10 of the best wooden mud kitchens for kids (2024)

The best mud kitchens encourage the kind of open-ended play that promotes creative thinking. So, they have enough features – from play hobs and splash tubs and maybe even working taps – to spark the imagination but nothing too gimmicky or gadgety. Good mud kitchens are also sturdy and robust – and easy to wash down once the last mud pie is served.

We've taken a good, long look at dozens of wooden mud kitchens and, with the help of our child testers and their parents, rated them in terms of size, sturdiness, features and accessories, value for money, assembly time and (most important of all) delivery of fun. Mud kitchens do vary in price but none of them are super-cheap, so do check out our 10 best buys before spending your money on a mud kitchen for your child...

  • For more outdoor fun, take a look at our pick of the best water play tables, best sand tables, best garden slides and best paddling pools.

Best mud kitchens at a glance

  • Best with double sink feature: Chad Valley Wooden Mud Kitchen, £140
  • Best value with utensils: Playhouse Marvellous Mud Kitchen, £89.99
  • Best value for personalised option: Studio Personalised Wooden Mud Kitchen with Water Function Sink, £100
  • Best value with running water and utensils: TP Splash & Play Early Fun Wooden Mud Kitchen, £109.99
  • Best for extra gardening and painting play: Plum Discovery Mud Pie Kitchen, £299.99
  • Best for saving space: TP Toys Deluxe Mud Kitchen Playhouse Accessory, £54.99
  • Best for play with siblings/friends: Big Game Hunters Triple Mud Kitchen with Working Tap, £181.99
  • Best for personalised extras: Children's Wooden Outdoor Mud Kitchen, £345
  • Best for double-duty as an art station: GLTC Inside Play/Outdoor Mud Kitchen, £165
  • Best budget buy: The Works Wooden Mud Kitchen, £50

What to look for when choosing a mud kitchen

How big is it? – Mud kitchens can really vary when it comes to size, so check the dimensions before you order anything and make sure not only that it's the size you think it is from the picture but also that it's the right size for your child and that there's room for it in your garden.

More like this

How sturdy is it? – Generally speaking, the more expensive the mud kitchen is, the better the quality of wood in it and the sturdier the build. However, these more expensive mud kitchens are generally much bigger too – so space can be an issue, even if the price isn't. We have included mud kitchens in a range of prices in our selection but we've always taken care, at the lower end of the price scale, to choose mud kitchens that are as sturdy as possible. We did test a few mud kitchens priced lower than our cheapest recommendations but all of them were too flimsy or too wobbly or too splintery to make it into our top 10 selection.

Does it have a water feature? – Most mud kitchens have a sink or splash tub but, if you want to fill it with water, you'll have to bring your own in a bucket or hose. However, some kitchens do have running water included – whether from a water butt, an under-the-sink reservoir or a tap with an attachment you can connect to your garden hose.

Are utensils included? – With some mud kitchens, you'll get a whole set of pot, pans and other accessories with your purchase; others will come with nothing else included. If the mud kitchen of your choice doesn't come with accessories and you don't already have suitable accessories at home, you'll need to factor in the cost of buying these for your child to use when playing with the kitchen.

Is there storage space? – Some mud kitchens come with lots of shelves and cupboard to store your pans in and/or rows of hooks to hang utensils from; others just have the odd shelf or a couple of hooks. If you pick one which has very limited storage space, think about where/how you will store the (mud-spattered) pots, pans and utensils when they're not being used.

Has the wood been treated? – Your mud kitchen is going to get covered in dirt and, if it is left out in the garden, it will have to survive wind, rain and possibly even snow as well. Check whether the wood has been treated with several layers of weatherproof varnish. If it hasn't been treated or there's only a thin layer, you may want to varnish it yourself or add a couple of coats of durable waterproof paint.

How it is assembled? – Unless you order a handmade kitchen, you're going to have to put your child's mud kitchen together yourself. Be warned: there will be a lot of pieces! And assembly will definitely be easier if you have an electric screwdriver. We've noted alongside our selections how long we reckon each mud kitchen takes to assemble and we've also said how easy or difficult we found the assembly to be.

Here's our pick of the best wooden mud kitchens for children:

1. Chad Valley Wooden Mud Kitchen, £140

– Best with double sink feature

10 of the best wooden mud kitchens for kids (1)

Age suitability: 3+ | Size: L53cm x W94cm x H105cm | Kind of wood used: Not specified | Accessories: Yes | Assembly time: 1 to 2 hours

This outdoor kitchen is nice and sturdy and includes an opening oven and a 4-hob play stove. It has 2 removable stainless steel sink bowls on the work station, which can be a real plus – either for siblings to have a bowl each or to keep mud/sand and water separate in different bowls. It comes with a great set of utensils, including a ladle, whisk, slice and 3 pans, that can hang from hooks along the top, plus there's a chalkboard for your child to write or draw the day's specials on.

