As the kids are currently tearing your garden to pieces as they make the most of the unpredictable British summer, savour this time, and let your interiors take a break. But what will happen when autumn comes and that paddling pool and water pistol set is less of a draw for them? Is it time once more to cover the furniture with plastic? No, simply get them something for the garden that they’ll cherish whatever the time of year. On that note, we check out a hand-made Mud Kitchen from Purepallets.
A what? If you’ve never seen or heard of one, a Mud Kitchen is essentially a hard-wearing toy kitchen designed to be kept outside. And you’ll be thankful for that, as kids typically mix soil, sand, and mud with water, snow, ice, rocks, and your uprooted prize begonias to make crazy (and messy) concoctions. Imagine a baby enjoying a cake smash; but the cake is outside and you don’t have to clean up after them. Parenting win.
In searching for a tough and fun Mud Kitchen, we stumbled upon Purepallets, a company based in our home city of York that uses reclaimed wood and timber from old pallets to make very impressive and unique things, including Mud Kitchens for kids. But if the thought of letting your kids play with something that was once used to cart boxes of nails or multi-packs of crisps about is a little worrying, Purepallets lovingly clean and sand all the parts of the wood to produce a finish that is distinctive, smooth, and safe.
As the preparation of the timber is different every time, and as the grain of the wood is truly unique, not one Mud Kitchen is the same as the next, and as you can specify exactly what your kids might want in the finished design, this is a true bespoke item.
The one we were sent is roughly one metre wide and just as high. It’s so solidly put together that is required two of us to carry it into the garden. This makes us pretty confident that no matter how much punishment the kids give it in their faux culinary careers, there is no chance it will topple over and crush them. Which is definitely something we’re keen about not happening.
Despite being chunky and sturdy, the Purepallet Mud Kitchen has some great play features. The black ‘hobs’ are painted on by hand, while the plastic ‘sink’ is a removable washing up bowl. Down below there is an opening ‘oven’ with a latch, and storage space for pots and pans (and buckets of mud, should the wee ones fancy it), while on top there is shelf space for tools and hooks for ladles and forks and other such implements of mud-makery.
There is also a double-sided chalk board to the left side, something we were really keen for our kitchen to possess. The kids can chalk up their menu on there (‘Today’s special: Mud’) and also personalise the whole thing with their name and crazy drawings. Such as pictures of plates of mud being enjoyed by their parents. Creepy.
As a long-term bit of outside furniture, the Purepallets Mud Kitchen is excellent. Clearly this will last the kids for many many muddy adventures, and as it isn’t made from brightly coloured garish plastic, mum and dad will also enjoy seeing it in the garden. They might not be so happy about trying what the kids make, however.