Kids playing with a Mud Kitchen in the Garden.

The Best Mud Kitchen Budget Accessories (Lots are Free!)

Are you planning to add a mud kitchen to your garden, and wondering what budget (and free) accessories to include? I’ve been there. You want to make it a fun, exciting and educational place for your kid, without breaking the bank.

I totally get that.

The good news is, that mud kitchen’s do not have to be expensive, and the accessories that go with them certainly don’t need to go out with your budget. You can even get many of them completely free!

My little girl absolutely adores her mud kitchen and uses it all the time, especially in the summer. However, even in winter she’s out there baking away with snow and ice and anything else she can find.

They are definitely so worth getting, but how much you spend on it really isn’t what matters.

I have split this list of mud kitchen essentials up into two categories. I have a list of resources to buy and accessories that are freely available. We have found that a mixture of both works best.

The Best Mud Kitchen Accessories (including free mud kitchen accessories) An image to share to pinterest.
Mud Kitchen Budget Accessories

Why get a mud kitchen?

There are so many reasons to buy a mud kitchen and I’m sure if you’re reading this then you already have one or plan to get one soon. In case you’re still on the fence, I’ll list my top 10 reasons for buying (or building) a mud kitchen.

  1. It’s not something your kid will outgrow quickly. Mud kitchens are great for toddlers and 8 year olds alike.
  2. It can be used in all weathers. Yes, it’s an outdoor toy, but as long as your kid is dressed for the weather, they can still use it in the snow!
  3. Once you’ve got your mud kitchen, you can get most of the extra bits and pieces for free.
  4. It keeps kids entertained for ages! My daughter plays with hers most days throughout the summer holidays and doesn’t get bored with it as it’s so versatile.
  5. You can keep adding to it, and it can grow and develop with you child. As they get older, you could add an old bookshelf to be used as shelving, add more pots and pans, some herbs on the counter, and more loose parts to experiment with.
  6. It doesn’t take up too much space in your garden.
  7. It encourages loose parts play, which is really good for your child’s development. (For more on Loose Parts Play, check out this article about it)
  8. It’s great for their imagination
  9. It’s great for fine motor skills and pouring practice.
  10. It’s a great STEM toy (It encourages kids to explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in a fun way.)

Which Mud Kitchen should I choose?

There are so many options out there, and of course you can build your own mud kitchen if you’re handy or commission someone to custom build one.

However, I believe that as long as it is functional and hard-wearing, then your kid will love it.

A mud kitchen is never going to stay beautiful for long anyway. That’s the whole idea. Freedom to explore, create and imagine.

My dad kindly made my kid’s mud kitchen, but if I were to buy one, this Mud Kitchen, from Amazon, would be my favourite. It has a basin for washing things, and running water which kids always love to play with. There are hobs for cooking on, prep space for their creations, and an oven too.

If it were me, I would add to it overtime to create a nice little kitchen corner, with a little old table and chairs, and a bookcase or other storage area for all the pots and pans and tubs of loose parts to be stored.

Budget Mud Kitchen Accessories

A Mud Kitchen set up in the Tuff Tray as a Summer Activity. Includes pots, pans, grass, sticks, leaves, cupcake cases, and some little shells to use as decoration.
Pots, pans, cupcake cases, spoons, and other old kitchenware make great accessories for your kid’s mud kitchen.

These are the main things that your mud kitchen will need, and if you’re on a budget they can be bought cheaply at a second hand store. You might even have some lying around your own home that you were planning to replace soon.

  • Pots
  • Pans
  • Cutlery
  • Ladles
  • Potato masher
  • Different sized measuring spoons
  • Muffin trays
  • Sieve
  • Jug
  • Cups
  • Plates

It’s also worth considering storage for your mud kitchen accessories.

It could be in a shed, or on an old bookcase, or if your mud kitchen has a big oven you might be able to fit most of your accessories in that. You’ll also want some containers that won’t rust to hold the little bits and pieces.

Mud Kitchen Accessories you can Find for Free

Natural Materials

Natural materials are the best! You can usually find them easily. They are completely free, and they’re so good for kids to play with.

Obviously be aware of the age and stage of development of your child and make sure that whatever you give them is appropriate for that.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Mud (obviously)
  • Small stones
  • Shells
  • Bits of dried seaweed
  • Any other odds and ends you find at the beach (if you live close enough to the coast to beach comb)
  • Pine cones
  • Sticks
  • Fallen leaves
  • Acorns
  • Flower petals

A beach Scene Set up in a toddler Tuff Tray. There is sand, pebbles, shells, driftwood, dry seaweed, little bits of rope and broken pottery collected from the beach for toddlers to explore.
Sand, pebbles, driftwood, shells, and pieces of dry seaweed make great loose parts for the mud kitchen.

Bits and Pieces

As parents we are bound to have lots of great loose parts lying around our homes that would make great free accessories for our mud kitchen.

  • Spare buttons
  • An old oven glove
  • Bottle tops
  • Feathers
  • Sequins
  • Pompoms
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Screws or bolts
  • Old cutlery
  • Old pots and pans

There are other bits and pieces we might have, or could get from a friend.

  • Small off-cuts of wood
  • Small off-cuts of piping
  • Small off-cuts of rope

Mud Kitchen Essential Budget Accessories

I hope this article has given you lots of inspiration for kitting out your mud kitchen and enthusiasm and excitement to get started! My daughter loves spending time in her mud kitchen and I hope your kids enjoy it just as much.

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