She could play there for hours, with or without a bud(dy).
We watched and marveled at this lovely and obviously miraculous sight,
Because, as parents, we have never before had a kid who would play out of our sight!
I'm so not a poet. And I do know it. So I'll stop here.
But we really did build her this mud kitchen, to keep her out there longer. No, I'm kidding, (kind of). We made the mud kitchen because even though it's a somewhat different kind of hobby, we were just so thrilled that someone (anyone!) finally had a hobby.
It took us longer to debate how to build the kitchen than it did to actually built it (if you don't count the three weeks that Josh stood on line at Home Depot buying the wood and the cement things - which I promise you, I have asked Josh the name of those cement things at least 15 times and it still escapes me every single time.
There were a few rules that we put into place before we started this project. First, there were no power tools allowed. And no nails and hammers and any other non-noise making tools. We were also not willing to sand anything or paint anything and we knew that we needed to raise the floor off the ground because the location we chose for the kitchen - under the trees for shade - does not have the greatest drainage and we were looking for a mud kitchen and not a mud pool.
We started with what we already had because those things are free.
The rest of the items - like old (washed out) yogurt containers and cupcake tins and lots of wooden spoons and even an unused night table - were also taken from around the house, keeping this project really very inexpensive and easy.
We stacked up the cement things (cinder blocks! Cinder blocks! They are called cinder blocks and I am NOT losing my memory! Oh my goodness, I was feeling a little panicky there). We stacked up the cinder blocks and topped it with the counter top. Those things are all very heavy and unlikely to move anywhere, but just to be safe, we secured the whole thing to the fence behind it. Or at least we talked about securing it to the fence. (Josh. Did we do that?)
Then Josh layed out the cinder blocks on the ground and we topped them with six 8ft pieces of wood. We moved the long wooden benches to either side of our new mini platform to act as more work space and also to help ensure that no one would fall off the sides of the platform.
And that was it.
I did buy a water dispenser from Target but it's already broken. For now, we've been using bottles of tap water brought outside each time they run out of water. It's not ideal because muddy shoes come into the house to get the water, but it'll do for now.
She loves it, her friends love it, she plays in it everyday and it makes her happy. What more can I ask for?