Kids love playing with real food in the real kitchen, which usually makes…a real mess. To cut down on some of the flour-all-over-the-floor-itis that comes with kids’ cooking, I found some of the cutest play food makers on Etsy. Their creations are so appealing, kids won’t even miss the real stuff. Let alone the plastic stuff.
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The LIttle Green Market
The handmade eco-felt play foods at Little Green Market are beyond adorable. Their bacon, eggs and pancakes handmade play food breakfast set ($28, very top image) has everything a kid needs to make a morning meal — even a butter pat! While this quartet of handmade play food tea bags are the perfect touch for an afternoon tea party with the stuffed animals.
Felt Food Truck
When my son was a toddler, he was big into “chopping” every fruit or vegetable we had with his tiny pretend knife. Man, do I wish Felt Food Truck’s fantastic eco-friendly, handmade play food avocado ($12) had been around back then. This felt avocado is totally realistic, right down to the pit, and is a nice, safe choice for unsupervised slicing practice.
House Mountain Natural
Wow, do these handmade play food chocolate covered pretzels ($12) by House Mountain Natural look insanely real! It’s hard to tell, but they are made with natural wood, soy paint, and a certified non-toxic sealant. No eating though! Just playing.
Even if your kid doesn’t eat salad— yet — I’ll bet they’d love playing with this handmade play food felt salad set ($16) by Morgan’s Mercantile. It comes with everything you see here, right down to the breadstick. Which, obviously, every good salad requires.
Ann’s Craft House
Every little chef-in-training needs some felt beverages to wash down all those felt treats. Take a look at these wonderful play food juice boxes found amongst the array of handmade play food from this Colorado Springs Etsy maker. I also love that she offers cute felt play money — should you be raising a little entrepreneur-in-training too.
Jes Loves Toast
This Etsy shop makes the kind of play foods that make you say “awww….” Just look at these smiley crocheted play food sushi rolls which are way too cute and happy to eat . Which is fine, since cotton yarn is not edible anyway. So perfect for kids who love exotic play foods, and all things kawaii.
I find this handmade felt play food veggie set ($50.06) by Polish shop Florfanka especially charming, though the price makes it a very special play kitchen-ready gift. Maybe I’m drawn to the choice of handmade veggies (zucchini, carrots, turnips, beets), which are so nutritious. Or maybe it’s the mesh tote bag to carry them all in, which lets our kids reenact some eco grocery shopping and farmer’s market browsing, European style.
The Homespun Market
This Wisconsin-based, Martha Stewart American Made-approved maker captures everything that’s beautiful about the milk and cookies ritual with this set ($12.50) of handmade play food treats. It comes with four felt cookies, an (empty, thank goodness) milk carton, and even the world’s most perfectly striped straw. Be sure to check out her site for a ton of other really wonderful handmade play food, including an entire play food Thanksgiving dinner!
Lil’ Crochet Love
Ireland’s Lil’ Crochet Love serves up the cutest crocheted handmade treats, including donuts, cupcakes, and smiling amigurumi fruits. But I am drawn to this handmade play food sandwich set ($23.75) which comes with all the fixings, which means you’re in for lots of pretend eating of made-to-order sandwiches. But that’s not a bad way to spend a lunch hour at all, is it?
Kat & Company
There’s something to be said for simplicity, which is what Kat and Company’s wooden play food soup set ($20) offers beautifully. The basic shapes are so good for preschoolers to identify, like round peas, cubed potatoes, and straight green beans. Plus, they all come in a handmade pot, which helps keep a lid on (heh) any pieces going missing. Just be sure to save this one for kids over 3 because the components of this adorable handmade play food are small!