The price of children’s play sets are out of sight and their structural integrity questionable. One couple was not discouraged, however, when their 2-year-old had become inquisitive over play kitchens. The two visited a garage sale and were struck by a creative idea when they spotted an old 80’s entertainment center and realized that the opening for the TV was just the right height for their 2-year-old son as a counter.
There were two drawers under this opening and one long vertical door that once was filled with shelves and electronic equipment, on the other side. The couple realized that for for less than the price of a family trip to a fast food restaurant, the heavy entertainment center was theirs and they could make a custom kitchen playset for their little guy.
The first step was to remove all doors and hardware. Then, they removed the flat surface where the TV once set and replaced this with sturdy plywood and sanded down the entire unit. Everything was spray painted in semi-gloss white before a plywood backing was also spray painted and tacked up as a back splash. In one corner of the plywood, a round hole was drilled that could perfectly fit a stainless steel dog bowl, which looks just like a miniature sink when lowered into the hole. Along the back, a matching stainless steel faucet with handles was installed. The other half of the plywood was painted black and covered with Plexiglas upon which the crafty parents drew two circles and a thin line of florescent orange paint was swirled atop to resemble hot burners. The area beneath was turned into a realistic-looking oven with the same florescent orange to resemble a hot bottom element. The door was put back on only with hinges along the bottom, just like an oven. Finally a small sink rack was placed inside to look like oven racks. And the gaping hole along the other side?
A refrigerator was created! Painted shelves were added for all those yummy plastic treats and a long thin handle was installed on the outer side. A matching handle was used on the front of the oven. An adhesive magnetic sheet was placed on the front of the frig door, giving the youngster a chance to use magnets for showing off drawings and pictures. The door below the sink was also painted white, reattached and the existing knob was used for opening. Now there was storage for pots, pans, or other kitchen items. After standing back and noting the awesome look, little pieces were added to make this child-sized kitchen feel like home. Magnets for the frig that displayed dogs, cats, footballs and race cars were scattered around the magnetic refrigerator surface and a small battery operated bright red clock was hung in the center of the back wall. Using material from an old pillowcase, a dish towel was created and hung on the oven door. Other ideas can include adding battery-operated LED lights in the oven or along the back of the stove and sink area. There are many different ideas that can be used when you have a solid base.
This attractive piece will probably become a treasured part of childhood and handed down through many generations. If creativity is not your strong point, visit pinterest.com and search for children’s kitchen play sets. Did they go too far? Maybe. But can you blame them? Maybe not.