A very wise friend of mine used to tell me all the time (until I started listening to her, haha) to involve my child in everything that I am doing. Turn every “normal” day-to-day activity into fun and enjoy having a little helper. Once we started doing this not only did we have a helper for everything, but we had a little aspiring chef on our hands.
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I will be the first to admit that having a toddler who wants to help with every little thing can sometimes be more annoying than helpful, but over time I have seen the results of us allowing Little Dude to help with so many things and I am thankful we did. He really is quite helpful now and can do many tasks that many preschoolers may not be able to do with confidence.
For Christmas one year (he was 2 years and 2 months old) his big gift was an IKEA Duktig Kitchen that I remodelled. I painted it, added a backsplash and stained the countertop to match our actual kitchen knowing full well this toy would be in our living room for years to come. And, I was right! It still, 2 years later is the number 1 toy that Little Dude plays with and the only toy I can say he plays with every single day.
Over the past two years we have purchase some accessories for the kitchen and have suggested several sets to family and friends as gift ideas since he loves playing kitchen, store, restaurant, etc. so much. These are the sets he now owns (and LOVES) in his kitchen:
Like every toddler there is always room for more, all the parents out there know what I mean 😉 And, I have to admit that when a child plays with something as much as Little Dude plays with his kitchen I am happy to be able to have these kinds of items to suggest to family and friends for Christmas and birthday presents. I do not regularly show him all of the possibilities available as I’m sure his list would be a mile long, but I do show him before adding any of the sets to his list. I do this for two reasons… 1) To make sure its something he will love (not just something I think it cool) and 2) He is genuinely excited (like over the moon excited) when he receives it since its something he chose.
Here are a few of the sets he doesn’t own but has given a big thumbs up to (aka they are on his list):
Little Dude’s Preschool recently purchase this play kitchen for their play space and I love it! Had it been available a few yers ago I likely would have thought long and hard about buying this one which would have given me the look I wanted without the DIY Makeover. That said, the total cost of Little Dude’s IKEA kitchen was about $100 (it was on sale for $49.99 when I bought it) so it was still a way better deal for the same look. If you are not into DIY makeovers I know people who have these kitchens and really love them:
Last but not least, these are the items (a mix of big and small) that I know Little Dude would LOVE. I would classify these items in the “Mommy knows he would love them, but doesn’t want to buy them just yet” category, hahaha. He saw them on my screen as I was creating this post and reassured me that he loves them all, especially there store.
I hope you found this post helpful and it has inspired lots of ideas for the tiny chef in your life.
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