Mud Kitchen Recipes and Ideas

Printable mud kitchen recipes and how to set a mud kitchen up

Having a mud kitchen in your yard is one of the easiest ways to encourage hours of messy play for your kids. It does not need to be elaborate or pinterest-worthy to be tons of fun! However if you want to make it beautiful there is tons of inspiration to be found.

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Mud Kitchen Recipes

How to make a DIY mud kitchen for cheap

Mud kitchen accessories make creative play fun! If you want to be really minimalist about your kitchen, throw out some buckets, shovels, utensils, measuring cups, and old pots and pans. Get some sand and dirt, and provide a water source.

We went to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store and got a $5 countertop with sink, and put it on tires. We used scrap wood for a backsplash. It is not fancy but it works fantastic.

Mud Kitchen Accessories

Every year we add something else to it – more sand, a dirt pit, a gravel pit, some wood behind it to hang things on. These are usually the kids’ ideas or based on their play.

Mud Kitchen fun
Sand areas are great in the rain as the sand is wet and easier to build with

What to put in a mud kitchen

The joy of cooking with natural materials! Kids especially love to share their creations with an adult. Buckets are essential for your mud kitchen, and spoons.

You can use spoons that you’re no longer using in your kitchen, or spoons and shovels in beach kits.

It’s also nice to have pie plates, muffin tins, pots and pans, cookie trays, and anything they can use for measuring cups.

The kids will find sticks, leaves, pinecones, and everything else they need. But providing some big sticks helps with all sorts of play (sometimes they make ovens or tables).

DIY Mud Kitchen

Printable Mud Kitchen Recipe Book

Kids will make their own concoctions all day long, but it can be fun to have a “Recipe Book” for them to follow out there, and for them to create their own and write them down.

My kids are learning to read, and love reading recipes, so they have had fun with these. I printed them out and laminated them, with a few blank copies that we can write on with a sharpie and then erase when we want to change the recipe with the season. When you want to erase the sharpie just write on top of it with dry erase markers, and wipe off.

You can also print these on Rite in the Rain paper, which you could put in a recipe book. This is a nice option if you’re avoiding plastic, but it isn’t as durable and can be ripped.

It’s great to encourage them to wing it with their recipes. These all contain specific measurements as we work on our early math concepts, but you can use any scoop for “cup”, and anything for “teaspoon” also.

Mud Kitchen Recipes Printable

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Muddy Mud Soup

The classic mud recipe that doesn’t get old.

Pine Needle Pie

Quick and easy and there are always lots of pine needles available where we live.

Sandy Sandwich

This recipe requires some coordination, might be tricky for toddlers.

Chocolate Wood Chip Cookies

This one requires a little prep work making the chocolate chips. You want to get the right consistency of mud, so have them play around with mixing different ratios to find a water:dirt ratio that works.

Dandelion Cake

A seasonal favorite, dandelions always make the mud recipes extra beautiful. Encourage them to spend time decorating their delicacies.

Spruce Tip Smoothie

In the late spring the Spruce Tips are budding in many parts of the world. If you have coniferous trees they grow out with fresh green tips, and they are wonderful to gather up.

Try to have gathering the spruce tips be an activity, and only take a few from each tree. This is how the tree grows so it’s prudent to be careful about harvesting them responsibly.

You can actually eat these and they are tasty and lemony, but this recipe is not for eating.

Yuki’s Magic Potion

You can make lots of varieties of a Magic Potion, and the kids can come up with spells to say over it.

Make your Own

My kids loved making these recipes up, and I hope yours will love making your own! Include seasonal favorites like spruce tips and flowers. Dried leaves are great for crunch and fresh leaves are great for color. Remember to respect your environment and never take too much from any one tree or plant.

Sand Pit or Mud Pit

We have a large sand pit and then a separate dirt and gravel area. They’re all different mediums and the kids play with the sand and dirt a lot, and not as much in the gravel (though it is by far the smallest area). The dirt pile was not actually for them, but even with their large sandpit they can not resist it, so we’re giving them a dedicated dirt pit this year also.

Sand Pit Tips

If you’re making a sand pit for the kids, make it big if possible. Make it deep too, it’s so fun to be able to dig. Line it with burlap or a weed barrier fabric. You want to use washed sand. Don’t get play sand in bags, it’s expensive and the super fine silica dust is harmful to young lungs. Washed sand is cheap, and you can get it delivered by dump truck (the dump truck is the only real cost here).

We got 26,000 pounds (10 cubic yards) of sand for $260, and used it in multiple areas (10cy is a LOT of sand but since we were paying for the dump truck we figured might as well fill it up!). To get this quantity of Play Sand from a home improvement store it would cost you $3,500. If you have your own truck you can do this almost for free if you go pick up a few loads.

The Bottom Line

If you have space to have some sand and mud setups for your kids, and provide them with a small amount of tools, they will have hours of entertainment no matter their age! It doesn’t need to be fancy to be fun! Download your printable cards here!

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Printable mud kitchen recipes and how to set a mud kitchen up

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  • Kristin grew up in Western Massachusetts but moved north to Alaska in 2008 in search of more snow and bigger mountains. She homeschools her three children and tries to spend as much time as possible learning outside. Kristin loves hiking, camping, puddle stomping, laughing, igloo building, reading, science, baking, photography, and watching the sun go down from on top of a mountain; and is passionate about sharing her enthusiasm for the natural world and her knowledge of the gear that can get you out there in every kind of weather. She works part-time from home as an Environmental Scientist and technical editor.

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