Several of our son’s friends have play kitchens, and for about the last year those have been the toys our little guy enjoys the most when we play at other kids’ houses. In our own house, he uses all of my pots and pans and utensils and then pretends that his blocks are muffins, pancakes, salad, tea, smoothies, etc. He loves to help me cook, and it’s a common theme when he’s playing too.
We’ve mostly skipped Christmas presents for the last several years. My husband and I don’t care one way or the other, and even though this will be our fourth Christmas as parents, our son hasn’t been old enough to know what all the fuss is about. We involved him last year in our trip to the grocery store to pick out food for the food bank, and he went with us when we took a food basket to a WWII veteran we’ve known for years. But we’ve never gotten a Christmas gift for our son before.
This year, we decided that in addition to our food donations we’d also get our son a Christmas present. And a play kitchen seemed the obvious choice, since he’s mentioned numerous times that he’d like one and he has so much fun playing with them when we visit his friends.
So I started searching on Craigslist. I found several plastic kitchens, and a few really expensive wooden ones. Then yesterday this charming little wooden kitchen was listed for $45:
Other than the pretty shade of pink, it was perfect. So I brought it home and went about making it a little less princess-like. I will admit that the little girl in me – who spent the first half of the 80s shunning the 63 non-pink crayons in the box – sighed a bit when the first stroke of white primer went on over the pink oven door. (Early 80s? Who am I kidding? I painted my bedroom furniture this exact shade of pink when I was in high school).
Anyway. This is what the kitchen looks like now:
But wait, the fun is just beginning. What do you need to go with a play kitchen? Play food, of course. I browsed around online and saw lots of cheap plastic versions, and lots of expensive wooden and fabric versions. And then I figured I might as well try making my own. I had lots of felt and embroidery floss in my craft supplies, and I sat down to experiment a bit last night after we got the boys to sleep. I spent a little over an hour and this is what I have so far:
The baking dish and the little blue frying pan were thrift store finds. After I picked up the kitchen, I spent $13 at the thrift store getting all sorts of kitchens stuff to go with it. Couldn’t resist that cute little blue frying pan!
I’m so excited to make more felt food. It’s all sorts of fun, and really doesn’t take much in the way of time or talent or money. I have plans to make stuff to put together into a sandwich, veggies for a salad bowl, and a pizza. The cookies and eggs only took about 15 minutes each to make, so I can sneak in at least one more little piece of food each night after our son’s in bed. More pictures coming soon, I promise!
The only other Christmas present we’re doing this year (other than donations of food and money for charities) is my annual scrapbook for my mother in law, which is already finished.
Any of you going with second-hand and/or homemade Christmas presents this year? I’d love to hear about your ideas. And if any of you have experience with making stuff for a play kitchen, I’d especially love to hear from you!