Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Play Kitchen Made From An Old Bed!

Here is a very special play kitchen that I made out of an old wooden bed frame:

It started out like this:

It was a little dented and scratched and had a broken leg, but I loved some of the details like this "beehive" bedpost finial.

We cut it up and reassembled it:

I had some ideas for it that worked out especially well, like this olive oil can that I cut open and mounted behind the stove.  It is mainly decorative, but it could also double as a magnet board.  I used some painted rulers along the sides to protect fingers from the sharp edges.

The "burners" are lids from large cans.  I used a can opener that pries the lids off without making them sharp, and attached them to the surface with small button top wood screws.

I added some little drawings with paint pens, like this doorway and a small stop light.

Most of this project was made using recycled materials.  The little picture frame was once an electrical outlet cover.  (I taped two photos to a piece of clear plastic and taped the plastic inside the metal cover.)  That funny hanging mushroom is an old chime mounted on a wooden spool.  Just under it is a springy doorstop that rings the chime.  The spinning stove knobs are slices of a wooden dowel, wood screws and bottle caps.

The sink was made with a steam table pan, plumbing pipes and some old hot and cold bathtub knobs.  Joe hand cut a perfect little matching shelf out of one of the leftover wood scraps.  The beehive shape on top of the bedpost inspired me to paint it yellow and draw some tiny bees on it.  I drilled a hole in it and painted the inside of the hole black.  It was immediately used to gather honey for pretend tea!

This kitchen was made as a gift for some very special young friends of ours who are two and a half year old twin boys.  They love to cook and I wanted to make a kitchen for them that they could work and play at together for years.  It was so fun to build and tinker with, but the most gratifying part was giving it to those adorable little guys and watching them enthusiastically cooking! 

I have to admit, as excited as we were to deliver it, we missed it when it was gone.  But then, just a few days after we delivered it, we found another darling little solid wood bed frame with lots of potential, so more kitchens are coming soon!

If you are considering making a play kitchen, I hope this gives you some inspiration, and if you have already made a play kitchen of your own, I would love to hear about it, so please share your ideas and links in the comments below!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Monster Game

Here's a simple family art game that we think is so much fun:

1.  Get a piece of paper and a pencil for each person who wants to play. 
2.  Sit so that you can't see each others' papers. 
3.  Take turns giving drawing instructions by naming monster parts for all players to draw on their papers. 
4.  When you are all done, show each other your monsters!

Here are some examples of drawing instructions: Draw a square head, add striped horns, make a mouth with as many teeth as you like, draw a long neck, make a fuzzy body, give it feet but no legs, add six arms, draw some eyeballs.

Here are three of our monsters (Diego's, Ruben's and mine) from the same set of instructions:
So far, we have only drawn monsters, but we enjoy this game so much that I'm sure we'll try it with other themes in the future.  It could be fun with castles, cities, animals, robots, or anything that the kids are loving at the moment.

The idea for this game was inspired by a lovely post on The Artful Parent.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Non-Stop Halloween

Julio LOVED his super-special Halloween costume:

But, after so much excitement, he happily got back into his boring old everyday clothes:

(Ladybug costume made with aluminum wok cover, red spray paint and black tape, held on to the back by a tiny backpack taped into the inside. Pipe-cleaner antennae stitched on to jersey knit hat.)