Over the holidays, H was generously gifted some cool new toys. I decided to highlight two of my personal favorites that help illustrate the benefit to imaginative play AND allow for her to be girly as well as a bit of a tomboy.
For awhile I had known that I wanted to give H a kitchen set. Scouring Pinterest, I found countless posts about these amazing IKEA kitchen makeovers. My mission was to emulate one of the designs I had seen, but time and life got the best of me. The holidays were here before I knew it, and so I had to resort to a different plan. As much as I loved the IKEA kitchen, my husband found another ADORABLE wooden one that happened to be on sale (read: cheaper) on Target’s website. We immediately purchased it, and I was so happy that I did. No labor for me, just a couple of hours worth for my husband – woops.
With the kitchen on the way, we needed items to fill up her cupboards. IKEA has some great play food. Each set retails for about $10. Their play food is made of cloth and can be thrown in the washing machine for easy cleaning and sterilization. What is even cooler about their play food, is that some of the pieces can be broken down. This is awesome for building her imagination. She can now “peel” a banana, use pieces of lettuce for a sandwich, “slice” her cheese, and “cut” bread. I also loved the miniature kitchen utensils that they sell.
To balance out the 50s housewife vibe the kitchen gives, my parents gifted her with a tool box and kit. In her toolbox, she has a plastic saw, hammer, screw driver, and much more. Not to mention screws and nails that she can tighten and so forth. She loves this set, and will spend a lot of time focused on “fixing” things. I’m not sure where my parents picked up H’s Black and Decker set, but you can buy similar here or here.
What is neat about both of these toys, is that they will build on her understanding of how things work, as well as her imagination. They will allow her to explore her world safely, providing her with an understanding of where things go and the purposes behind them, that she can apply throughout the rest of her life. Having both the kitchen and the tool set allow her to know she can do both things, and not only be allowed to play with “girly” toys.
In addition to these toys, I wanted to highlight an easy upcycling DIY that you can do for you little ones. Now H is pretty small, so in no way am I encouraging her to use makeup. However, when I am getting ready for work in the morning, she loves watching me put on my makeup, and asks for some of my makeup brushes so that she can brush her hair. A long time ago I saw this easy DIY and wanted to give it a try. My plan is to keep it in my bathroom so she can “get ready” with me or maybe I will just hold on to it until she is much older.
Things you need:
-old nail polish
-old powder/blush/eye shadow palette
- Clean off any residual makeup on the palette.
- Pour your nail polish into the opening where the make up used to be.
- Allow to thoroughly dry before allowing your LO to play with it.