Ideas for real food play please.
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  1. #1
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    Default Ideas for real food play please.

    I'm getting rid of our play food and replacing it with real food. I don't want one-use fresh food, but dried food that can be left in jars along with the play bowls, spoons etc, and can be used over and over again.

    So far we've got pasta (various shapes and colours), herbal tea bags and nuts. Now my mind's gone blank and I can't think of anything else.

    Any ideas?

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    Anything that's good for pouring - rice, lentils, dried beans...

    Whenever we grow the potatoes my little ones spend a couple of days playing with them. They have lined them up to make long rails along the hallway, played shop with them, weighed them etc. They are robust and so don't get bruised and can be still used in cooking afterwards. They do similar things with pumpkins in the Autumn - I do get a bit obsessed with pumpkins and buy a few in different sizes. We cook or decorate them afterwards, so not a waste in my mind. Carrots are another good one (I know you said you don't want fresh).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
    I'm getting rid of our play food and replacing it with real food. I don't want one-use fresh food, but dried food that can be left in jars along with the play bowls, spoons etc, and can be used over and over again. So far we've got pasta (various shapes and colours), herbal tea bags and nuts. Now my mind's gone blank and I can't think of anything else. Any ideas?
    Why are you getting rid of the play food?

    Is not harder to leave real food out with little ones for choking hazards?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maza View Post
    Anything that's good for pouring - rice, lentils, dried beans...

    Whenever we grow the potatoes my little ones spend a couple of days playing with them. They have lined them up to make long rails along the hallway, played shop with them, weighed them etc. They are robust and so don't get bruised and can be still used in cooking afterwards. They do similar things with pumpkins in the Autumn - I do get a bit obsessed with pumpkins and buy a few in different sizes. We cook or decorate them afterwards, so not a waste in my mind. Carrots are another good one (I know you said you don't want fresh).
    These are for indoor play so I wanted to avoid rice etc as I know it'll end up all over the floor! I've got 3 sand/water tables outside - one with water, one with sand and one with rice or lentils, so the children get to use those regularly anyway.

    I know I said no fresh food, but I was thinking of things like jelly and fruit that would just make a mess. Harder vegetables sound like a good idea and would probably last all week

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    I had a coconut for about a month in my toy kitchen which all the children loved.

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    Potatoes, onion, swede, parsnip and citrus fruit (oranges, limes and lemons - all sensory also). Hopefully will last longer than a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mumofone View Post
    Why are you getting rid of the play food?

    Is not harder to leave real food out with little ones for choking hazards?

    I've been using the dried pasta, tea bags and nuts this week and have watched how the children have got so much more out of it that when they play with the play food. They can be much more imaginative than they can be with play food that is very specific - a wooden apple can't be much more than an apple whereas a bowl of pasta can be all sorts of things. Also, I think they've enjoyed it more because it's smaller. They can fill bowls and plates with pasta then stir it round and pour it out. With play food they can't really do that.

    The choking hazard is a consideration with everything. This week I haven't had any babies here ,only 3 & 4 year olds, so I have been able to judge how they play with it without having to worry about babies. None of them put things in their mouths and, because it's not edible food, none of them have been tempted to nibble it. Next week when I've got the younger ones back I'll watch them with it and decide whether it's something I can leave out for all the children to access or whether it's something I need to limit, like the lego, beads etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentTink View Post
    I had a coconut for about a month in my toy kitchen which all the children loved.
    Ooh, I love the idea of a coconut!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BallyH View Post
    Potatoes, onion, swede, parsnip and citrus fruit (oranges, limes and lemons - all sensory also). Hopefully will last longer than a week.
    I said I didn't want fresh food, but now I'm thinking I like the idea of lemons and limes!! They're a bit different and not something the children get to see every day!

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    I have had lemons and limes out for 2 weeks now and theyre only just starting to look a little shrivelled. I have dried slices of orange , like you would use at christmas . Sprouts are brilliant , especially if you can get them on the 'tree' , amazing for dexterity as well as creativity. Mine like cauliflower and broccoli too.

    Mumofone...I know what you mean about plastic food...but how much better for the children to experience the real thing and use all their senses? And so what if the have a nibble? As long as theyre supervised then its just another way of exploring.

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    I bought a big bag of star anise from the market - they love using these and cinnamon sticks.
    Large Bean seeds is another winner here and cornflakes, which they love crushing in the pestle and mortar.
    All kept in storage containers on the play kitchen shelf.
    I did give them some lapsang souchong tea leaves which were quite big and they loved the smell, used them for food on plates in their imaginary play, not to drink.
    Last edited by FloraDora; 31-03-2016 at 07:49 PM.

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    Green cabbage is a good one too - large leaves to tear and release a lovely smell when shredded.

    Miffy xx
    Keep smiling!

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    I know it's not the right season now, but my lot love playing with conkers in the role play kitchen - they make a wonderful noise when they drop them into metal bowls and stir them round.

 

 

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Ideas for real food play please. Ideas for real food play please. Ideas for real food play please.

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