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Kid Talk: Creating Play Food

Every child loves playing kitchen, but standard plastic pretend food can loose its intrigue over time. Letting children create their own pretend food stimulates and deepens their pretend play in such a wonderful way.

Recently some of the children had noticed I had removed all of the plastic pretend food from our housekeeping center. "Mrs. Haughey, what can we use for food?" they asked. "Let's make new food," I said. The children gathered at a table with child-safe scissors and a pile of felt squares in a variety of colors. "What shall we make?!" I inquired.

Berlyn decided we needed a big bowl of spaghetti. "Noodles are white," she declared as she pulled out the white felt and cut it up into small rectangular pieces. Next she chose a deep burgundy for the meat balls.

"Let's make salad!" Berlyn exclaimed next. She chose green, red, and white felt to make lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.

Light green felt became cucumbers. She tossed the pieces as she added pretend salad dressing.

The salad, spaghetti, some yellow cheese were carefully placed on a plate. Fresh pink radishes were added.

An important part of play is a child's play is ownership of the process. When children help to create their play items - a new and exciting level of engagement occurs.

The food was then carried into the dramatic play center and it was dumped into a pan.

Soup, anyone?

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