Friday, April 20, 2012

Play Foods

It all started with Tyler pretending to cook in the bathtub. It makes me think of Kramer cooking in the shower on Seinfeld! 

Tyler wants to be a chef someday - his phrasing - and so we would pretend to make some kind of soup in his various bath toys while he took a bath. Sometimes we'd pretend to plant a garden first, to have our own vegetables. You should always try to include a little learning in every game, right?

Eventually he wanted to make pizza in his bathtub kitchen. I helped out by bringing a few spring-form pan bottoms to the tub for pizza pans. We talked about how real pizza restaurants toss the dough in the air to stretch it out before they add toppings. His bath toy storage fish became the oven.

As you can imagine, we ended up with imaginary phone calls for pizza orders and Tyler wanting to play restaurant all the time. Here he is at our first out-of-tub kitchen set up.

Now we play in the bedroom, and a drawer under his bed is the new oven. He takes orders by phone and drives them to delivery spots all over town. (We also pretend to drive around town for Tyler's Woodworking Business. That Black and Decker workbench gets a lot of use now that people want their pool chairs fixed in time for Summer!)

I realized that we needed some food props for our cooking play time. Not wanting to invest in a bunch of store bought play foods, I thought of Sunday school felt play stories and thought "Hey, I have felt from crafting, and I can make that into lots of things." I've had a lot of fun cutting out the shapes. There are 12" tan pizza crusts, 11" red pizza sauce circles, and assorted toppings. Even calamari.

The play cash register he got for his birthday makes running his pizza shop (and other business ventures) even more fun and educational, although it will be a while til we reach the making change level of math!

Tyler's kitchen supplies include empty juice and milk containers, ketchup and mustard bottles, assorted utensils, some stainless steel bowls, tupperware and oven mitts. He got a wooden food set for his birthday: a clearance set I scored on at JCP! You don't have to spend a lot to have a kid's kitchen up and running!

The top of the toy box now serves as a cooking stove. The floor is the pizza prep area. An inexpensive pencil case holds the felt food items when we're not using them. I think other food items are not far off in our future.

We have made and colored several menus and he has a small notebook to take your order. I think yarn for spaghetti will be next. We can get a little practice with his scissors while making that.

Until next time!


christy jensen said...

Mom, you are so inventive!! That is a great idea instead of using play-doh. And i thought the play mat cushion tile idea was very cool. Love u!

quiltzyx said...

Welcome to Chez Tyler! Our specials today are.....!!!
Love all the ingredients & tools, so great for stretching his imagination!