for ages 2 and up with Adult Participation & Supervision
My husband and I have been taking the kids out to eat more lately so they have become very interested in restaurants. What better way to build on that interest than to make a pretend restaurant at home? You would be surprised how easy it was to set up. We started out with some Melissa & Doug Jumbo Multi-Color Construction Paper and Melissa & Doug Jumbo Triangular Crayons.
|Jumbo Multi-Color Construction Paper and Jumbo Triangular Crayons|
We found some play food we had around the house and decided that we could sell it at our restaurant.
We started out by making a menu. Since my kids are three and two I handled the writing while they drew the pictures. They drew pictures of each of the toy food items we had collected on the Melissa & Doug Construction Paper.
The Melissa & Doug Triangular Crayons are the perfect size for little hands. They are chunky enough that kids can really get a good grip on them and their triangular shape really encourages older kids to hold the crayons correctly.
I was pretty impressed with the cookie drawn by my two year old.
Our restaurant really didn't have a particular theme. You could get a potato or an ice cream cone. You've got to love that variety!
I made a cover for our menu. One of my daughters thought our restaurant should be called "Sweet Corn." I'd go to a restaurant with that name, what about you?
After I put our menu together, we went through it to decide how much the items should cost. My kids loved playing with some gold pirate coins that we have. All our items were priced so that you could pay with the gold coins.
They took turns being customers and waitresses.
"Here's your cake."
Time to pay the waitress.
A potato sounds good to my youngest.
"That costs 2 coins."
My kids had such a blast playing pretend restaurant. They even added the menu to their book basket and read it often. I love how this simple activity encouraged creativity and role playing. The kids also had a chance to practice their speech skills through their interactions. Of course, now, they can't wait to go back to a real restaurant!
Vicky Perreault is a busy mom to three kids - 3 year old twins and a 2 year old. She believes that kids learn best through play and hands on activities. As a former teacher, Vicky finds great joy in facilitating learning and play experiences for her children and sharing those ideas with other parents on her blog Mess For Less.