Kid’s Play Kitchen


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.

Unexpected blessing.

“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.

At two.


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?

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I'm a mom to four. A wife to one. I believe in story. I love telling you about mine and would love to hear yours. There's really no sense in wasting our suffering and not sharing in each other's joy. We're all in this together...even if it doesn't always feel like it.

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  1. 1

    Oh my gosh… I insisted on wooden play food for my twin’s play kitchen also. Fraternal boy twins.
    That lasted exactly one day as they bonked each other on the head with wooden toys!!
    LauraC´s last blog post ..I could go on and on

  2. 2

    I love this! So awesome! My daughter, on the other hand, only wanted a “Dora kitchen”, so that’s what she got. She’ll tell you it is her favorite gift, but in reality, she spends 3x as much time playing with the LeapPad we gave her.
    Heather H´s last blog post ..While I’m Still Myself: Book Review

  3. 3

    What a sweet sweet gift! My grandfather made me a play kitchen and I loved playing with it through the years. We live far away from a lot of family and therefore Malone (2.5) gets a quite a few Christmas checks from relatives. This year, we took all of his Christmas money and got him a really nice Imaginarium Train Table which has far been the gift he loves the most. In a close second, he also really loves the car transporter truck . It was one of the only things he specifically asked for this year and to watch him open it was truly magical!
    NJ @ A Pocket Full Of Dinos´s last blog post ..Insta-Friday

  4. 4

    That is the greatest kitchen I’ve ever seen. Hands down.
    Mari´s last blog post ..Ladies and Gentlemen

  5. 5

    So adorable. I’m buying one this week for small one’s b-day but I like yours so very much better.
    adventuresindinner´s last blog post ..More party food for Saturday :-)

  6. 6

    That is the neatest little kitchen EVER. My kids have the same dishes and food set, lol. they love it!
    Rebekah C´s last blog post ..What I’m thinking about what you’re really thinking…

  7. 7

    I dream of being able to coordinate the family into a great gift idea like this!! Thanks for the inspiration… I can start thinking about my sons birthdays this spring and summer. Hmmm

  8. 8

    i STILL remember my play kitchen.
    this post made me smile.

    and then reading about jilly, it made me get all giddy and happy inside.
    seriously, this brought so much joy to my face.

    and i love that the gift was all inclusive event for your whole family! :)

    i love all of it.

  9. 9
    tiffany day says:

    oh how fantastic for them to have that growing up – something to keep in the family for a LONG time – it a treasure for sure. Um, can I have one too??



  10. 10

    So fun! We got our Munchkin (almost 2) a kitchen set with tons of food as well. He loves the M&D cutting food! We have eaten lots of pretend cheese sand witches, and our poor dogs have their mouths pried open often for a drink of ‘miwk.’ He also got a fire house/police station (set up like a doll house) from Nana & Grandpa that he LOVES! I have so much fun getting him new toys at christmas!
    Kelly´s last blog post ..My Dream

  11. 11

    love this!! way to go, mama! I say stick to your brattiness – this will last forever, a family heirloom for sure ;) And this is going to be my quote of the day: “I will take your theatrics and use them for my purposes.” thanks for sharing ;)
    emily hope´s last blog post ..Hope For The New Year

  12. 12
    Megan in Montreal says:

    OMgosh, I love this play kitchen. I got my daughter what I thought was the greatest one last year. It is a red retro vontage wood kitchen from Kidcraft but this one is hands down, the most awesome play kitchen I have ever seen. I love the wooden kitchen stuff from Melissa and Doug. And Lucy’s pirate face makes me crack up and laugh out loud. I love it!

  13. 13

    That is a great kitchen! I think we’re going to make my niece a dollhouse for her 4th birthday this year. It’s gonna be cool if we pull it off!
    Those aprons are adorable! And Lucy’s “Pirate Elvis” face get a chuckle every time!
    And most importantly – three cheers for Jill! How exciting!

  14. 14

    how adorable! my nephew got a play grill for christmas and he loves it! ;)
    Jodi Hall´s last blog post ..Yuck Weather Wordless Wednesday

  15. 15

    How adorable! Love it!
    Jaime´s last blog post ..Pinterest Tuesday!

  16. 16

    that kitchen is amazing! i love it. the color is perfect

    their little aprons are darling.

    we have some of the melissa and doug wooden food… its awesome.

    your kids will have fun with the kitchen for years!
    kristen´s last blog post ..10 on 10: January 2012

  17. 17

    I love everything about this post!! And OMG, the aprons!! Awesome. I’m thinking I might have to ask my dad to whip up a kitchen for MY kids :) And the pirate elvis face made me laugh out loud. Faith is currently doing the fingers in the mouth stretchy smile whenever I ask her to smile so I feel ya.
    Kim R´s last blog post ..Instafriday

  18. 18

    Well, this is just awesome! I’m glad you explained the aprons, because the whole time I was thinking – where did she get the gorgeous aprons? How cool that your family worked together on this project and your kids ended up with something incredibly useful (and fun!) for Christmas instead of a bunch of half-used plastic toys. Super.
    Courtney´s last blog post ..For You Have Set My Heart Free

  19. 19

    Oh my goodness! Super cute:) You did an amazing job on the kitchen. They will be sharing memories made playing on it with their grandchildren one day!
    Stephanie H.´s last blog post ..Birthdays and Tigers and Turkey Thugs. Oh My!

  20. 20

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the kitchen! I played with one as a child. In fact, my Daddy built me an entire mini play house in our backyard. Mom sewed curtains, it had REAL let up and down windows, with a tiny front porch. I adored it! When we moved it was the one thing I missed most and wish we could have taken with us. The colors in yours are PERFECT! And I love that it’s all wooden (ours was metal back in the late 60’s). <telling my age!
    Sherri S´s last blog post ..My Week in Photos

  21. 21

    That is awesome! How cool that your dad can build anything. I bet that comes in handy. I just love all the small details. I have pinned this post. I am a new follower visiting from Thirty Handmade Days. Vicky from Mess For Less

  22. 22

    So cute! Now I need to convince my husband to bite off a project like this too. My daughter would go crazy over this :)
    Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead´s last blog post ..What’s wrong with Hessen

  23. 23

    LOVE it! I am doing the exact same thing for my son this year! He’ll be two in Jan and recently discovered the play kitchen at grandma’s house and was in LOVE. So I asked my dad for help with building him a solid wood play kitchen, and even painted it a similar green/blue as you did for the retro vibe! I am also a total brat and asked the family to participate with this gift, and ONLY wooden food is acceptable! AND we made a shopping cart out of wine barrel staves and a cute white metal basket. :) SO excited to give it to him! I’ll have to show you once I’ve posted pictures of it all on my blog. :)
    Kayla Anderson´s last blog post ..Chicken and Bowling.