When it comes to toys, play food is a staple. In addition to being a heap of fun, toy food is a great way for children to reach their developmental milestones. For this reason (and many more) play food can be found wherever there are children. Much like fresh food there are lots of play food items on the market. Therefore, it can be hard to know where to start and what to buy. To give you a hand on how to get the best bang for your buck and for some tips on where to start we are here to help. To learn more read on – and as always don’t shop hungry!
Physically handling play food is a great way for children to improve their dexterity, fine motor skills and visual recognition of shapes, colours and patterns. Food is a great way for adults to socialise and communicate and this also goes for children. Even alone, children can hold dinner parties or host cooking shows which encourages them to utilise their vocabulary. Play food also kicks children’s imaginations into a high gear encouraging them to think outside the box and get adventurous. Of course we’re talking sardines on cake adventurous – but believe me, it is better that this happens in their cooking domain and not yours!
Where to Start
If you think starting your play food collection will be as “easy” as your weekly grocery shop, I’m sorry to disappoint. Picking up individual food items willy-nilly can leave you with a lot of oranges and no apples – not that devastating unless you want to make an apple pie! For this reason, we recommend that you keep it simple and start with the basics. Food crates from Le Toy Van and Fun Factory are fantastic as they include multiple items from the same food group. For example, (my personal favourite) the Le Toy Van Honeybake Baker’s Basket which includes a croissant, a pretzel, an iced bun, a swirl bun and a pain au chocolat – drool.
If you’re looking for a real bargain, check out this set of crates from Fun Factory.
Once you have assembled a handsome food triangle (or as much as the food triangle as you wish), you have completed your mission, and your child can enjoy hours of play food fun. However, if you want to get the best dollar value for your play food items we recommend that you turn up the play value.
Heat Up the Play Value
Heating up the play value of your play food is the best way to get value for money. Play value refers to the essential value of a toy; or more plainly put, the amount of play you can get out of a toy. When talking about play food, you can increase its play value by adding extra appliances and accessories that encourage children to play with the food items longer. Imagine making that apple pie (once you source the apples) to find that you have no oven to bake it in! Or better yet, think of all the opportunities that a singular oven represents – savoury or sweet you can have it all and warmed by your imagination – delicious.
Get the whole Family Involved
We see a lot of group gift purchases here at Elf HQ. Normally, a mum and dad will grab a kitchen, a market stall or an oven and the rest of the family contribute by adding some play food or cooking equipment. This is great for a few reasons. Firstly, the play value of each item added by each family member increases. Secondly, it’s easy for you when relatives call asking what your child would like for their birthday or Christmas. Plus it’s nice and easy for your friends and family members – win-win! Here are a few bundles that we elves would be thrilled to find under the Christmas tree this year.
|Honeybake 2-in-1 Shop & Cafe ($229) with five Honeybake Market Crates ($24.95 – $26.95 each)|
If you’ve suddenly developed an appetite for some play food then now is a great time to satisfy your craving as we have 20% off our entire Play Food Category. If you think that a group gift centred around a kitchen or market stall is what your child would like for Christmas, then contact the rellies and tell them to get shopping before this sale ends. Bon appetit toy lovers!