It's relatively easy to assemble, although it may take a bit of readjusting to make the oven door align correctly. The timber as sold is not reliably weatherproof, so you'll either need to cover it when playtime's finished or add a few coats of varnish or paint to help it withstand whatever the weather can throw at it.

Emma, mum of our child tester Brooke, 3 (pictured above with her little brother, David), found it took longer than she thought to put together but is pleased by how much Brooke loves playing with it. "It's fab," she says, "and it's a big hit when friends come over, too."

Pros: Sturdy frame, good size, great utensils, double sink, chalkboard, play hob
Cons: No water feature, needs a lot of weatherproofing

Available from: Argos

2. Playhouse Marvellous Mud Kitchen, £89.99

– Best value with utensils

10 of the best wooden mud kitchens for kids (2)

Age suitability: 3+ | Size: L42cm x W83cm x H90cm | Kind of wood used: FSC-certified, treated Canadian hemlock | Accessories included: Yes | Assembly time: 45 minutes

This sturdy mud kitchen has a 4-ring play hob, shelves, a mini chalkboard, and a removable stainless-steel splash tub with play tap. It comes with 3 stainless steel pans, a ladle, a spatula and, as a jolly little extra, 3 plant pots that nestle into holes in the top shelf.

The wood is reasonable quality (though we'd recommend another coat of wood varnish) and assembly is super-easy: good, clear instructions and the parts fit snugly together. It doesn't have an oven or a water feature and the hob knobs don't move but it's impressively sturdy for this price point – and has good utensils included.
Ceri, mum of our child tester Aiden, 4 (pictured above), said, "This mud kitchen looks fantastic and is well made – all the edges are smoothed out to make for safe playing. It was easy to put together and takes rough play very well. I like all the accessories – especially the plant pots. Aiden's been playing with it for hours. I'd totally recommend this."
Pros: Sturdy frame, good size, play hob, chalkboard, good utensils, good value, easy to assemble
Cons: No oven, no water feature, hob knobs don't turn, needs some weatherproofing

Available from: Amazon, Robert Dyas and Wowcher

3. Studio Personalised Wooden Mud Kitchen with Water Function Sink, £100

– Best value for personalised option

Age: 3+ | Size: L43cm x W82.5cm x H85cm | Kind of wood used: FSC-certified, sustainably sourced solid wood | Accessories included: No

This good-value mud kitchen's star feature is the personalised element and water function sink. With 11 characters to use, you can have your child's name or favourite phrase on the mud kitchen to add a personal touch.

The tap has a pump action function sink for running water on demand. It also has a cupboard/play oven with an opening door, two hobs, three clicking oven dials, a worktop and two storage shelves.

The wood itself is pretreated and safe for constant outdoor use. It has water-based wood preservative to give it as much protection as possible whilst living outdoors.

Pros: Personalised name, pretreated wood, great water feature, good value
Cons: No utensils, no chalkboard, may need weathering

Available from: Studio

4. TP Splash & Play Early Fun Wooden Mud Kitchen, £109.99

– Best value with water feature and utensils

10 of the best wooden mud kitchens for kids (4)

Age: 3+ | Size: L33cm x W55cm x H88cm | Kind of wood used: FSC-certified timber | Accessories: Yes | Assembly time: 1 to 2 hours

This compact mud kitchen is a smaller version of the TP Splash & Play Happy Chef Wooden Mud Kitchen and features the same all-action plastic sink with a little water reservoir underneath it: hit the red pump-action button to get water up and out through the tap and pull out the plug to let it swirl down into the reservoir again.

It also has a painted 2-ring hob, shelves, chalkboard panels and an oven with opening peek-through door. It comes with 3 stainless steel pans, a slice and a ladle.

It's a good size for smaller gardens – and one of the best-value buys we've seen that includes both utensils and a water feature – but of course its smaller size means there's a little less mud-pie-making room than you'd get with bigger kitchens. It's reasonably sturdy but a little tricky to assemble: the instructions could be clearer and many of the wood pieces don't have predrilled holes. The timber will need a few coats of wood treatment to weatherproof it properly.

