This post is about the project from 2011, when my daughter Ela was 1,5 years old :)
One of my biggest DIY's , some of you know this one very well...Play Kitchen .
The plan was to make one instead of buying and once again reusing household objects as much as possible.
The work took me about four weeks of evening making , secretly while Ela was sleeping ;)
There are many examples of great homemade play kitchens on internet , they always inspired me to do something myself . If you like challenges then why not try it too!
It's very rewarding , trust me :)

I hope you will enjoy this photographic retrospection , digging out the good oldies when Ela is away ;)

The most important - construction of the kitchen , nappy boxes in this case ;)

Some of the materials used , I added more on the way of making ;)

Oven part was first ...

Then more sections took the shape :)
The silver is a self adhesive sticker , the worktop is a foam board covered with it.
To add the bowl as a sink I cut a hole large enough to fit the bowl in and glued edges using glue gun.

You have to remember , for this kind of " hard duty "projects a glue gun it's a must ;)
I used many many glue stick on the way...

Then I added the whole foam board to the back of the kitchen , covered with some printed gift wrap and coloured CD boxes as a splash back ;)

The paper wrap founded in Paperchase shop reminds me of Polish folklore rooster , so pretty :)

I make a shelf using some Whiskey box :P
Then added picture frame as a window , two self adhesive hooks and a real taps and hose made of hand wash dispenser .
Microwave and oven get a real door handles too .
Two empty spaces are now completed with large pink plastic boxes to be filled with many dishes , play veggies etc.

Buttons of the microwave was made of baby jar caps :)

I also placed metal hooks on the side bought in Tiger shop to hold important kitchen utensils...

This is it!

Plastic cutlery holders from Ikea are attached with a strong thread to the nappy boxes , same as the hooks holder with utensils on the other side and the shelf at the top of the kitchen .

The kitchen timer is glued too, kids love it ;)

The lavender fields window view approved :)

Mending the timer of course .

Baby jar caps makes a clicking sounds!

Ela made liters of soup that day ;P
She is now 5 and still playing with it , including her friends visiting us.

May the imagination be with you!

My 5 years old daughter Ela was visited by her friend one day.
During playing he discovered one of her toy boxes filled with all sort of packaging , toilet paper tubes, bottle cups etc.
"Why this is here? That should be in a rubbish bin ." - he said.

"No, that's my recycling stuff , you can make many toys out of this . Let me show you" -  Ela said and she make a robot toy :)

Just look at the detail of two coloured flames :)

My aim is to encourage you as a parent to introduce simple play using objects from you recycling bin to your child.
I believe many of you already do that , some maybe need a gentle push ;)

Reusing packaging triggers imagination better then some plastic shop toys and teach how to be sustainable and Earth friendly.

To complete the fun give your children sellotape , glue , scissors , colour pens , threads and some stickers to decorate their works ;)
Ela and I will try to prepare some upcycling crafts on the way for you, when she comes back from holidays ;)
For now I give you just a small sample of what she had done completely by herself and If you ask her, this is one of her favourite activity .
They might not be the prettiest but they 100% hers :)

Cute little friends wearing crowns made of piece of cardboard and toilet paper roll , then painted, coloured and decorated ...

Mouth full of strawberries or what :D

This one have movable arms and legs! I never get involved in that, I swear :)
So clever.

This is a sleeping bag ...When I said that monkey legs shouldn't stick out from it she replied
" this is a Special sleeping bag , it's a French one mommy " :)

Little couple made of toilet paper rolls ...

I noticed Ela prefers using sellotape rather then glue , lot of sellotape :)

This is also a finger puppet ... Rapunzel ?

So, I do hope you give some of your " rubbish " to your kids ;P

Happy crafting :)

I came up with this learning activity a year ago when Ela was 4 , thinking about it now we could easily do it even before that but I did not had it in my mine yet.
Basically the child is matching the first letter of the word with the picked up object.
This is quick and very easy to prepare ;)
It seems this game is too easy for Ela , now 5 but she get excited about it when I ask for retrospection :)
Too make it a bit harder we thought of English words , not the Polish ones like in the past.
Obviously this can be played in any other languages ;)

To let your children play you will need : 
- 20 or more cards cut by you with written letters of your choice
- lot of small items found around your house (toys , everyday objects...)

Lay down your letter cards on the floor and put the objects into some spare box.

If your child is 3 or 4 years old then you can make it more exciting and encouraging by placing the objects in the box filled with mixture of dry rice, beans and lentils ;)


Make it more sensory for those little hands by hiding objects deep in rice , kids will love to dig in it!

This is how we did it year ago ;)

I then dyed part of the rice with some food colouring to make it prettier .
Have a look here < > if you would like to dye your rice too ;)

This time we left it behind as Ela wishes to play with bigger amount of objects , we simply wouldn't  fit them all in the rice ;)

Lets play!

She is picking the object from the box and looking for the right letter the word of the object starts from...

Ela loved it again :)

As you see here , cake starts from K ;)
We corrected this error later on...

Except learning values this activity also shows which of the first letters is the most popular , in English words in this case  :)

Letter B get crowded ...

Yes , this is baby Ela :)

Cake finely on the right place!

A few on letter T...

And U 2  :P

So , the objects in the box were finished ...

a few letters felt very empty.

This is where the real fun for 5 years old began , searching the house for objects starts from letters
O , W , Z and A!
Simple right?
Well , not quite ... it took Ela some time but she enjoyed the search so much :)

She found an Apple ...

A Window and

The Onion :)

Are we completed?

Letter...  :/

We thought  about word Zip , but piece of clothing were just too big for this game ;)
I also just notice Ela put the Knife on letter N ;)

Waiting for your ideas , or even better..
Please send us a photos of the objects you found around your house starts from letter Z!
In English and Polish too please ;)
You can do that by the comment space at the bottom of this post or on my Facebook page >

Ela and I would love you to get involved , have fun!