The Simplest DIY Mud Kitchen You Can Make

Sticky, ooey, gooey mud – there’s no denying, most kids love mud play. A mud kitchen is such a great way to get kids playing with mud, but what if you don’t have a lot of garden space or you are concerned about what is in your soil? Well, today we are sharing the simplest of simple DIY mud kitchen that anyone can create – no matter the size of your outdoor space!

Our small city garden is well planted with no bare patches of dirt for digging. We also discovered that our soil is full of debris. With two children who love to dig and get messy we decided to build a simple DIY mud kitchen in a large rectangular planter box.

DIY Mud Kitchen: The Simplest Mud Kitchen Idea Ever

It became a family project that has paid dividends in play. The mud kitchen is in constant use for digging, making mud pies and lots of fun, messy play.

Mud kitchen play ideas

Making Your DIY Mud Kitchen

If you want to create a mud kitchen like ours, this is what you will need:

1. A rectangular planter box or large, stable pot with drainage holes in the bottom. Kids add lots of water so it is a good idea to raise the planter box or pot off the ground for good drainage.

2. Clean soil – obtain clean garden soil from a garden centre or sand supplier or you can create a mix of sand and fine coir peat (available from garden centres). Be aware that garden potting mix straight out of the bag can contain pathogens.

3. Easy access to water – a key ingredient in mud!! Our kitchen is within easy distance of the garden hose.

DIY Mud Kitchen

4. A table or bench nearby for mud pie creation.

5. Digging and old kitchen equipment – muffin tins, spoons, cups, anything to keep it interesting. I often add a a small shaker of glitter to give our mud pies a little sparkle.

And in Winter?

The mud kitchen is in full use in summer but during winter it’s often too cold for this kind of play. We plant the planter out with winter veggies instead. Carrots and radishes are great winter choices. Changing things around with the seasons works well. By the time the weather warms up the veggies are ready to harvest and the kids are keen for some more mud play fun!

Mud kitchen play

If you are interested in seeing how we have adapted other areas of our garden for the kids, check out my Small Garden Spaces for Kids series.

Are you brave enough to add a mud kitchen to your garden?

You may also enjoy:

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  1. I was wondering how I’d incorporate mud into our new backyard. I really want the kids to get dirty more often. Mud just so versatile and can be used in so many play situations. Thanks for the tips!

    1. No problems at all Penny and you are so right mud is very versatile!!!!

  2. A raised place would solve the problem I currently have, which is that my son lays down to play with his trucks in the mud. So there’s an entire outfit of mud, head to toe, and he can’t play as long because the position is uncomfortable. I never thought of using a planter box.

    1. Oh Christine, I would love to see a photo of your son lying in the mud playing with his trucks! I hope a planter box full of mud gives him hours of truck-filled fun. 🙂

  3. This is a great idea. I am curious as to which pathogens might be in bagged potting soil that would not be found in “clean” garden soil. You can buy sterilized versions, though.

    1. Thanks Frances. You raise an interesting question. I am not a soil scientist but I did include the warning about potting mix because the ingredients and moistness of potting mix provides a good environment for the breeding of bacteria within a contained space. I have not come across sterilised potting mix before. I wonder how they sterilise it? I am more than happy for you to email me if you would like to know more.

  4. Oh Ali I love this! Last summer we created a dirt pile in one small part of our yard, but this year I was thinking of filling a plastic kiddie pool with dirt instead. I love the idea of raising it & adding drainage holes, too.

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