Pros: Sturdy frame, good utensils, nice water feature, play hob, chalkboard, good value
Cons: Small in size, tricky to assemble, needs a fair bit of weatherproofing

Available from: TP Toys, Amazon and John Lewis

5. Plum Discovery Mud Pie Kitchen, £299.99

Best for extra gardening and painting play

10 of the best wooden mud kitchens for kids (5)

Age suitability: 3+ | Size: L161 x W63 x H114 cm | Kind of wood used: Treated FSC-certified pine | Accessories: Yes | Assembly time: 3 hours

This very large outdoor kitchen has 2 play hob rings, a removable brushed steel bowl sink and lots of shelves and storage. And, unusually for a mud kitchen, it also features a built-in planter (for planting and tending flowers or veg) as well as, on the back frame next to the shelves, an easy-clean painting screen (for al fresco arty creations).

It comes with a bamboo wind chime, a generous set of pans and utensils, paintbrush holders, 7 paintbrushes and a fork, rake and trowel. But it doesn't have a play oven.

As you might expect of a mud kitchen this size, it's quite a job to put together. Sarah, mum of our child tester Edie, 5 (pictured above), said, "There are a lot of different pieces of wood but everything was really well labelled. It took me and my husband around 3 hours to assemble it. It was well worth it though, as both Edie and her younger brother absolutely love it!"

Pros: Sturdy frame, treated wood, generous size, great extra features, great utensils
Cons: Too big for many gardens, no water feature, no play oven, no chalkboard, takes quite a while to assemble

Available from: Amazon, Scandiborn and Plum Play

6. TP Toys Deluxe Mud Kitchen Playhouse Accessory, £54.99

– Best for saving space

10 of the best wooden mud kitchens for kids (6)

Age suitability: 3+ | Size: L36cm x W81cm x H56cm | Kind of wood used: Treated FSC-certified European timber | Accessories: Yes | Assembly time: 1-2 hours

This well-made mud kitchen counter is designed to attach to a fence, wall, shed or playhouse and is a great solution if you don't have the money or the space for a standalone mud kitchen in your garden.

There’s no oven or shelf but there is a 1-ring play hob (though you have to apply the hob-ring stencil yourself) and a wide removable splash tub underneath an open-top water butt. Kate, mum to our 4-year-old child tester said, "The water dispenser is definitely the biggest hit!"

It comes with 3 pans and a whisk. Though the wood is pre-treated, it will need some weatherproofing. We did find it tricky to assemble, too: many of the wood pieces didn't have pre-drilled holes, and the bolts included to attach it to the fence (or whatever surface you choose) are quite short.

Pros: Reasonably sturdy frame, treated wood, compact size, nice water feature, decent utensils
Cons: No oven, no chalkboard, tricky to assemble, needs weatherproofing

Available from: TP Toys, John Lewis and Amazon

7. Big Game Hunters Triple Mud Kitchen with Working Tap, £181.99

– Best for play with siblings/friends

10 of the best wooden mud kitchens for kids (7)

Age: 18 months+ | Size: L43cm x W111cm (extending to 143cm) x H91cm | Kind of wood used: Treated fir wood | Accessories: None | Assembly time: 4 hours

This chunky design gives you a lot of mud kitchen for your money: it is quite wide already but extends even further when you slide the worktop out to the left to reveal the large plastic splashtub under the taps. And yes, that's taps plural – the brass one that can be attached to your garden hose for running water on demand, and the little one attached to the removable open-top water butt. There is also an oven with opening door and peek-through window, a 4-ring hob with turning knobs, a chalkboard, a cupboard and shelves.

It is large enough for 3 children to play comfortably alongside each other, so it is great for siblings and playdates, but there are no utensils included so you'll need to find those yourself. The splash tub is maybe a little smaller than you'd expect with this size of mud kitchen but everything else is very well thought through.

It's a bit of an epic self-assembly job (and some parts don't have predrilled holes) but the instructions are very good. The wood is treated but it definitely needs a couple more coats to fully weatherproof it.

Pros: Very sturdy frame, treated wood, great water feature, water butt, play hob, chalkboard, extending worktop
Cons: May be too large for some gardens, long assembly time, no utensils

Available from: Amazon and Big Game Hunters

8. Children's Wooden Outdoor Mud Kitchen, £345

– Best for personalised extras

10 of the best wooden mud kitchens for kids (8)

Age: 3+ | Size: L45cm x W100cm x H110cm | Kind of wood used: Locally sourced, treated reclaimed wood | Accessories: No | Assembly time: None

This large, chunky mud kitchen has a play oven with opening door and peek-in window, a 4-ring play hob, shelves, a backboard covered in magnetic chalk paint, and a big (30cm) stainless-steel sink.

