Kids

DIY Outdoor Play Kitchen Made From Junk

two kids playing outside making pretend food on a wooden diy outdoor play kitchen

We have had a few of the cute play kitchens over the years as well as this fun DIY outdoor play kitchen, and both got used a lot.  In fact, this outdoor one probably got used more so because of all the things they could play with outside like rocks and water and grass.

Everything we used was here already at our house. All of it was junk I needed to get rid of or repurpose.  All free. So last night we “built” it, and I’m sure it will get broken down and rebuilt many different ways. So here it is, the perfect outdoor play kitchen made from junk!

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Why build an outdoor play kitchen instead of using a store bought one:

As a kid, I can remember spending recess with my friends making the area under a huge tree our “house”. The kitchen sat on the big roots, and we gathered all the leaves, pinecones, and seeds we could find to be things in our kitchen and ingredients for “soups”. I want my kids to see that seeds and grass and old junk can turn into anything they can imagine. An outdoor play kitchen is the perfect thing for that!

If they get bored with this, I can throw it away, burn it, or repurpose it. Tomorrow it could be made into a store or it could be a campground.

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Outdoor play food vs indoor play food

When I say, “lets go make a play kitchen”, they look at me all confused! There’s no pretty play food or oven or sink that they know of out there. But all it takes is getting them going and they do the rest. Once I set something up, I’ll ask them questions like, “Should this be the oven or the refrigerator?” Or, “What ingredients do we need for soup? How about this grass and that bark? I found some potatoes! (rocks) ” Done. They are off and running!

After I helped them build this, my kids went outside and used their imaginations for two whole hours!   This hasn’t happened in a while.  We collected a lot of junk and made an outdoor masterpiece.

It can be turned into a lot of things, because if a kid can pretend wood triangles are noodles, then they can be anything right?

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Materials used

  • An old rusted Bbq that had some vegetable roasting pans with it.  They made perfect “pots and pans”.
  • A frisbee as a serving plate.
  • Triangular cuts of wood from our garage were food (in this case macaroni noodles!) as well as rocks.
  • Wooden spoons I needed to get rid of anyways…perfect and real looking for mixing.
  • Tree branches Peter just trimmed made a nice “stove” with the oven underneath.
  • Empty plastic flower pots made good drinking glasses or food containers.
  • A wooden base we had around that our old dryer sat on. You could use an old side table for this. Goodwill is full of those!
a little boy cooking in an outdoor play kitchen made of small wooden logs.
a boy stirring wooden blocks in a diy outdoor play kitchen
Cooking macaroni noodles. I would ask him questions like, where is the salt and pepper? He would go get something like dirt and sprinkle it in.
A toddler girl stacking wooden triangles on plastic plates in the dirt.
A toddler boy carrying rocks on a frisbee

More cute DIY outdoor play kitchens

Be sure to check out this post for 20 DIY Outdoor play kitchens! Seriously adorable roundup and you will see kitchens using things from around the house to ones that require a little more skill.

Get the kids outside and using their imaginations

I’m on the hunt for play ideas that are fun for them, hands off for me, and don’t require so many toys! If you are tired of your kids not playing with their toys, or just don’t have the money for them, then something like this is the answer for you.  Drop a comment if you have any good play ideas for me!

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2 thoughts on “DIY Outdoor Play Kitchen Made From Junk

  1. Love this! We did the same thing with some old fence boards and cinderblocks. Love that it gives them a chance to use their imaginations more:) This year we planted a tiny herb garden in a pot so she would have ingredients (mint, basil etc that smell good:)

    1. How fun! I would love to get an herb garden going. Do you have a post on that? It’s awesome how kids don’t need realistic toys to play, I think we adults just like them because we think they look so cute.

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