I recently wrote a post about our love affair with Duplo, highlighting a toy that we've had so much play value from, and it made me think about some of the other toys which have been particularly popular with my children. Another firm favourite has been their toy kitchen and all the play food and accessories that go along with it.
I was a bit reluctant to have a proper play kitchen for the children at first, as they take up a lot of space. But when Ram spotted a great deal on a lovely wooden toy kitchen it was impossible to refuse, and we asked my parents if they'd like to buy it for the children one Christmas a few years back. This is the one that we have from John Lewis (it's not usually this tidy!)
One of the nice things about this particular toy kitchen is that it has plenty of storage space inside for all the other bits and pieces. When we moved into our house a few years back the previous owner was emigrating, and she left behind lots of plastic play food and toy kitchenware. Along with some bits that we'd already collected, and pieces that we've accumulated since, there's plenty to keep them busy (and to store). Quite a lot of our play food is home made, like my realistic play food, the felt sandwich set and the very popular salt dough and felt pizza.
I bought some of the extra kitchenware from Ikea which does some lovely bits. I was very tempted recently to replace the plastic stuff with some gorgeous china plates and cups but I'm glad that I didn't in the end because the plastic ones are constantly being carried about the house and transported in Mia's little handbags, and I don't think they'd last very long!
I'm always coming across little picnics that Mia has set up around the house, and I leave them there for as long as I can because I love seeing them, they are so sweet! Even if I am usually the one that ends up having to sort out all the bits and pieces into their correct boxes and put them away.
In fact, the only problem that I do have with the toy kitchen is that sometimes I seem to spend as long cleaning it up as I do my full size kitchen!
Which toys have been a particularly big hit with your children?