Winter Mud Kitchen: 20 Simple Ideas

Cold weather needn’t stop outdoor play. All you really need is are the right resources – that’s why this Winter Mud Kitchen is the perfect choice during the colder months!

a 5 year old girl plays with snow and pumpkins in a mud kitchen

“It’s too cold to go outside!” Is often given as a reason to stay indoors no matter what the weather. But being cooped up indoors all day isn’t good for anyone. That’s why we tend to go outside no matter what the weather is. Having fantastic outdoor resources such as a winter mud kitchen is a great way of encouraging outdoor play in the colder months. And if you need tips on how to get outside in all weathers, read this post on my exclusive membership page, How I drink my Coffee Hot. 


Why Is A Mud Kitchen Beneficial?

The main benefit is that a mud kitchen will help to encourage authentic play. It’s particularly great for when your children are entering the realm of make believe ‘dramatic play.’ You can read all about the benefits of dramatic play here. 

Other benefits include:

  • Easy ‘sensory play‘ option. Sensory play is important and there’s no better way to embrace it than to be outside engaging with natural resources!
  • Language development – playing pretend, learning new vocabulary, playing with siblings /other children
  • Early math – counting ingredients, capacity, volume, weight etc
  • Hand-eye coordination – pouring ingredients, adding water and so on
  • Fine motor skills – stirring potions, using tongs, grating chalks.
  • Learning about the world – children make sense of their everyday world by emulating what they see.
  • Simply being outside! Children need at least 2 hours outside each day. Playing in a mud kitchen is an easy way to pass that time.


a toddler in a navy blue snowsuit plays with a mud kitchen in the snow

20 Winter Mud Kitchen Resources

Here are just ideas for what you can use in an Winter mud kitchen. I always recommend that you use items that are seasonal rather than store bought. Availability of the items below will depend on where you live.

  1. Mud
  2. Snow
  3. Pinecones
  4. Leaves
  5. Stones
  6. Berries (check if safety)
  7. Sticks
  8. Ice
  9. Old Pumpkins
  10. Icicles
  11. Acorns
  12. Twigs
  13. Dry Autumn Leaves (if still available)
  14. chesnuts / conkers
  15. pine needles
  16. dried herbs
  17. pink rock salt (not for children who mouth everything!)
  18. red lentils
  19. moss
  20. bark

a girl in a pink wooly hat mixes snow in a winter mud kitchen

Blog posts to read next:

If you loved these Winter Mud Kitchen Ideas, you might also enjoy some of our other related posts. Most are suitable for both toddlers and preschoolers:

Interested in learning more?

If you enjoyed these Winter  Mud Kitchen ideas and want to learn more about sensory play and the importance of play in the early years, you might just like my exclusive membership, ‘How I drink my Coffee Hot’ too. The membership costs just $5 per month and you get access to 10 mini courses on a range of topics including sensory play, play spaces and starting school. Here are some membership posts that you might enjoy:

Sensory Play Mini Course

Starting School Mini Course 

Play Space 101 Mini Course

Toys 101 Mini Course

Sian Thomas
an image of This Playful Home founder, Sian Thomas. The photo includes a photo of her daughter when she was around 18 months old

I’m Siân (rhymes with yarn), a play advocate, proud parent to three, and former teacher. My mission is to infuse more joy and less overwhelm into the lives of parents. Discover play-based activities with me that not only make learning FUN but also forge deep connections with your young learners, creating memories to cherish forever.