It's hand-crafted and arrives fully assembled (allow at least 3 weeks for delivery) and you can personalise it with your child's name (up to 25 characters) either on the top of the frame or in the middle (next to the hob knobs). You can also have it painted in 1 of 15 lovely colours, from Leafy Green to Happy Planet Blue.

It's worth noting that the hob rings and knobs are simple raised round chunks of wood (so the rings have none of the usual 'hob' markings and the knobs don't turn) and it doesn't come with any utensils. It's also pretty pricey – but it's beautifully made, with nice customisation options, and we've seen hand-crafted mud kitchens selling for way more than this.

Pros: Very sturdy frame, treated wood, play hob, chalkboard with magnetic paint, lovely personalisation options
Cons: Pricey, no water feature, no utensils

Available from: Not on the High Street and Happy Planet Toys

9. GLTC Indoor Play/Outdoor Mud Kitchen, £165

– Best for double-duty as an art station

10 of the best wooden mud kitchens for kids (9)

Age suitability: 3+ | Size: L40cm x W60cm x x H101cm | Kind of wood used: Treated stitched pine| Accessories: None | Assembly time: 2 hours

This compact mud kitchen also doubles as an art station, with the reverse side sporting a baton for a roll of paper and extra shelves for paint pots, chalks and crayons.

It has an oven with opening door and internal shelf, a 2-ring hob, shelves, a blackboard and a nicely deep, removable stainless steel tub. It has a very sweet weather station on the side (not visible in our picture), with a rotating pointer to move to the picture that best reflects the day's weather. It doesn't have a water feature and doesn't come with any utensils or art accessories (the paper roll, paint pots and little boxes shown in the picture above aren't included, though you can buy an Easel Accessory Pack for an extra £40).

It's well made, with nice painted touches, and though it's not quick to assemble, the instructions are good and everything fits together well. The wood is treated but this strikes us as a mud kitchen that needs to come inside in colder, rainier weather; it's definitely not as weather-proof as some of the others in our selection.

Pros: Compact size, sturdy frame, play hob, chalkboard, weather station, also designed for art play
Cons: No water feature, no utensils, not fully weatherproof

Available from: Great Little Trading Company

10. The Works Wooden Mud Kitchen, £50

– Best budget buy

10 of the best wooden mud kitchens for kids (10)

Age suitability: 3+ | Size: L68cm x W30cm x H79cm | Accessories: Yes

This rustic mud kitchen is the cheapest on our list. It's a good size and offers 16 different features. It may not have all the bells and whistles of some other kitchens on this list, but it's great value and does what it says on the tin.

It comes with a chalkboard, a wooden storage tray, plus accessories for extra fun including a metal bowl for the sink and 2 pots. Your child can also hang their favourite little toys and accessories on the 5 hooks along the top.

It has a large storage rack, a small shelf and open shelving that could easily double as a play oven, but there's no tap or water function. It's a really simple design and provides plenty of workspace for unlimited mud-pie-making.

Pros: Great value for money, good size, oven hobs, hooks to hang things on
Cons: No tap or water feature, no utensils

Available from: The Works

Great accessories for mud kitchens

Whether or not your mud kitchen comes with some pots or pans, you’ll probably want to add some toy kitchenware to give your child even more to create mud masterpieces with:

How we tested

When choosing and testing these mud kitchens we considered size, price, robustness assembly, durability, accessories, features, style and play value.

Out 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our testing during the MadeForMums awards and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club.

Each year, 1000s of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, but instead a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we aim to help you discover what is best foryour family.

About the author

Helen is Deputy Editor of MadeForMums, the author ofParenting for Dummies(Wiley, £17.99) and the Head Tester for our MadeForMums Toy Awards. She has written about parenting for Mumsnet, Pregnancy & Birth, Prima Baby, Boots Parenting Club and She Magazine and she's also been Consumer Editor of Mother & Baby. She has 3 boys and a heavy-duty washing machine.

Pics: product websites/MadeForMums testers


Read more

  • Best trampolines for children
  • Best paddling pools for kids of all ages
  • Best water play tables for children
10 of the best wooden mud kitchens for kids (2024)


10 of the best wooden mud kitchens for kids? ›

A useful approach for mud kitchens is to supply soil from purchased loam topsoil rather than from gardens or uncovered plant borders (all garden centres sell this; don't try compost as it does not behave sufficiently like soil for satisfactory mud play). Freshly excavated mole hills also supply lovely clean topsoil!

What is the best dirt for kids mud kitchen? ›

A useful approach for mud kitchens is to supply soil from purchased loam topsoil rather than from gardens or uncovered plant borders (all garden centres sell this; don't try compost as it does not behave sufficiently like soil for satisfactory mud play). Freshly excavated mole hills also supply lovely clean topsoil!

