I remember when my children were babies that some of the very first attractive things to play with were kitchen items: spatulas, bowls, wooden spoons. They used to stay with us while preparing the meals, quietly playing with what they could find in the kitchen drawers. That’s when we first thought about getting a play kitchen. As they grew into their toddler phase, I started looking for a play kitchen. And it turned out my idea was a great one, because play kitchens have proved to be a game changer for our family.
They will play for hours with it, and when they’re done, it doesn’t take much to clean up. They love pretending to cook, giving us play foods, we always make sure to praise their efforts, so they keep on doing it. And as I’ve discovered along the way, there are many benefits of pretend play kitchen.
So, yes, play kitchens are awesome, but I also understand they can be considered expensive. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do one yourself.
Are you a DIY enthusiast? Are you always looking for ways to make things on your own rather than just buying them?
You’re in the right place. I gathered here some pretty nice ideas for DIY kitchen toys, from the simplest to more complicated versions, just so you can choose whichever seems doable for you and your kid. Let’s embark on the wings of adventure.
DIY CARDBOARD KITCHEN
I think we can all agree that this is probably the easiest one, the one that you don’t have to shop for materials, as long as you have an empty cardboard box laying around in your house, some markers, and scissors.
First of all, think about how big you want the kitchen set up to be, then pick an appropriately sized box and start cutting. You can make a simple one, with an oven and some colored knobs, drawing the stove eyes and some of the accessories. Be aware of the fact that it cannot sustain heavy things, so you’re probably going to have to make paper or cardboard accessories as well.
The downside of this option it’s being a short-term option, it cannot last for long.
DIY KITCHEN FROM TV STAND KITCHEN
If you’re planning on changing your TV stand or have an old one that is of no use, this is a great use for it. You’re going to need some tools and also some paint to redecorate it. You can use a kitchen bowl for the sink and the stove can be a laminated printed stove top where you can stick some stove buttons that you can put together from wood. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube about how you can do this.
One of the most important details about it is to make sure you get a wall mounting system as well, you will most likely have a trip to a hardware store, so just put it on your list.
DIY KITCHEN FROM TWO NIGHTSTANDS KITCHEN
Another great idea if you have old furniture or if you plan on buying new one.
You can modify its doors and drawers to be transparent and you can add shelves for better storage options. Personalizing it with your kid’s favorite colors or designs will only make them love it more. You can also make it work with only one night stand, the space will be limited, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a great game set-up.
DIY KITCHEN FROM TOP KITCHEN CABINET
When you decide to redecorate your own kitchen it’s a great opportunity to turn one of your old top cabinets for a play kitchen. They are also easy to find in furniture thrift shops.
It’s a great choice because top cabinets usually have the space nicely divided. Feel free to use some paint to give it a fresh look, your child would love to have it in his favorite color, I am certain.
DIY KITCHEN PLAY FROM AN OLD PLASTIC SHELF
Perfect for their outdoor play, you just need an old plastic shelf, and you can add some kitchen play accessories on it, stick a printed and laminated stove drawing on it, stick some knobs so you can hang pots and kitchen tools. For storing foods and other accessories you can use basic IKEA boxes that fit.
DIY SIMPLE KITCHEN FROM A BASIC STOOL
Don’t have one? You can get one from your closest thrift shop, all you have to add is some paint, some knobs and some kitchen play accessories, the cutest sets are just waiting for you on amazon.us.
It will only take you 1 hour or so, and the best part is you can easily move it around the house or even take it outside.
DIY KITCHEN TOY FROM SCRATCH
If this is not your first DIY project, then you should definitely try to make a kitchen toy from scratch. There are numerous projects and tutorials that you can find on the internet as to the design and best practices to enhance the safety while getting an amazing finite product. I suggest you make a list before heading out to the hardware store, so you can make sure you can get it all in a single trip.
I just gathered a few ideas, but of course you can find other, maybe even better ways to make it. The best thing about a DIY project is it’s flexibility. You get to choose the materials, the design, you can adapt what you have to make it work and I bet the kids will learn a lot from seeing you build a toy for them.
If you were inspired by some of these ideas and are getting to work, I am truly glad that I helped you. However, if you can’t find the time or decide not to do it yourself, you can find a great kid kitchen set. I know that quite often we don’t get as much time as we want to, or we choose to spend it otherwise. Choose the one option that fits your time availability best.