(Outdoor) Kitchen dreams come true!

Why mud kitchens inspire children's imaginations
Playing outside and letting off steam out in the fresh air is extremely important and essential for children's development, especially when it comes to fantasy-filled experiences and creative playing. By playing and discovering independently, children awaken their desire to investigate and explore nature. When kids spend time outdoors, it doesn't take long until they find things that they can integrate into their playing. It isn't long before the little things they find, such as twigs, stones, or acorns, are collected and repurposed. That's the thing with playing in nature: natural materials don't have a set determinant - they're universal and freely usable. That means that finding and inventing things is at the top of the to-do list! A mud kitchen is great in that regard and can be integrated into this playtime in nature. After all, which materials are better for creative play in a kitchen than sand, gravel, bark, and other similar stuff?

Why kids find "mudding around" to be so much fun

Even the youngest ones do it! Almost every kid loves sitting in the sandbox and making sand biscuits that they can decorate with all the little things within their reach, such as pebbles, blades of grass, or leaves. And almost every parent has received such a tasty cookie made of sand, mud, and dirt. An outdoor play kitchen can make this creative playtime whole in that it offers children even more possibilities for preparing their treats. There's simply no limit to their imaginations! When pretending to cook, bake, wash up, or grill in their own play kitchen, children can play actively on their own accord and realise their basic need for creativity, playtime, and self-determined action. Whether alone or with friends, pretend recipes can be created and experimented with when playing freely. This is how a large oak leaf can be used as a plate and twigs can be used as utensils!

This is what makes childhood role-playing so important. This is how everyday situations that children observe in their social surroundings are realistically imitated. This trains not only their social interaction skills, but also teaches them to internalise subconscious social rules and behaviours. It playfully promotes the development of their learning and development, all without pressure or compulsion.

But what makes a good mud kitchen?

A good mud kitchen has to be flexible. They have to give children room to interpret things how they wish and therefore give them all kinds of play possibilities. A mud kitchen should be multifunctional, offering a planting table for young gardening hobbyists and a workspace for young environmental researchers and explorers, for example. A mud kitchen must also offer enough storage and work space so that multiple children can play with it simultaneously. In addition, an outdoor kitchen must be mobile and as easy to reposition as possible so that it can be in the right spot in the garden when there's wind and inclement weather.

The Mud Kitchen (11665) from small foot meets all of these requirements and brings everything that parents could wish for in an outdoor play kitchen. They promote role-playing in children, and is playable from all sides simultaneously by multiple children due to the lack of a backing wall. Beyond that, it offers slots to store sticks and gardening tools in a standing position, an "oven" with a door, and pots and bowls for plenty of storage possibilities for the treasures gathered from nature. When playing with it, children become creative and learn social skills. Thanks to the wheels, it can be easily repositioned, and the weather-resistant untreated solid wood can be individually designed according to one's own taste to give the new kitchen one's own stamp of individualism.

And the most important thing? It's not just a kitchen - it takes on other functions, too. For example, this Mud Kitchen can also be a workbench or a planting table on which the young gardeners can repot or plant things.

More about the author

Lisa, Product Designer

at small foot since
Why do you like working for small foot?
Because I think it's great to share my imagination with children.
What's something you particularly like about small foot toys?
I consider wood to be the most charming material to make children's toys with. That's why I think it's wonderful that we at small foot are able to give our attention to finding shapes as early as the development stage in order to avoid waste. All of us appreciate wood, and we're being mindful not to waste any of it!
What is your favorite small foot toy?
11505, I simply love everything about the Nordic Toolbox with its drill! Even the bits which can be swapped out! The Toolbox joins a great series which is both modern and minimalist in its design, and works great for both boys and girls.