Mud Kitchen Is King of Backyard Toys
If you’re like I was and have never heard of a mud kitchen, you might be envisioning a sink and a faucet surrounded by mud. And some mud kitchens are composed of just that. Some are more rudimentary, and others are grander. But regardless of how fancy the setup, with just a few simple accoutrements, a mud kitchen for a child presents an elaborate experience, much like an adult’s experience creating a feast using an indoor kitchen. Recipes ignite the imagination; spices and ingredients present diverse aromas, textures, and colors; cookware, utensils, and dishes provide the tools and environment in in which to experiment and make mud concoctions. Mud kitchens may occupy a small space in the backyard, but in my experience their boundaries are far-reaching—far more than many toys.
We buy a lot of toys for our children. We have a backyard full of seemingly amazing options: geodesic dome, swing set, teepee, hammock, basket full of balls and lawn games, water table, and full body sand pit. However, the mud kitchen gets more attention than anything else—by a long shot!
My children will play with those other things for a while, but the mud kitchen is king of the backyard toys. My children will play in the mud kitchen for hours and hours. If you are looking for that toy that keeps children entertained in the backyard, a mud kitchen is it!
Beyond getting the highest engagement and making them the happiest of any toy, it is also extremely inexpensive, incredibly valuable for child development, and more fun (in my experience) for the parents.