Create a Mud Kitchen Recipe Book with FREE template

Move over Jamie Oliver, and make way for pint-sized outdoor chefs.

Create a Mud Kitchen Recipe Book_My Little Bookcase

One of my most vivid childhood memories is of making flower soups and ice-creams with my friends and trying to sell them to passers-by in the street. I feel immense joy as I watch Cam do the same- making all sorts of concoctions with flower petals, leaves and anything else she can find in the backyard.

I like to find ways to capture these memories, but I also use Cam’s interests to assist in developing her literacy skills in meaningful ways.

Last week we made the most of the Melbourne sunshine and spent some time in the backyard. As I watched and listened to Cam explain how to make a Lavender Souplaki (souvlaki) in celebrity chef style, I decided it would be a great opportunity to create a recipe book especially for her mud kitchen/café.


Mud Kitchen Recipe Book Template Mud Kitchen Recipe Book Template_My Little Bookcase Mud Kitchen Recipe Book Template_My Little Bookcase

  • Collect recipe ingredients by exploring the garden or local environment.

Collecting Materials for a Mud Kitchen Recipe Book_My Little Bookcase

  • Invite your child to create an imaginative meal using a selection of the collected items.
  • Once your child has a selection of ingredients, they can draw the them using the ‘Ingredients’ template page. It’s not necessary, but you could add labels to your child’s diagrams (Independent writers can do this themselves).

Drawing Ingredients for Mud Kitchen Recipe Book

  • Once they have drawn the ingredients, you can remove the paper and allow your child to play and create freely, but ask them to verbalise their thoughts and explain what they are doing (You could introduce your child to a variety of adjectives, verbs and instructional language and phrases).

Creating recipes for a Mud Kitchen Recipe Book

  • Act as your child’s scribe, and try to capture their words and explanations using the ‘Instructions‘ page of the template. Let your child decide how many meals they want to create. You don’t have to fill a recipe book in one go.

Pages of a Mud Kitchen Recipe Book_My Little Bookcase

  • Decorate the front cover with any leftover ‘ingredients’.
  • Waterproof your recipe book for outdoor use by laminating the sheets.
  • Secure with a key ring (this will enable you to add to the recipe book over time. There is no need to fill the recipe book in one go).

Mud Kitchen Recipe Book_My Little Bookcase

    • Hang the recipe book in your child’s mud kitchen/café or outdoor play space.

    Playing with Mud Kitchen Recipe Book_ My Little Bookcase

    Learning outcomes:

    • Working with your child to create an outdoor recipe book helps your child to understand that texts serve a purpose- in this case, to record ideas and to instruct.
    • Younger children or pre-readers might simply use the recipe book as a play resource, imitating the process of reading a recipe.
    • Children who are learning to read will be able to use their diagrams as reading clues, while independent readers will have created a new, personal and meaningful text to add to their library.

    You might also like these spring-themed books and art ideas:

    Spring Books for Children_My Little Bookcase Blossom Tree Spring Art_My Little Bookcase Spring Stencil Art_My Little Bookcase

    This post forms part of a Spring Blog Hop, but you can use this Mud Kitchen Recipe Book all year round. Make sure you browse the posts shared by some of Australia’s most creative bloggers. You’ll find some brilliant ideas to help you and your kids make the most of what spring has to offer.

    Australian Spring Blog Hop 2013

    Racheous – Lovable Learning – Nature on the Light Table

    Wildlife Fun 4 Kids – Nature’s Glitter

    Danya Banya – Nature Art

    Triple T Mum – Glittery Gelatin Butterfly Sun Catcher

    The Craft Train – Spring Butterfly Art

    Childhood 101 – Invitation to Play Flower Shop

    One Perfect Day – Free Printable Spring Scavenger Hunt

    Just for Daisy-Flower Press Fairy Cards

    My Little Bookcase-Mud Kitchen Recipe Book


    Happy Whimsical Hearts

    About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase

    Create a Mud Kitchen Recipe Book with FREE template


    1. Jackie, this is absolutely fabulous!

    2. Great idea! Kids will love looking through their very own recipe book and it encourages writing (or drawing) too!

    3. Wow, I love this idea. What a great activity for bringing literacy outside!

    4. This is the best idea! I love Cammy’s creativity!

    5. This is a wonderful idea, I love it!

    6. such a lovely idea for pre or beginning readers… and SO MUCH FUN!

    7. This is terrific- such a great idea… Were big fans of mud kitchens & this is perfect! You’ve re-inspired me to utilise our mud kitchen more

    8. This is just perfect!! Miss Daisy will LOVE this! Thanks for sharing :)

    9. What a gorgeous idea and it looks like so much fun! We’ve just have several days of rain so there’s plenty of mud in our backyard now and you know what I’m thinking ;-)

    10. I think a mud kitchen needs to be on everyone’s childhood bucket list.

    11. What a wonderful way to combine art, literacy and outdoor play! I can just imagine her consulting her recipe as she’s concocting. :)

    12. Simple yet so much fun

    13. This is a great idea! We must have one of these for our mud kitchen too. Thanks for sharing!

    14. I love this and what a fun way to incorporate literacy skills in a playful way. Brilliant!

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    Create a Mud Kitchen Recipe Book with FREE template

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