If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you probably remember last year’s felt food project. A year later, our son still loves the play kitchen and felt food (and has become an excellent helper in the real kitchen too), and his little brother is starting to really enjoy it as well. That food gets a lot of use.
One thing we didn’t have was a place to store all the food. The kitchen we got didn’t come with a fridge or any cabinet space, so there was usually a bunch of food stored in the oven. And we had a little basket that we kept beside it, filled with food. Last spring, our son asked if we could get a fridge to go with the kitchen, and I told him I’d keep an eye out. I looked on Craigslist a few times, but the ones I found were very expensive. So we started looking around each time we went to Goodwill, to see if we could spot something that would work.
Our son spotted a Detroit Lions toy locker one day at Goodwill a few months ago. He told me it would be a perfect fridge, and I agreed. It was missing one shelf, but I figured we could easily cut a board to fit, which ended up taking about five minutes – all I had to do was cut the board and set it in on the supports that were already there, molded into the frame.
I told our son it was a Detroit locker (we’re not Lions fans) and asked him if he wanted me to spray paint it white or black or silver or something like that. He said no, that he liked the blue and the Lions logo. So all I had to do was clean it and put in a shelf. I think it cost about five bucks. It’s not usually this neatly arranged, so I had to take a picture of the inside after he set it up like this:
The kitchen setup is usually in his bedroom, but last night he dragged it all out into the living room to play, and I wanted to show you the Craigslist/homemade/Goodwill cobbled-together play kitchen that has provided our little boys with hours of entertainment this year.
He added that shoebox beside the stove and put the banana peel in it. I asked him what that was and he told me that it’s the compost bin. We’re obviously teaching him well…
I think that the little NFL locker works great as a fridge. I love that our boys enjoy the whole setup so much, and that we repurposed, refurbished and handmade so much of this.
The felt food is holding up really well, given how much it’s been played with over the last year. I used cheap felt – the stuff that comes in little rectangles from the craft store – and although some of it has pilled a bit, most of it is still in great shape.
What’s your favorite repurposed, second-hand or homemade toy that your kids love?