One of my new year’s resolutions was to rotate the kid’s toys more frequently. I have this little spot in my dining room where I set up some toys for the kids. I’ve been rotating different pretend play toys through this area. Around Halloween, I set up a dress up area, and before that, I had our pretend kitchen there. For Christmas, my kids got a cash register. I’ve been waiting for them to want to set up a shop and start playing with it. To encourage this, I brought back up our kitchen area once we cleared out our Christmas tree.
My daughter had been playing with the cash register since Christmas, but hadn’t set up a full fledged shop. Having the pretend kitchen out was the catalyst she needed. She put out most of our pretend food and pans, pots and dishes from the pretend kitchen and set up a grocery store. My son wasn’t interested in playing shop until he created his own role, the chopper. The chopper is the person who chops up the food at the store, like at a deli counter or a butcher.
We got paper bags to gather our groceries, but quickly realized we needed shopping baskets for the customers. It was time for bed so we stopped playing for the evening, but we talked about making shopping baskets the next morning. They got these cool cardboard connectors for Christmas and they wanted to try to use these to make some shopping baskets. After breakfast the next day, we took some cardboard boxes we had in the basement and got to work creating. We cut off the top flaps of the boxes, then cut those cardboard pieces into strips so we could connect them to make handles. We then attached the handles to the boxes. It was super easy to do with the tools and screws; we made several baskets in a few minutes. They were perfect for shopping!
We started out with my son as the chopper and my daughter as the cashier. My husband and I took turns being the customer, then my son and daughter swapped roles. Then my son wanted to be the customer while my daughter continued to be the cashier.
We played this game for a while, and my daughter asked for us to keep the shop set up so we could play it later. We had fun creating the baskets and we plan to keep this around for a bit. They even started washing the dishes and cooking the food from the store. I have a feeling we’ll be playing restaurant really soon.
What do your kids like to pretend play?