When I was a preschooler you could find me playing in the mud. I drove my mom crazy with cleaning me up after a mud session, only to find me wandering back outside to find more mud. Sorry mom, it’s just good clean, messy fun!
Is it any wonder my own children love playing in the mud? I actually encourage them by helping them create their own mud kitchen. You can find some pretty fancy mud kitchens complete with a sink, tables and chairs, etc. Just check Pinterest! We just happened to have an unused planter box filled with clean dirt. My kids started digging in the box around age two- a naturally curious age. It remains one of their most favorite places to play!
As soon as I realized my girls were not giving up their time in the dirt, I purchased aprons and small shovels. I rummaged through my kitchen for some spare spoons and plastic bowls to donate to the cause.
We continually add to our kitchen supplies. We use things like cups, bowls, muffin tins, wire whisks and more. I snagged a bakers rack someone was giving away to use as storage for our kitchen items when not in use.
My girls work together to perfect their soup recipes and mud pie recipes. They are always so proud to show off their latest creations. Whenever they find a new bug, or worm we have to study it and learn more about it. My girls learn to balance and build and make up their own stories. They play for hours in the box just digging and imagining. They are not the only ones! It is a real hot spot for play dates with our friends.
Tips for creating your own mud kitchen:
You don’t have to get fancy. Look around and use what you already have! An abandoned garden box, an old kids kitchen set, or even a plastic tote with dirt in the bottom works too.
Locate your kitchen near a water source. You can’t make mud without water. We also use the hose wash our kitchen utensils before putting them away.
Find cheap kitchen supplies at garage sales, or the dollar store. Clean out your kitchen and get rid of old items you would normally toss anyway.
Participate with your kids, but let them run the show. This is their time to be creative and take charge. Parents don’t need to dictate a story line, or how a kid uses a toy. Just follow their lead!
You may be thinking that I have gone too far with my Whatever philosophy, or that I have gone completely over board with letting my kids get creative. But, playing in the mud allows kids to use their imaginations, build motor skills and problem solving skills! You won’t find any “app” that will give your kids the same experience as playing in the mud!
The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.