When it comes to gift giving occasions, I really try to think of things that my kids will actually play with.
You know, for more than five seconds. And then I coordinate with family so that they get one really cool thing rather than 57 bitty things that I curse.
This Christmas, I decided that the girls were getting old enough for a play kitchen.
I’m really bratty though and I wanted something a little nicer and sturdier than the plastic sets you can buy at Toys R Us.
Plus, I’m super spoiled because my dad can build just about anything.
So I asked him to make the girls a play kitchen.
Then, Uncle Duncan (who is a painter by trade) painted it for us as his gift.
I’m all about team work. Plus it cuts down on the sheer volume of toys your kids end up getting.
I decided to go a little retro on the paint selection so that it would be timeless.
Do you just love the real faucet?!
I made little curtains and printed up a flower field scene from the internet to make it look like a little window.
I got the little mugs and all the plates at IKEA.
Yes, they are “glass” or ceramic or whatever…I’m taking a bit of a risk there, but honestly, it’s more fun that way. Don’t you remember being a kid and loving when things were “real”?
To continue with my bratty theme, I also insisted that all of the food stuffs were wooden.
Not the plastic stuff you step on and it squishes into a blob.
So I coordinated with my mother in law and we each got them different wooden food sets from Melissa and Doug.
Luckily, we were able to find some really great Christmas sales so it worked out to be fairly inexpensive!
The play kitchen has actually been incredible.
“Jeannett…Jill’s actually PLAYING. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her actually deliberately playing with a toy. Ever.”
And she never did.
Now, girlfriend is making sandwiches, mixing up soups, and absolutely being a machine in the kitchen.
Her therapists have been using the kitchen for therapy purposes because she does so well with it.
She pretends to drink out of cups, she “pours” milk, she makes little smacking noises when she “eats” and hands you plates of wooden delicacies.
I cannot convey to you how HUGE this is.
And they play TOGETHER.
Like, actually, for reals, PLAY…with each other. (Actually, all three kids do…Henry was at preschool for this photo shoot.)
I often sit on the floor and just watch them. In awe.
Baking cookies is without question the favorite pasttime.
I think they are making soup here.
Please note the height difference.
Of my twins.
I keep thinking that someday I’ll get used to it.
I was shocked on Christmas morning when Lucy, without prompting, put on oven mitts (“Mama it’s HOT!”), baked “cook cooks” and then went around handing out freshly baked treats to people on little individual plates.
I bake a lot, but I never realized how much she paid attention to even go through all of the motions exactly.
As you can see from the last picture, asking Lu to smile got me the Pirate Elvis face again.
“Okay Lu, let’s try again. But don’t make that face okay?”
And this…this melancholy-my-life-is-terrible-and-my-mother-is-oppresive look is what I got in return.
Drama queen much?
“Come on Lucy! You’re being silly! Smile for mommy!”
Face covering angst.
But, this picture shows off the aprons my mother in law made for the girls as part of their Christmas gifts.
You’ve been foiled again Little Miss! I will take your theatrics and use them for my purposes! Muahahaha!
And this picture just because I thought it was cute.
What was the best gift your kids got this Christmas?