Mud kitchen play ideas for kids

Messy play = happy kids! Here at tonies® HQ, we love mud kitchens, it’s sensory play at its finest. One minute they’re brewing up a batch of magical potions and the next, they’re hosting a mud pie bake off – the possibilities are endless.

Published 27/03/24 by Amy Blanchard

Mud kitchen play ideas for kids

What are mud kitchens? 

Mud kitchens are pint-sized outdoor kitchens, designed for kids to have imaginative messy play, using mud instead of real ingredients. They can be easily built from recycled or natural materials such as scrap wood and some tools. Or you can buy a pre-made ‘all-singing, all-dancing’ mud kitchen. It’ll just need some storage space, a sink of sorts, and a stirring or mixing area for the full sensory experience!

How do mud kitchens benefit kids?


Mud kitchens offer hours of messy, open-ended play. They’ve got some biiiiig benefits too, like developing early maths skills, problem solving and social skills. While they’re engaging in sensory play and interacting with nature, it can help to inspire their imagination and learn more about the natural world around them. Did you know the fresh air and mud itself can actually help to boost kiddo’s immune system too? 

You can take their nature play to a whole new level of mud-tastic too. Picture this: a Peppa Pig themed mud kitchen complete with muddy puddle pies, whilst listening along to their Peppa Pig Tonies. Simply add their Toniebox and Tonies to play background songs and stories while your mini chefs work their muddy magic. 

To reap all these rewards and boost the fun factor, here’s some ideas from @playdayswithjess to cook up in their mud kitchens…

“To set up a mud kitchen, I always make sure I have the basics ready.

  1. Mud of course! 

  2. Coloured water - Pop water in a water dispenser, squirty sauce bottle or even an empty washing up liquid bottle. Then add some food colouring to the water and give it a mix. 

  3. Natural resources - Pine cones, acorns, leaves, flowers, conkers, grass cuttings - anything you can gather from your garden or the woods will work.

  4. Utensils - They’ll need these for mixing and stirring. You can pick up bargain kitchen utensils like pans, scoops, whisks and spoons, in most charity shops.  

  5. Think of a theme - I often add the Toniebox and a Tonie with some themed accessories to keep the muddy fun going for longer. Have a go at my themed mud kitchens below…”

Peter Rabbit mud kitchen

Have a little mischievous fun in Mr McGregor’s muddy garden with Peter Rabbit.

  • Pop the Peter Rabbit Tonie on their Toniebox

  • Fill some bottles with coloured water and add some mixing utensils like spoons and spatulas

  • Include some natural items from the garden like mud, flowers and vegetables 

  • Let them cook up a storm with old pots and pans, scales and some eggs

  • Complete it with cute decorations like stickers, cardboard cutouts and banners

The Witches mud kitchen

Get creepy crafting with the The Witches and find out which witch is the wichiest.

  • Add some ‘witches potions’ (a mixture of coloured water in bottles). If you want to make this activity a little bit more eerie then try adding some bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to the water to make it fizz.

  • Add some natural resources like mud, leaves, conkers or pine cones

  • Continue the theme by adding some plastic eyes, toy snakes and spiders


Zog and the Flying Doctors mud kitchen

Help this adorable dragon and the flying doctor team treat aaaaalllll kind of creatures at their mud kitchen.

  • Pop the Zog Tonie on their Toniebox

  • Fill some bottles with coloured water and add some mixing utensils like spoons and spatulas

  • Add some some mud, flowers and slime

  • Raid the kitchen cupboard for some taste-safe sensory items like chickpeas, chia seeds and rice. You can dye these with food colouring if you’re feeling extra creative! 

  • If you have any, give it a doctors theme by adding a doctor’s kit and some medicine jars

And the ideas don’t stop there, we’ve got a Blippi themed mud kitchen from @the_new_forest_nest too! 

Blippi mud kitchen 

Help Blippi move some dirt with his favourite excavator! 

  • Pop the Blippi Tonie on their Toniebox

  • Add some some mud and for some extra fun, add some blue foaming soap

  • Continue the Blippi theme by adding some taste-safe sensory orange lentils and fizzing blue coloured water. You can do this by adding some bicarbonate of soda or vinegar to the food colouring water

  • Add some mixing and pouring silverware utensils like scoops, spatulas and jugs

  • If you have any, give it a construction theme by adding some miniature vehicles

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About Amy Blanchard

Amy Blanchard
Amy’s favourite Tonie is Matilda. From a very young age, she was utterly obsessed with Matilda. She watched and read it so many times that she practically had the whole script memorised. As she grew older, she remained just like Matilda, a bookworm, a trickster, and a dreamer!