Play Shop from AsdaFor Christmas Monkey was very lucky as he got a little wooden shop from Asda, to be honest I was quite impressed with it considering how well priced it was, since then he has enjoyed playing ‘shop’ almost on a daily basis. For a while I have been meaning to create shopping lists for him and I wanted to start to include play money in a more structured manner. We had got to the stage where everything cost a thousand pounds!

With this is mind I created the below shopping lists using images from the internet. I included pictures of coins next to each item so that he can match up the play money to the items. There isn’t really any reality in the price of things but I tried to make sure I was using each type of coin and varied the number of coins too to help with his counting. They also proved really good for a sorting activity, as each list only has six items on it, Monkey would not only ‘shop’ for the items, but when theres no one to play with he takes the lists and sorts the groceries into groups.

Shopping lists for role play

For his Birthday Monkey was very happy when he received some more play food for his shop – various packets, boxes and cans. He couldn’t quite fathom why they were empty though! To solve this, I have been slowly filling them up with relevant craft materials to represent the contents. In the main they are have been quite straightforward.

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  • Chicken Noodle Soup – off white wool
  • Tomato Sauce – big red pom pos
  • Bakes Beans – small orange pom poms
  • Beans – strips of thick wool felt in a sage green colour
  • Pineapple Rings – made out of felt with a little bit of stuffing but you could buy thick wool felt and achieve the same without any sewing
  • Sweetcorn – thick wool felt cut into square, due to the thickness they come out more like cubes
  • Cherries – I made felted deep red berries and added felt leaves,  but pom poms would also work
  • Peas – small green felt balls
  • Tuna Fish – grey felt fish shapes
  • Mushrooms – beige felt mushroom shapes
  • Spaghetti – beige pipe cleaners

This week Monkey has got involved in making some items for the other packets – mainly chocolate brownies, granola bars and fruit snacks.

Chocolate Brownies – now technically the packet is a mix, however he wanted to make brownies, so I brought some plain wooden disks from Hobbycraft and used a sharpie to colour them in.

Playfood Chocolate Brownies

Then we covered each disk with Mod Podge…

DIY playfood Chocolate Brownies

…before adding little brown mosaic tiles to resemble the chocolate, I wasn’t sure if the Mod Podge would hold them, but it has (although Monkey put quite a think layer on!)

DIY Playfood Chocolate Brownies

Granola Bars – I picked up some wooden battening also from Hobbycraft which was about an inch wide and cut it to size, using the granola box as a guide

DIY Ganola Bars Playfood

I also picked up some value buttons in yellows and browns. I applied a think layer of silicone glue to the top of each piece of wood and Monkey put the buttons on. Turned out to be a really good fine motor activity as well!!

DIY Granola Bars Playfood

It took a morning for the glue to dry sufficiently, but they did look pretty effective once finished

DIY Granola Bars Playfood

Fruits Snacks – It was more difficult for Monkey to help with this one, he’s still a bit young to be overly accurate with a stapler. I cut cellophane to A6 size, stapled it together and then monkey added a little bit of stuffing before I sealed it with more staples. We chose to do six as this was the number on the box!

DIY playfood fruit snacks

We really got into the swing of making our own food for the shop. Generally I have always sewn felt food for him, but it is time consuming – I am still trying to finish off a pizza set which has been ongoing since Christmas. Its also great to involve him in the process so I thought while we are at it we would also give sponge food a go. I have seen some pictures on pinterest but haven’t really managed to find the sponge or I have struggled to see how it would work. However Monkey has really developed a love for marzipan since Hubby has been travelling in Germany. So I figured Battenberg cake might lend itself to it.

DIY sponge battenberg cake

I brought some cleaning sponges from the £1 shop and removed the green scouring pad – be warned this wasn’t as easy as I had hoped it would be (best to start at the edges pulling gently and work towards the middle). They are reasonably thin and so a pair of scissors cuts through easily, then we used silicone glue to secure together in a checkerboard pattern before wrapping with yellow felt. I think the finished article looks quite good. Monkey’s yet to decide how much to charge for them…!!

DIY playfood sponge battenberg cake

You can find my Pinterest board on DIY food for role-playing ‘shopping’ and ‘cooking’ below:

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Mamavsteacher
toddler approved tuesday

38 Comments

  1. These are utterly amazing!!! Well done you for having time to make such wonderful things. Thanks for linking up to #imaginationmatters again this week, I look forward to seeing if you have anything for “emergency services” week!

  2. AMAZING! I’m a sucker for crafts and this is absolutely brilliant! Not only does it combine crafts and play but it’s also so educational! One of my favourite posts of all time! Thank you for linking up to #babybrainmonday x

  3. This is inspiring! What a lucky boy to have been involved in making all this amazing play food, and now be able to play with it!
    #babybrainmondays
    x Alice

    • I try and make as much of our own play food as possible, have some more ideas so I can see another post coming on at some point. Thanks for popping by 🙂

  4. Aw they’ve all come out really well and so cute! This is right up my street, I love making things like this with felt and wool! Sabrina xx #toddlerapprovedtuesday

  5. These are so cute! I’m sure you’ll have lots and lots of fun play sessions with these. Fabulous! Thanks for linking to #toddlerapprovedtuesday x

  6. You are so creative I love these ideas and getting little ones involved will mean they think about it alot more and in turn learn more really great I should try some of these! thanks for linking up to #kidscorner

  7. Katy (What Katy Said) Reply

    This is truly amazing! You are so creative!!! I have pinned this for later! Thank your for sharing in #KidsCorner x

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  9. These are amazing!! Love the battenburgh cake especially.

    I thought the money was a great idea as it really does set him up for working out ‘real’ money in the future. But the food just kills me! You’re super mum!

    I don’t think we’ve got space for a full shop but you’ve got me sorely tempted!

  10. We have the same shop, it’s amazing isn’t for a brilliant price! Both my girls love playing shop, this Christmas I had to buy another till, so they had one each 🙂 what a fab idea to make the food to with it, my eldest would love this so much. I will having a look at page for ideas. We love the Orchards shopping list game too! X

  11. This is amazing! My little fella is still at the throw everything around the place stage. I’d love him to have something like this when he calms down a bit!

  12. Angela Milnes Reply

    Oh I love that you made those granolad bars and the battenburg! lol. I think role play is a fabulous learning tool for young children and this acitivity can really make a good impace on monkeys learning through play!

  13. I love the concept of DIY food as it teaches children so many important life skills. First and foremost learning how to share organize their toys and even about healthy eating all in a fun and educational manner.

  14. This DIY Food toy takes me back to my childhood. Honestly, I haven’t seen anything like this in a long time apart from play dough. I bet it’s such a fun thing to make and also keep the kids quite busy and let the imagination go wild. Well done!

  15. These are cool toys. Looks like the little one had fun with these toys. I bet making that cake was just as much fun.

    Thanks for Sharing

    John M

  16. This brought back a lot childhood memories, mum used to do the same before I lost interest and just wanted to cook lol. I think this is an awesome way to introduce money management skills to your son

  17. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops Reply

    What a great idea, I love the battenburg, though i am probably a little biased as it’s my fave cake! I love the fact that you start with making it and putting it together and then they can play with it too. I am going to keep this in mind for when Boo get a little older – she is Boo the destroyer at the minute.

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