Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pretend Play Taco Stand

 Look!  Honey's eating a taco from the coolest taco stand around.  Ours!

We love tacos at this house.  Q thinks taco trucks are the sweetest things ever and we go crazy for a super yummy taco place downtown any chance we get.  So I decided our playspace should become a taco stand.

One night I spent several hours in the studio and came up with this:
The box is a Melissa and Doug wooden box from something....I don't know what.  I don't often leave that stuff in the boxes, but I keep the boxes for displaying items in our playroom.  The tongs are a fun touch to promote fine motor development--and just cause my kids love using them!
 Q's favorite type of tacos are salmon tacos.  So I made salmon using pinky-orange felt and just sewed some designs on them with white thread. 
 Next comes chicken and steak.  I cut out pieces of felt and sewed around the edges in corresponding thread. 

 Refried beans.  Two pieces of felt sewed in bean shape. 
 These tomatoes I needlefelted.  First I cut out a disc from red felt, felted on red roving, and then felted on some red wool yarn.  They could also be made from just regular felt if you don't needlefelt. 
 The cheese is just little strips of yellow-orange felt.  And yes, it gets all over my house all the time. 
 I also needlefelted these avocados with two colors of green roving.  I am mighty proud of these two guys, let me tell you!  The jalapenos are made from green felt sheets. 
 The lettuce is made from green felt sheets that I sewed on. 
 I cut cream-colored felt sheets to fit into a round cakepan.
 Of course there has to be foil to wrap the tacos in.  We are definitely authentic around here!
 And chips and salsa!  I made the chips by cutting two sheets of felt into various triangle designs and sewing around the edges.  The salsa and guac are wool roving. 

 Napkins and rings for the tables. 
 Here's the table area.  I actually needed a bigger table than the one we were preciously using--as the tacos wouldn't fit on em.  Matt was throwing away a piece that went inside our armoire because he'd made a stronger one to hold a tv in there.  I spotted this piece--he cut it down to size (it was too tall) and reinforced it to stand up to kiddos, and it makes the PERFECT table!  I love the little shelf underneath to hold additional items!
 I decorated the top of our little kitchen with Mexican-restaurant-y looking items I had around the house. 
 And a pad and pencil for taking orders--awesome emergent literacy!  Also I have a jar of cholula and salsa (for some reason the salsa is missing from this picture).  Remember my stance on including fragile items in play areas to teach my kids to handle materials gently. 
We had made the yellow chalkboard stand for Beck's birthday party--out of some old cabinet doors off our wetbar when we remodeled it.  It was perfect for the menu for the taco stand!  Q and I worked on it together--she wrote the title and I wrote the menu items.  She is very proud of this! 

I turned our pennant banner backwards to the plain felt side for a change and hung two festive paper lanterns from the window. 
 Here's a wide-angle view of our playroom this month!
So...lots of fun has been had with the taco stand.  Playing restaurant is a wonderful activity for toddlers and preschoolers--it promotes pretend play, problem solving, comprehension, following directions, literacy skills, and it is just fun!  Great, now I'm hungry for tacos.  :)