Amazing – learning something ‘new’?

Today finds me at my computer viewing ‘page’ after ‘page’ of play/toy food. Why, you might ask, am I doing that? Well, since my oldest son is a Executive Chef and his 5 yr. old son LOVES to ‘play’ cook, I’m looking to expand his/our selection of toy foods. Yesterday found me painting a ‘menu’ of the variety of foods he has in his toy box.

He loves to play chef and I’m his ‘willing’ customer. Before, it was a sort of ‘pretend’ menu (read that: me trying to figure out what to order that he felt he could ‘cook’ from the variety of ‘stuff’ in his box); now he has a menu I can look at and choose from. The toy foods came from a very generous lady who offered it on freecycle and even includes a white cotton chef’s hat! Now that I’ve had more experience being many customers in his restaurant, I began to notice that it’s time to seek out some new foods for our ‘restaurant’. I should preface here that it’s been quite a while since I’ve priced play food but I must admit – I’m rather taken back by the prices! On Ebay today there are over 80 pages of items to purchase, anywhere from plastic desserts (Baskin Robbins ice creams), lots & lots of plastic hamburgers & fries (McDonald’s toy copies), and even the more exotic items like play sushi, play ravioli complete with sauce, and play tacos! There are now companies that manufacture wooden play foods (with the accompanying prices being quite a bit higher than the plastic ones) and one company that makes felt play foods (my thought there is: it’s FELT – you can’t WASH it if it gets dirty!). I remember back when my oldest was about 2 1/2; I found a really nice kitchen set, all wood – stove, sink and refrigerator for a very reasonable price (at Meijers). Since I was operating a toddler day care in my home at the time, I also purchased dishes for this ‘kitchen’. I remember finding that Meijers had a whole section on ‘fake foods’ (I’m guessing it was to put them in YOUR kitchen, for looks???). Occasionally that store would offer sales in that department and I was able to purchase quite a variety of fake foods for our ‘kitchen’ – things like plastic chunks of cheese, plastic potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, a cantaloupe, and others that don’t come to mind right now. The kids had lots of fun playing with them. Eventually, when my youngest got too old for them, I sold the lot in a garage sale which benefited my special needs group. (If I’d only known THEN the prices they’re commanding TODAY for those items . . . ). For example:

   This little set sells for $8.99 plus $8.00 shipping & handling – and these ‘foods’ are rather small compared to others that are out there.

There’s also this very unusual set (haven’t seen another one yet on Ebay and there are over 4,000 different listings for play foods!) After reading over the ‘ad’ for this, it appears this is NOT play food, but a PATTERN BOOK for making your own felt play food! Sells for $39.99!

I think I’ve missed my calling in the ‘where to make big money for little efforts’ department! There were even KNIT play foods! (I’m NOT going there, so don’t even THINK about that one!) . . . although . . . if one were crafty in that area, I’m sure there’s money to be made!

Totally amazing what prices these items are fetching! I’ve put in bids on 2 different ‘lots’ of play foods – I’ll let ya know if I win them or not! I’m actually looking for more ‘healthy’ foods – the one set is a variety of wooden ‘sandwich’ items like sliced cheeses, meats, breads, 2 rolling pins, a butter dish complete with velcro’d butter ‘pats’ and a wooden toaster! (current bid: $11.99 but then there are 6 days to go, so I might easily be ‘out-bid’). The other lot is 2o (plastic) pieces of fruits & vegetables – strawberries, grapes, bananas, corn on the cob, baked potato, lemon, peas, broccoli, and even a slice of musk melon! This lot is currently at $8.50 with 4 days to go, so we’ll see.

All in all, it’s been an ‘eye-opener’ exploring the world of play foods.

Bon Apetit!




Published in: on July 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm  Comments (3)  
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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. As I recall you made a very realistic trellis with tiny roses on it for my doll house years ago. Sculpey and Popsicle sticks were the material. Now using that same clay could you develop a few new food for the restaurant? What do you think?

    • Actually, that thought came to mind! The only problem with using Sculpey is – it’s sort of fragile for a 5 yr old to be slamming around (and believe me – when he ‘cooks’ it’s a sort of physical thing with lots of slamming; don’t quite know why!) There was also, somewhere in my wee little brain, the thought that ‘someday’ I might attempt to make more miniatures with clay and sell them on Ebay – just one of those ‘in the future’ thoughts…

  2. You would do well if you followed that little thought.

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