I always try to include my little one in small tasks in the kitchen like helping butter the bread, measuring out the oatmeal, or using the manual mixer. Sometimes it can be frustrating with the mess but always fun, especially when you see those little smiles of joy as they are contributing to the family meal. I began to see that the kitchen is one of the things that drew his interest and brought lots of joy.
So, when the holiday's rolled around, I knew what he would love: A PLAY KITCHEN! One concern was how to add a play kitchen to our space without increasing the clutter, and how to keep my child's room versatile for his ever-changing interests. Second concern: can I come up with a solution for storing the kitchen when not in use? I try to keep my little one’s room minimalist and open to change at a moments notice, so we can go from cars to crafts to tumble time etc.
Currently, his room has one large chair for reading, a box of books, a bed, two stools and an adjustable play table that will grow with him. By utilizing the table currently in his room for the kitchen, and using a storage bin for the oven, I solved my concerns of clutter. No extra furniture, taking up floor space and a place to store kitchen items when not in use. By using a tri-fold project board (a.k.a., science project board) for the range part of the kitchen, it can quickly be picked up, folded and placed in the closet.
So here are some photos of what I did; which, I hope will help you come up with a plan if you are planning to add a play kitchen to your little one's space. This is not a tutorial, just photos, tips, and tricks. Items used for this project are listed below.
Created using a storage container and project display board.
Width of the trifold was cut to match the container size, and a score was added to create the fold needed to wrap around the plastic storage bin.
Oven door was created with a ziplock bag (an additional backing with a window cut out will have to be cut to cover the back). I then secured it with glue. Next, I added my handle with small screws. Using duct tape, I covered exposed screws on the inside of the oven door.
Oven light uses a push light from the dollar store. I painted it with Elmer's glue mixed with orange acrylic paint.
Created using another project display board, a cardboard box, and poster board to make it look seamless.
Stovetop range eyes can be created by cutting out felt circles, painting CDs and gluing them in place. I just happen to run across these trivets which was great because I will be able to reuse these one day when my little one is finished with this kitchen.
Wooden knob for the oven was attached using screw and nut. Felt and velcro was used to cover the screw knobs (allowing the toddler no access to these small pieces). I painted all wooden knobs black added an indicator with white and red acrylic paint.
Used cardboard to create a shelf for the range. Adhere to trifold and score poster board to cover the cardboard. Covering the cardboard with poster board will make it look seamless. Use masking tape to cover the exposed seams. If you are feeling creative, cut a spot out for a container to fit into the top of the shelf to hold items.
When my little one is ready for a break from cooking, we can easily store all the accessories in the oven, it remains under the table. The stovetop range is folded and stored in the closet, takes up minimal space.
Don't forget to name your kitchen! We called our kitchen The Happy Plate Bistro. If you are creating your little one's kitchen and burnt out on creativity, feel free to download the logo for use in your creations.
The most costly thing for this project was the tea set, pots & pans, foods, plates, etc. check out your local consignment shop, Amazon, and local dollar stores for kid-safe items that might work for you.
Overall this project was fun, and my little one was thrilled. It is holding up well with play; I’ve only had to make minor repairs after a year of play.
Items purchased to create the Kids Play Kitchen:
- Project display board
- Plastic storage tote: For this, I chose Blue Hawk 16-in W x 12-in H x 19-in D Gray Stackable Plastic Bin
- Digital timer for the oven (from Dollar Store)
- Battery operated light for the oven (from Dollar Store)
- Small containers (holds kitchen items)
- Small 3m Hooks
- Cabinet door handles
- Duct Tape (Black & White)
- One Ziplock bag (create oven window)
Stove Top Range
- Project display board (aka trifold science project board) found at the dollar store.
- Poster Board
- Circles for range (I found these - Trivets at Tuesday Morning)
- Four Wooden Knobs
- Card Board Box
- Heavy Duty Velcro
- Wood glue
- Hot glue gun
- Washi tape & sticker (for decoration only)
Check out Dollar Store, Habitat for Humanity, Lowes Hardware and your local craft store. You might find something that works better. BE CREATIVE, but remember it is for a toddler. Leave something for their imagination and keep it kid-safe.
All the items on this blog post were purchased with my own money and are not sponsored. Just products I love, that also make my life a little easier. Kids are smart, so make sure your creation is kid safe.