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Outdated Non-Perishables are Perfect for the Mud Kitchen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!
Homemade Aprons for Messy Play:
I had them wear their aprons to keep their clothes from getting too messy.
These aprons are THE BEST! I made them a couple of years ago out of the legs of worn out jeans so they’re really durable, and water and stain resistant.
They’re easy to make, requiring only basic sewing skills. Click here to see my tutorial.
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.
When it comes to good, old-fashioned fun, you really can’t beat a bucket of mud for keeping kids engaged and entertained.
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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.