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!

The Benefits physically handling play food is a great way for children to improve their dexterity, fine motor skills and visual recognition of shapes, colors and patterns.  Food is a great way for adults to socialize and communicate and this also goes for children. Even alone, children can hold dinner parties or host cooking shows which encourages them to utilize 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. Cutting food box are fantastic as they include multiple food items kids can manipulate. For example, (my personal favorite) the grill serve bbq set which includes a bun, a hotdog, a hamburger, chicken, steak, ribs, veggie burger, and corn, plus tasty toppings and sturdy utensils.– drool.

If you’re looking for a real bargain, check out this FOOD GROUPS from MELISSA & DOUG.

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 – savory 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 Teeter Totter Toys. Normally, a mom 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!

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