Easter is so around the corner and I’ve been thinking of what the bunny would give to my boy this year. Most of his favorites are cars and vehicles of all sorts. Despite the piles of cars he has in our living room which is now mostly his play room, I don’t want to get him more toys especially of the same item and same sizes. But the fact that toys are a part of children as they grow up and evolve their imagination is important as well.
For the past few months, Richard Rey kept on surprising us with his verbal words that we didn’t know he would know and as a parent, we were amazed (proud parent here). We noticed he began stirring items on the table or when he’s in his bath and act like he’s cooking. He would say “mommy, cookin’ meatballs”. I guess this part didn’t surprise us too much since cooking in this family is something we love.
So, this gave me an idea of what the bunny will give him for Easter. I looked up online for the toy kitchens. And of course as expected, I was stunned with their prices. Ranging from $60-$150?! of course not.
I grow up playing in the Philippines as if we’re cooking; and in my time, we were using tin cans as pots and wood sticks as spatula and rocks to form stove.
I loved it back then but there was no way I was going to pay $60 or more for a toy kitchen here in the U.S.
Moving on with my plan to explore his interest in cooking, I knew there was a way to make it cheaper. Then, I figured out how to make him a toy kitchen which would only cost me under $20. This makes mama happy.
What I did was to buy an end table through Offerup and found a second hand table for $15 but offered $10 for it. We had some extra white and grey paint. That’s what I used for color so I wouldn’t have to buy more. I like to make it modern and sleek, so it would look gender-neutral.
The burners are made of old CD’s that I painted with a black acrylic. For the knobs, I got 4 of them for a dollar each at home depot. I also opted to get a dollar nickel steel knobs for the drawers instead of getting the longer steel bar which will surely make it look more real. I only painted the oven like a black rectangle and didn’t go with how the real oven opens. Instead, I let it and stayed with the drawers. It looks like an oven but I want to use the them as toy storage as well.
For the grill in the middle, I painted it a rectangle and glued a cut chopsticks with the same height. Thus, make it look like an electric grill in the middle.
My mother in law had an old antique oven clock in the garage that wasn’t being used and let me have it for this toy kitchen project. I sanded the white part of the clock and painted it white acrylic. The towel rack is also one of the things that we had laying around in our garage.
This play kitchen project was so easy to make and best of all, affordable. The things that I bought for this project are the table for $10, the knobs which for $6.00 and the kitchen Pretend Play Accessories.
Here’s how I made my son’s play kitchen
Paints ( white, black and grey)
- Sand the entire table, including the front of the drawers. Then, wipe all the dust from the sand.
- Paint the entire table except for the drawers with the desired color (I painted mine in white).
- Paint the front of the drawers with gray (optional).
- Paint the knobs gray as well. This will be the stove turner.
- Paint the CDs in black. This will be the burner.
- Once dry, you can paint the grill on the center top of the table with black. You can use a paint tape to make sure painted lines are good.
- With the drawers, unscrew the previous knobs and use a driller to make holes where the knobs will be hooked.
- With the use of paint-tape, make a rectangle on the center front of the drawer as an oven. Then paint them with black.
- Once everything is dry, glue the burner on their desired area on top of the table including the chopsticks for the grill.
- Once the glue is dried, paint the chopsticks with black.
- Screw the gray knobs on top just at the edge of the table.
- Screw the handle of the drawers, the towel rack and the clock.
The steps for this DIY may seem intimidating but they are really easy once your in it. I worked on some of the finishing touches during his nap times.
Overall, I was amazed of how it turned out and proud of myself to make this project happen and on budget. But most of all, it is a joy to see the happiness that lies in the eyes of a child when they first see something to play with and use their amazing imagination…