Last fall I saw this idea on B. Organic withMichelle Beschen on PBS.
It's called a mud bar, and in our case it is the JJ Mud Bar.
Well, the one on PBS might have been a little more swanky and well done but this simple structure is equipped with hours of independent creation and fun for our children. The kids used it through the winter as a place to to make snow cupcakes and have spent countless hours there this spring concocting mud delicacies.
I decided to do it on a whim. After I saw the show, I went to the shed in the back to rummage. Now, I realize not everyone has as much usable junk lying around as we may have BUT I found just what I needed amongst our rubble. I took the old slatted table that I had kept our pet and chicken food tubs on and hauled it to our side yard.
Like the one on the show, one of the bars greatest qualities is that it's parts are all attached or set in so that they will not blow away. I had my more handy half, Micah, saw a hole to fit an old pot I had in the barn. The kids can take it out to go get water from the hose and then set it back in place.
This side has a cheap plastic ice basket from our cooler and a sand strainer screwed down over the spaces in the slats.
I hung the kids' sand toy on the back to funnel water and dirt through.
Here is the lid from our old Scene It game screwed down for a working space.
Utensils are hung by nails on the side (when put away :). If you don't have unneeded or worn out items in your kitchen at home, they are a dime a dozen at the Goodwill or the Salvation Army.
If you can, you definitely should. This was an easy, dirt cheap, re-use project that has been used endlessly!