Are mud kitchens good for children? ›

Mud kitchens work incredibly well as part of PSED for learners because they encourage role play, sharing and turn taking. The kitchen style environment promotes role play amongst children and it's not uncommon to see learners taking on the role of a chef in a restaurant kitchen or mum or dad cooking at home.

What age should you buy a mud kitchen? ›

What age groups benefit the most from Mud Kitchens? Mud Kitchens are a great resource for children aged 1 to 7 years. However, older children are likely to enjoy playing with it too!

How tall should a kids mud kitchen be? ›

However, it is much more important to consider their height. Use a tape measure to establish a suitable playing surface height for your child. just above their elbow is a good starting point - this means there's room to grow, although if they are taller (or a sibling is) they won't 'lose out' if they are a bit taller!

What is the safest dirt for kids? ›

The best soil for kids to play with is a combination of sand and loam. Sand helps create the right texture, while loam provides essential nutrients and minerals that promote healthy growth.

How do you make fake dirt for kids? ›

You need: 3 cups of flour 1 cup of cocoa powder 1/2 cup of vegetable oil • Mix the flour and cocoa powder in a bowl • Slowly mix in the vegetable oil until the mixture has a crumbly texture • Spread the mixture across a tray • Add accessories!

What are the disadvantages of a mud kitchen? ›

The mud kitchen can take up space that children usually use to play freely in. Pots and pans filled with mud can be heavy and children may injure themselves if they are dropped on hands and feet.

How do you weatherproof a mud kitchen? ›

Finally, use paint or varnish to weatherproof and protect your mud kitchen from the elements outside.

What age are kids kitchens for? ›

The ages of 2-6 years old is a good time to introduce play kitchens to children. This is because at this age children are much more mobile and can engage in exploratory play. At this age, children can also learn to imitate their parents and what they do in the kitchen.

What age is a wooden kitchen for? ›

What age is a role play kitchen for? It's more about your child's developmental stage than their age, but typically kids engage in kitchen role play from around 18 months to 7 years. As they grow, so will how they play with their kitchen.

Is 8 too old for a play kitchen? ›

In conclusion, kids of all ages can benefit from and enjoy playing with a pretend kitchen. Children can acquire critical cognitive, social, and motor skills by being given a space for imaginative play. Choose a play kitchen that is safe, has interactive elements, and is appropriate for your child's age and interests.

Is 5 too old for a play kitchen? ›

it's better for play than any electronic stuff at that age. Makes their imagination grow. Yes my 5 year old does. My 7 year old wouldnt though so i think you might find that in another year or so she will have grown out of it.

Are mud kitchens worth it? ›

The Benefits of Mud Kitchen for Kids

Mud Kitchens go beyond mere fun and exploration—they offer a wealth of benefits spanning creativity, cognitive and motor skill development, and sensory enhancement. Their contribution to a child's holistic growth is manifold.

What are the rules for a mud kitchen? ›

Like all interest areas, mud kitchens have some ground rules. In addition to the basics—share, be kind, take turns—a mud kitchen adds: “mud is not for throwing” and “do not eat mud.” The rules should be kept to a minimum and need to be explained before opening the kitchen.

What do children learn from mud kitchen? ›

A mud kitchen is an outdoor play station that allows children to engage in pretend and messy play by cooking with mud, sand, and water. Mud kitchens help children to develop fine motor skills, roleplay, exploration, and social skills. Mud kitchens are beneficial for children ages 1-7.

What is the best dirt for indoor gardening? ›

Indoor Potting Mix

Whether homemade or purchased, organic compost will provide structure and nutrition for your indoor plants. Sphagnum peat moss. A natural ingredient, peat moss provides structure, aeration and water retention ability. It's also slightly acidic.

What is the best soil for mud pies? ›

Ideal mud for play is loamy soil, with a mix of sand, silt, and clay.

What is the best dirt mixture? ›

To create your own perfect soil mix, thoroughly blend 1 part peat or coir, 1 part perlite or vermiculite, one-half part composted bark, and one-half part worm castings. You can grow just about any crop in your indoor garden with this mix.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Clemencia Bogisich Ret

Last Updated:

Views: 5599

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 91% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Clemencia Bogisich Ret

Birthday: 2001-07-17

Address: Suite 794 53887 Geri Spring, West Cristentown, KY 54855

Phone: +5934435460663

Job: Central Hospitality Director

Hobby: Yoga, Electronics, Rafting, Lockpicking, Inline skating, Puzzles, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Clemencia Bogisich Ret, I am a super, outstanding, graceful, friendly, vast, comfortable, agreeable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.