Sunday, September 08, 2013

creating spaces

For a while now, I've been noticing that the 2.5 year old was seeming frustrated.  She isn't old enough to tell me what she needs, but as I was reading more articles about Waldorf and playing and so on I was beginning to wonder if she might like a little pretend kitchen.  She likes to be in the kitchen with me doing stuff so maybe she'd appreciate her own space?  Well, I'd given a play stove to a friend a few years ago that the older girls never played with and asked if we could borrow it back just to see if Grace would enjoy it before buying her own.

She LOVES it!  The first night she wouldn't stop playing with it to go to sleep and then kept asking about it (You can play with your kitchen in the morning.)  She pretended to put ingredients in over and over and made meals for her baby dolls (which she always liked before, but didn't really know how to play with.)  Best part is that she has her own area.  If the older girls try to move in on her space and play with her stuff she knows that she can ask them to leave (they can tend to play differently than she wants to play with it.  The oldest would rather slide the baby dolls all over the floor than pretend to feed them.)

I had fun going to the dollar store for some things that would work in her kitchen.  This little thing of candy is fun for her to open, but I put hot glue inside of it so that it will still rattle, but NOT come out! 

Notice the little condiments on the shelf?  I cut out the top of a salt container because she always liked to open and close it for me when I was cooking.  Now it's the right size for a little glass jar that I had.  I filled a little bag with salt and then glued it into the bottom of the jar (so it wouldn't fall out, but still had a salty sound when you shake it) Then hot glued the top on that I'd already cut to the right shape.  She said it was sugar so I labeled it accordingly (it sometimes is salt and sometimes is sugar depending on what she's pretending to make.)

And here she is with her big sister!  The 5.5 and 2.5 year olds like to play in the kitchen the most with the little one being the official cook.  She really likes it when I play with her the most though because I'll play however she wants to and the other kids try to make up other games that throws off her pretending.  Oh, notice the little trash can to the right of the stove?  Another little dollar store purchase that is GREAT for pretending and keeps her kitchen all tidy.  After we "squeeze the lemons" to make juice we can throw them away in the pretend garbage and get them out later.

Once I make sure we have enough savings to get her her own stove I'm planning on buying the Melissa and Doug one that is wooden and pretty affordable as stoves go.  I think the wood one will last longer and be sturdier.  She is actually very careful with the plastic one though!  There's a trick to closing the door and when you bump it things will fall over, but she just puts everything back with a "whoops" while the other two got frustrated with things falling and having to be careful with this one (back when they had it.)  It is SO nice to see my little girl playing and imagining.  I'm thinking she's ready to have her baby toys be passed on to someone else.  Next post is about how the middle one gets her own space.

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