Tuesday, September 6, 2011

To The (play) Market

(photo: Lilly forgot she was dressed up and just kept on playing)

I am always looking for ways to re-create the type of environment Ava would encounter in a preschool in our home. I think staying at home is so valuable for her but I also don’t want her watching T.V. all day. We have a classroom style calendar on the back of our pantry door in the kitchen, we have lots of Montessori style learning centers and of course the playroom is pretty cool. The concept of a ‘store’ though seemed like something Ava would really enjoy and there are obviously millions of teaching moments built in! Plus we already had copious amounts of wooden, felt, and crocheted food as well as an adorable shopping cart and a DIY play kitchen to cook it all up in. So I started with a $40 craigslist Pottery Barn Kids Market (fyi PBK doesn't sell the wood markets anymore but Melissa and Doug’s is pretty nice or these plans are good as well to make your own).

(photo - haha I don't even know what this face is about)

I made a new canopy, we took the back off the market so Ava could access the shelves from both sides, we added wheels so it can be pushed against the wall when not in use, we made the stationary chalkboard panel into a door and then filled it up with food and bins!

(photo - here you can see the door aka the 'fridge' and how our 10 month old is about to vandalize the market by dumping every single item on the floor something that makes our three year old wish she could ban her from shopping!)

Ava’s grandparents gave her an awesome Learning Resources cash register. I can’t say enough good things about it. She also got a Learning Resources phone that can be programmed to play a message when she dials our phone number correctly (btw it took her about a week to learn my 9 digit cell number). Both add big time to the play value of the market. We of course take phone orders and credit cards.

(photo: one of the cutest things about this particular market is the back part of the counter that has a little plexi window, we use it for baked goods)

I am planning a kit to flip it into a flower market and a kit for an ice cream shop for Christmas! I am pinning away ideas over on pinterest! I think I will also add some custom grocery bags and a logo to the top eventually.

(photo we still love, love, love the DIY play kitchen we made Ava two years ago and it is so fun with the market. I am still planning to upgrade the oven with a light and rack but otherwise the plan has worked out great and I wouldn't change a thing.)

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