How to build a mud kitchen for kids

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How to build a mud kitchen for kids

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A mud kitchen is an outdoor pretend play kitchen that gives children an opportunity to use their imagination, have fun and best of all – get messy! It’s easy to make your own with a bit of nifty know-how and a couple of old pallets. Here’s how:

Tools & Materials

Wood saw

Drill

Drill bits

Phillips bit

Sander (electric)

Pencil

Pallets x 2

Marine ply (1200mm x 600mm)

Timber screws (50mm/20mm)

L-brackets

Wingnut (6mm)

Bolt (6mm)

Cup hooks (32mm)

Gloves

Eye protection

Dust mask

Ear protection

mud kitchen

1. Cut your pallets

It’s pretty easy to pick up old wooden packing pallets – they are always available through buy-and-sell sites. Once you’ve got some, start by cutting one pallet in half to create the sides of your kitchen – remember to wear hand, mouth and eye protection for this bit as it gets messy.

mud kitchen

2. Give the sides a light sand

Once you’ve made your cuts, give the edges a light sand – we used an electric sander for this, but a block and some heavy-duty sandpaper works just as well. Be thorough – you don’t want little fingers jagging on splinters.

mud kitchen

3. Paint!

Once you’ve cut your sides, give them a paint. We used leftover fence paint, but any colour will do – head in store to Bunnings to check out their extensive range.

mud kitchen

4. Attach to the benchtop

The next step is attaching your sides to the timber length you’ve picked for the top – we used durable marine ply for ours as it’s perfect for outside use. Flip it upside down and place either side of the pallets on your panel, making sure the slatted sides are facing out. Drill pilot holes using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than your screw – these holes will prevent your wood from splitting – then drill your screws in as you go to keep your sides secure. Once all fitted together, this will form the base of your kitchen.

mud kitchen

5. Attach the back

For this bit, we’re using L brackets. To make it easier to slot everything together, flip your kitchen onto its side, then position your brackets where you want them to go, and mark up with a pencil – this is where you’ll drill your pilot holes. Then drill in your screws, making sure to use screws that aren’t too long so they don’t poke through to the other side. Don’t forget to wear safety glasses for this bit!

mud kitchen

6. Attach your “sink”

No kitchen is complete without a sink – we’re using a steel mixing bowl, attached to the sink with a nut and bolt. To securely attach it, drill a hole through the base of the bowl (as you’re drilling through metal, use a small drill bit first and don’t forget to wear eye protection). Grab a pencil and mark where you want your sink to go, then drill through your benchtop, attaching your sink using a bolt and wing nut.

mud kitchen

7. Add your hooks

The final step is to attach some hooks to hang your utensils. Drill pilot holes, then simply screw in your hooks.

mud kitchen

8. Style up a storm

Once you’ve built your kitchen, it’s time to get creative! Cheap utensils are available from supermarkets and discount shops, and you can pick up lots of cute wooden kitchen accessories from the toy section. Why not personalise with your child’s own name? Wooden letters are available from Bunnings – paint them up and attach using spray adhesive. Simple!

mud kitchen

9. Watch them get creative!

These outdoor mud kitchens are great at encouraging your kids to get involved in sensory play. They’re also really good fun – no matter whether you’re young or old! After all – who doesn’t love making mud pies?

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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