Paper Mache Play and Models Paper Mache is something that we haven't used recently so…
This is what Peakles wanted for her birthday a few months ago and we struggled to find one. The plastic one she had be given had not survived a toddler tantrum and we struggled to justify spending hundreds of pounds on a wooden one. The wooden ones were lovely but were either too large or didn’t fit into our current layout in the conservatory/playroom.
A friend mentioned that she had made one and had got some ideas from pinterest. I went online and found some really interesting designs and pinned them to my board. http://pinterest.com/peaklepie/an-imaginative-kitchenplayspace/ Our first ideas were to use some furniture that we already had but nothing seemed to fit the basic design we had in mind. We wanted a play kitchen that could be adapted as Peakles grew. We also needed the design to be robust enough to survive the occasional toddler tantrum too!
After a little bit of research I bought a wooden tv cabinet and a wooden cupboard from Ebay and we scoured Daddy’s workshop/garage for other bits and pieces.
We had a spare tap from our bathroom refit last week, some undercoat paint and some white satin gloss paint too. We had some spare kitchen cupboard handles too (although I also sourced some in the ‘bargain’ bin at our local hardware store) and finally I bought a steel mixing bowl that would make a perfect sink. We prepped the wood work by cleaning, drying and then rubbing it down with sandpaper.
We painted on an undercoat and once that had dried Daddy cut the hole for the steel bowl and a hole for the tap too.
We painted the furniture with an off white satin gloss and left it to dry for a few days. I searched some pound shops (dollar stores) for some extra bits and pieces such as a draining board, some tea towels, pan brushes and a cutlery drawer. We then fixed the steel bowl and tap in place and added the new handles. Daddy had a good trick of adding some locktight (a type of glue) to the end of the screw threads on the single handles. This meant they could turn around without unscrewing, perfect for the play cooker and oven. The detail was added by using some paint pot testers in grey and black. (You could use poster paint with some PVA glue mixed in)
Finally we finished the kitchen with some extra paint touches such as grey circles for the electric hob! We added the play pots and pans that we had bought from our local IKEA store. We also bought some play wooden fruit which we put into a bowl and added a plastic set of dishes.
We ‘dressed’ the play kitchen the day before her birthday and could not wait for her to see it! Peakles was thrilled with it and soon began exploring the bits and pieces we had added to make it seem more like a grown up’s kitchen.
We were sat down whilst she cooked us fish and vegetables for our ‘dinner’! Peakles loves her kitchen and plays with it everyday.
She uses the ‘worktop’ to roll out her salt dough and to display her salt dough cakes on a stand.
We are all pleased with how this project turned out and Peakles often gets compliments from her friends who come to play. The beauty of this homemade toy is that it can be repainted if it gets tired looking or if she wants it to be a different colour. We can add legs to the sink unit to raise it as she grows and if she wants a total change we can move the cooker to the other side of the sink (we have kept these separate). It works so well and she enjoys playing with it so much I am considering making a simple version for an outside kitchen for Peakles to use in the spring!