It never ceases to amaze me as an adult to think about being a child. All the chores that drown us in tedium day in and day out are new and fascinating to kids. My son? He loves to cook. Little as he is, using a real stove is out of the question, but we still wanted him to feel free to experiment.
For his birthday, we wanted to do something special. Our budget was tight, so we had to think a little outside the box. I looked, naturally, to Pinterest and saw a lot of different variations of people creating kitchenettes for kids. Given how much he loved the little kitchen for play at daycare, that was a perfect fit. Oddly, it turned out to be hard to find a nice, cheap nightstand in the couple weeks we had to execute the project.
Finding the Base
We finally found one just right for our purposes at the now-closed My Place The Yard Sale Store in Ponder. Naturally, right down the road – where we should have looked first! As you can see, it was a bit rough looking, and the top was loose, but that was easily fixed. We started by cleaning it up, then Wes glued the top back in place.
Laying the Groundwork
To create the top, I covered the surface with black construction paper. Fancy, right? Then I cut burners out of felt and plopped those on top. With a toddler “cooking,” we knew spills would likely happen, so I covered that all with clear shelf paper (contact paper). I finished the top by gluing on old checkers as knobs. I will note that we later replaced the glued on checkers, which fell off, with screwed on drawer pulls, which have worked much better (and were only a few quarters at the Habitat for Humanity resale shop).
To pretty things up, I used some leftover paper from Wes’ grandmother and covered the inside and outside of the drawer as well as the shelf. I then put the contact paper over it – again, for easy cleaning. We got some random cooking stuff at the dollar store and threw in some pieces we just didn’t use and… voila! A kitchen!
I’m pleased to say that Pike took to it right away and began “cooking” some shredded crepe paper dinner for all of us to enjoy. The whole project was pretty quick, cost us less than ten bucks, and Pike loves cooking along with us in the kitchen – win-win!