When my friend told me she was making a mud kitchen for her kids, I don’t think I even asked what it was. I certainly hadn’t heard of one before.
One Friday Tahlia went for a playdate at their house. When I arrived to pick up my girl, we were invited into the backyard for a cup of tea in the mud kitchen. Out in the garden Tahlia and her friend had created the most beautiful collection of ‘cakes, pies and sandwiches’ for sale. They were enthusiastically doing dishes in the mud kitchen, and nothing, I mean nothing, could distract them from the magic they were creating. Beau got involved and actually ended up throwing one of the most horrific tantrums I’ve ever witnessed when I said it was time to go home and leave the mud kitchen behind.
- That was Friday afternoon. That night, after the kids were in bed, I jumped onto our local Facebook Community Page and put out a couple of requests:
1. An unwanted old sink, single good, double sink amazing. Needed for a kids’ Mud Kitchen
2. Any unwanted pallets please
Bless the locals, we hooked up the trailer and spent Saturday afternoon driving around the neighbourhood collecting the goodies. I realised quite quickly that I needed more pallets and more time, so I slept on it and woke early on Sunday morning to visit the streets around Airport Oaks where I had heard there were discarded pallets outside industrial businesses. There I found the most perfect pallets, but boy were they heavy! I put the “Girls Can Do Anything” mantra on repeat and heaved four of them into the back
of my car.
Once we got them home I heaved them behind the house and laid everything out on the back lawn as I tried to get my head around how to put this creation together.
I visited several internet tutorials and a few Pinterest postings showing beautifully rustic variations of the Mud Kitchen, but none seemed as straightforward as I’d hoped. This isn’t a tutorial because I honestly very roughly knocked this together, but thankfully the kids don’t look too closely at the crooked nails and the non-flush joinings of 4 by 2 that would likely make my perfectionist husband’s blood curdle. The sink fits perfectly snug into the frame I slapped together and the bits and pieces I had already boxed up for the Salvation Army have found a new home in our backyard.
We have a tap to install, but that was a latecomer to the collection so it hasn’t yet been done. We use old paint buckets for under each of the plug holes because obviously when the water needs to be released, it’s gotta go somewhere! I used an extra pallet to set the entire thing onto so that Beau could access the sink easily too which makes it entire family fun.
It’s not perfect, but it’s rustic and perfectly adequate for my kids and you know what… it cost me nothing but my time. You know the saying “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure”? Well it’s 100% true since I managed to create this mud kitchen for free!
This is an edited extract from Vanessa’s blog: vanessarehm.com
RECIPE FOR FUN
Extra accessories & ingredients for endless outdoor play
– saucepans, bowls, muffin trays,
– jugs, cups, bottles for potions
– a range of utensils, like tongs and ladles
– jars, containers with lids
These may be found at recycling depots and secondhand shops
– plastic eye droppers or syringes
– a tap, or hose through a hole above
the sink, a plug for the sink
– a plank of wood resting across two buckets for additional ‘work’ space
– pebbles, sand, bark and shells.
Kids will love sourcing these extra ingredients. Just be clear about what they can use, especially if you don’t want them picking your flowers or rummaging through your pantry!