Friday, September 23, 2011

Recycled Toys

For Broden's 2nd birthday, we bought him a kitchen play set from Ikea. Or, I should say I bought him the kitchen play set. Kyle wasn't with me when I bought it, and I wasn't certain that he would appreciate the idea as much as I did. When I was explaining to him what he was unloading out of the back of my parent's truck he didn't even bat an eye. Thank you God for saving me a weekend full of convincing.

It comes in handy quite a bit. He likes to make Vada and I Batman Soup while we are wrapping up her studies in preparation for her afternoon break. He helps me get dinner ready when my burners are out of commission. He washes all of his own dishes. It's rather wonderful.

As I was tying the bow on it just minutes before his birthday party, Kyle asks, "Did you get him any play food?" Sure, I had thought about it, but I really wanted him to use his imagination. And besides, I have a younger sister, I've babysat several children, and I used to work at a daycare. Therefore, I know that generally children could care less about the obviously fake cereal boxes and ice cream sandwiches. What do they really get a kick out of when it comes to kitchen/grocery play? The real stuff. Who would want to play with a squishy plastic cylinder when it's obvious that is NOT what your parents use when they are cooking dinner for the family?

Just like the real thing.

Taking a few tips from daycare teachers and children's museums, I made Broden his own "grown-up" spices. Once I had used up the contents of these jars, I simply filled one with rice and the other with dried pinto beans, cut small squares out of Saran Wrap to place under the lid (to prevent the rice from spilling out of the shaker holes), and Super Glued the lids on. He loves them! He will even take them to the dinner table and use them to "salt & pepper" his food.

Now I can't help standing in front of my pantry reviewing the inventory to see what I can make for him next. And you thought I had the munchies.

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