Our almost three-year-old, Jamie, has developed a love of helping in the kitchen lately, so we thought we’d put together a play kitchen for him for Christmas. A quick google search turned up hundreds of handmade kitchens with idea after idea for how to create one. We knew we wanted something simple, gender neutral and not too complicated to put together.
The kitchen’s home would be our family room which is decorated almost entirely in Ikea’s Leksvik line of furniture, so that was an obvious starting point. We picked up this Leksvik side table just before Thanksgiving and started brainstorming ideas for the kitchen “parts”.
We drove out to our local Habitat for Humanity Restore one Saturday to hunt for a faucet and stove knobs. We were really excited to find this bathroom faucet, brand new in the package, for under $20. We didn’t find any knobs, though, and the ones that we found online cost more than we really wanted to pay. Samantha, our 11-year-old daughter, reminded us that we had an old wood tabletop play kitchen that we had originally purchased at a thrift shop put away in the storage closet because it had lost a knob. We pulled it out and quickly made use of the remaining knobs and the burners.
Ray was even able to install the knobs so that they turn. Finding a sink then became a problem because the space on the top of the side table is fairly narrow. All the stainless steel bowls in the kitchen section were either too wide to fit or too small to work properly. Walking around our local thrift store for inspiration, though, Ray ran across a stainless steel dog bowl that proved to be the perfect solution. We did, however, end up purchasing a new dog bowl from Walmart for the sink.
Ray put the kitchen together in the shed so that Jamie would be surprised on Christmas morning. Most of the construction was pretty straight-forward. He did add an additional piece of wood to the front of the kitchen for the knobs. (The wood came from a stack of extra pieces in the “As-Is” section at Ikea.)
Once Ray’s work putting the kitchen together was complete, I just needed to sew up a curtain for the front to hide the play kitchen accessories, and it was ready for Christmas morning.
(Don’t you just love the bedhead?)
Cooking pancakes for Daddy.
And, last a peek inside to see part our massive collection of felt and crocheted play food!
I’m sure that this kitchen will see a lot of attention in the coming years. I love that it fits in nicely with our decor and that it’s not overwhelming in size. I am so appreciative to all the other moms and dads who shared their play kitchen ideas that inspired this one!