chick's picks: food toys

Every toddler I know loves food. Throw a plastic drumstick or some velcro-together sandwich parts at him and he'll play happily for hours. (The first time.) (After that, who can say, but I can promise you that if your kid is anything like my Chicken, there will never be another first time. Not ever. Ever. It will go from 60 minutes to 45 seconds and then he'll be all "MOMMY BLOW BALLOONS!" for the next two hours.)

With Christmas upon us, I thought I'd share some of Chicken's most favorite food toys. He has others, but I'll tell you, these are the ones we return to again and again.

Learning Resources Farmers Market Color Sorting Set - $23.77 on Amazon as of today

Pros: Well-made fruits and veggies that include your basics (apple, banana, tomato) and a few more advanced veggies (eggplant, plum, pumpkin) so you can show off your kid's impressive food vocabulary at the store, even if in your heart you know he won't eat any of that shit. It's BPA-free and you get these 5 "bushel baskets" that are just plastic tubs but DUDE, how many ways can your kid use a plastic tub??? We use them in the sandbox, bath tub, play kitchen, real kitchen. They hold rocks, sticks, legos, dinosaurs, crayons, pipe cleaners. I mean, it's a TUB. Totally worth it.

Cons: If you're predisposed to OCD, it can be a little eye-twitch-inducing to lose one of the fruits or veggies... we haven't seen our carrot, corn, or grapes in months. C'est la vie. I just try not to think about it.

Melissa & Doug Cutting Food - $17.43 on Amazon

Pros: WOOD, and is there anything white people like better than wood toys? NOPE. Chicken loves cutting these pieces up and putting them back together. Great for fine motor development, plus you can teach your kid how to make "ratatouille" and that shit is totes adorbs.

Cons: Same deal with losing one of the pieces. It can happen and if you're anal it can send you into an alcoholic rage or a fugue state. But, you know, that's on you, so...

(Incidentally, M&D, savvy toymakers that they are, has an entire line of play food sets, from grilling kebabs to sushi, stir fry to burgers to pizza party.)

Fisher-Price Servin' Surprises Tea Party Set - $34.97 on Amazon

Full disclosure - we don't own this set. Duckie, Chicken's bestie, owns this set. And it is hot property, let me tell you. This tea set has taken their friendship past point break all the way to point go-for-the-eyes. It's the little cakes that really get them riled up.

But (spoiler alert!) you know the best part? The surprise that Fisher-Price is serving up?

The teapot actually pours tea! And by "pours tea" we mean it shoots out a piece of hard plastic that I cannot help but associate with a dog boner. Sorry.

But Chicken loves it. Duckie loves it. I have it on good authority that every kid - boy or girl - who plays with Duckie loves it.

KidKraft Vintage Kitchen - White - $128.49 on Amazon

Best. Ever. Let me tell you, this thing is hardy. It took Ryan and his brother half a day to put it together, but it's pretty near-indestructible. At least, Chicken hasn't been able to take it down after a full year of crazed beatings.

And to be completely superficial, it's on the smaller side, and it's stylish. It's so much less cheesy than those fat, rounded yellow and red plastic kitchens.

The only con to this one is that it's really hard to close the fridge door without making a loud sound. We got quite stern with Chicken about not slamming the door for awhile until one night I was cleaning up and I closed the door and it really sounded like I slammed it too. Then I felt pretty bad.

I mean, I'm reaching pretty hard for a con here. I love this kitchen.

And looking ahead, I'm pretty sure Santa is bringing him this little number:

Melissa & Doug Triple - Layer Party Cake - $15.99 on Amazon

Chicken is obsessed with fire, velcro, and birthday cakes. So this seems like a pretty solid win. I'll let you know how it goes on December 26.

Full Disclosure: One of the ways that I monetize this blog is through an Amazon Associates account, so I include links to these product pages on Amazon. Amazon does not pay me to recommend products. I post links to these toys because Chicken likes them, and yes, I probably bought them on Amazon. Shop wherever you want. 


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