetic pull towards all things dirt! I’ll have to try it once we’ve finished this move. Thanks for sharing!
So, so awesome! Can’t wait to set this up for my kids. xo P
Yay! Have fun, Pauline!
Love this – I hadn’t thought of mixing sand into the mud – grand idea. Can I link to your post? I’m putting together a quick post on easy recipes for toddlers to make on their own ….
Amy @ The Connection We Share
Omgoodness, I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!!! I’m going to do this with my 2 5/6 year old! And I love the camping water jug for them to get water. Genius!
Yay! So glad you liked it, Amy!
Seriously, you have the luckiest kids ever. So much fun!
Thanks, Candace! They do have fun here! Thanks so much for your lovely comment!
I have plans for this at DD’s messy birthday party this weekend. I saved our rotating spice rack, the one with the 7 year old spices that we will never use! They will love it.
Kerrie @ Family Food and Travel
That looks pretty darn fun! I remember creating mud pies for hours as a kid with my best friend. What fun we could have had with all of these supplies!
LOVE! I love messy, dirty play to begin with. I especially liked how you used old pantry items as a part of this mud bakery. I need to remember that next time we get into the mud. I’m featuring this post at Stress-Free Sunday,!
Dani @ lifeovereasy
What is it about mud? I still remember making mud pies as a kid. Sounds like a super fun activity!
Every time I read your posts I wish my kids could come to your house for childcare! LOVE your ideas, the recycled household and thrift store materials, the focus on process rather than product. THanks for posting!
You’re so welcome, Gail. I’m so happy you love the things we get up to and into here! I really do love keeping it simple, and using or re-using things we already have around the house. There are literally countless activities and crafts that can be done without ever spending a cent!
Where did you get the camping water jug? I’ve been looking for one but can’t find it. Please let me know where to find one. Thank you.
Walmart, Home Depot, Canadian Tire all carry them here in Canada Nancy. Our second hand shop usually has a few of them too.
Awesome mud kitchen idea for kids outdoor play. They can play and make a huge fun. At the same times, they can pretend that they are cooking all kind of dishes. This type of activities will help your kids a lot for improving their creativity and imagery thoughts when they just spend times in outside area. Thanks for sharing this idea. I just back in my childhood.
Love this. My neighbor is helping me make a mud kitchen. What do you do with it all after, like where do you store it and do you clean it all up right away or leave out???? Thanks!
We have a kitchen area in our sandbox (a bench, pots, pans, utensils) that stays set up all year. As for actual mud kitchens, most that I’ve seen online stays set up all the time. You can check out some terrific ones here: https://www.1001gardens.org/2014/07/20-mud-kitchen-ideas/