From an early age, Sonnie has loved spending time outside. Once on the go, he quickly acquired an obsession with stones, bark and puddles. After playing with water- held in a mop bucket!- for a period of time, I knew I had to find a longer term, more aesthetically pleasing alternative. After a lot of pestering and a trip to Nana and Papa’s where wood is in abundance and spare sinks just laying around (y’know, as they are), voilà the Mud Kitchen was built!
It was a fairly simple process, for me anyway. I just watched and gave constructive (but firm) guidance. In all seriousness, it took my husband and dad around half an hour to build with the right tools and equipment. They used an old gate (a pallet would work just as well) cut to size for the back board, pieces of timber to frame around the sink and a thicker post cut to size for the four legs. They then added the smaller timber round the base to give extra support.
Sonnie has played in his kitchen every day since it arrived in our garden and is eager to get out to it as much as possible. In all honesty, his play hasn’t gone entirely as I expected. Saying that, it never does and that is the beauty of letting him have free reign with explorations, he always surprises me. Like I did expect, he loves to pour, swirl , splash and scoop up the water using his utensils ( which can be bought from Ikea and are amazing!) What I didn’t anticipate, was for him to discover that when you pull the plug out, the water gushes from the pipe below on to the ground. He worked this out in about 10 seconds and was completely enthralled. After “again, again” and a number of trips back and forth to the kitchen ( we really need an outdoor tap!), I put a plant tray underneath to catch the water. This process kept him engaged for an extended period of time. Now if I want him to keep the water in, I have to add bubbles.