Archives for posts with tag: pretend kitchens for kids

“For children, play is serious learning,” Fred Rogers said. “Play is really the work of childhood.”

 Pretend play provides an outlet for children to practice coping strategies for stressful encounters. Imaginary play emerges around 3-5 years of age. It is important to encourage and allow opportunities for pretend play at home.

Here are some ways that pretend play impacts a child’s development:

  • increases use of language and vocabulary
  • expressing positive and negative feelings
  • increases self-regulation
  • helps in expressing empathy
  • encourages problem solving
  • allows for new communication
  • teaches cognitive flexibility
  • creativity in general
  • teaches organizational skills

Start by cooking up some good pretend fun with a colorful kitchen.

Add a pretend waffle maker and you can enjoy delicious pretend waffles all day long.

It is that time of year to begin planning holiday cookie baking.

There are so many options each day to help your children with the importance of pretend play.

It all begins with imagination, both yours and theirs.

Albert Einstein once said: “Logic will take you from A to B, imagination will take you everywhere.”

Bye Bye Erin

Today we wish our fantastic Erin farewell as she heads off to continue her studies at the University of Minnesota.  You will be greatly missed Erin.

As Julie Childs told us “a party without cake is really just a meeting”.

triple layer cake at totally Kids

So of course we had a cake especially for Erin. You can always pretend bake a cake!


Julia Childs

One hundred and two years ago today Julia Childs, the Queen of cooking was born.  With her goal of adapting sophisticated French cuisine for mainstream Americans, she wrote a two-volume cookbook called Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which was considered groundbreaking. Her cookbook has since become a standard guide for the culinary community.  Julia became a television icon with her popular cooking show The French Chef.

Anthony Bourdain says: “Julia Child was the single most important, influential and game-changing figure in the history of American gastronomy”. “Everything tracks back to her. And though uniquely situated to do so, she never endorsed a thing: not a pot, not a pan, not a chain of restaurants, not a spice blend, apron or boil-in-the-bag dinner. She will be remembered for what she did on this earth, which was to inspire millions to cook — and eat — better”.

blue retro kitchen at Totally Kids

Julia once shared, “I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.” Don’t let your little ones wait until they are 32, start practice cooking now.

Then Julia had her ideas on standard kitchen appliances – “Every woman should have a blowtorch”.

Totally Kids fun furniture & toys does not have pretend blowtorches yet, but this little mixer is always a hit with the younger cooking set.

Baking Set at Totally Kids fun furniture and toys

Farewell dear Erin and Happy Birthday Julia.

And with Julia’s signature sign-off may we too say: Bon appétit!

It’s National Chocolate Day 2012! How are you going to celebrate?

Chocolate chips were invented in 1933 by Ruth Graves Wakefield of the Toll House Inn in the town of Whitman, Massachusetts just 23 miles south of Boston.

It was in her attempt to bake a Butter Drop Do cookie, a cookie that dates back to colonial times, she added cut-up chunks of a semi-sweet Nestlé chocolate bar to a cookie dough.

The recipe actually called for Baker’s chocolate which Ruth did not have. Thinking that the semi-sweet chocolate would melt into the dough making chocolate flavored dough, the cookies came out with chunks of chocolate nestled into golden delicious vanilla based dough. She served her chocolate chip mistake to her guests and they were a huge hit.

The history of chocolate chip cookies does not stop here.   Betty Crocker, who was just hitting the domestic celebrity scene in 1939 and had a national radio spot called “Famous Foods From Famous Eating Places.” She featured Ruth’s Chocolate Chip Cookie on her radio show which spring boarded Ruth and her cookie into the national public eye.

Word spread quickly of Ruth’s new and cookie and she became a local sensation. It was not long after that she was filling huge chocolate chip cookie orders. When her cookie recipe was printed in a Boston newspaper the chocolate chip cookie became an overnight sensation.

By 1939 Nestlé had invented chocolate morsels, the first chocolate chips and packaged them in a Yellow Label bag. Upon buying the Toll House name, printed Ruth Wakefield’s recipe for “The Famous Toll House Cookie” on the back of the package.

Have you ever wondered why chocolate chips not melt in the oven?”. The answer is that they do, in fact, melt. It is just that chocolate chips retain their shape when melted. If you break apart a hot chocolate chip cookie, you will see that the chocolate chip has melted.

Start your little ones out at an early age baking pretend chocolate chip cookies. Totally Kids fun furniture and toys offers many other kitchens to inspire young pretend baking endeavors.

What’s a Thanksgiving meal without at least one jolly gelatin salad chock-full of fruit and nuts?

This is a classic jello mold from Ocean Spray, a name that says cranberry and Thanksgiving to many of us. For a simple Simon substitute, you could, heaven forbid, forgo the jello mold and just dump the cranberry sauce right out of a can on a fancy platter (at least punch it up with presentation) or crystal bowl.


Thanksgiving foods are regional and unique from family to family. They are the expected essence of everyone’s family traditions and way up there in the memory bank with everything that we hold dear.


Start your little ones out making their own new memories of cooking in their very own vintage red kitchen, like Thanksgivings at Great-grandma’s house.



Plan your menu, then mix it all up with a colorful pretend retro mixer.

A Jello-less Ambrosia Fruit Salad, with unknown origins, is another holiday classic for some families.


Holiday Lime Jello Salad Mold


1-1/2 cups boiling water
1 pkg. (8-serving size) lime Jello
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, undrained
1 cup cottage cheese
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup miniature marshmallows


Stir boiling water into Jello in a large bowl for at least 2 minutes until completely dissolved. Stir in the pineapple and juice. Refrigerate 1-1/4 hours or until it reaches the consistency of unbeaten egg whites.

Whip the cream. Stir the cottage cheese into cream cheese in separate bowl until well blended. Gently fold in the whipped cream until smooth. Beat into slightly thickened Jello with a wire whisk until well blended. Stir in walnuts and marshmallows. Pour into a 6-cup mold sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm. Remove from the mold and garnish as desired. Surrounding the ring with cranberries will give it a seasonal appearance.


A Jello-less Ambrosia Fruit Salad, with unknown origins, is another holiday classic for some families.


Yesterday I joined BlogFrog and so far not exactly certain how it works, but the first blog that I read, The Idea Room had this outstanding idea. Thankful Rolls have messages tucked inside them in a fortune cookie fashion, and are the cleverest! They are a must do for our Thanksgiving dinner and will surely become a tradition.


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We’re Talking Turkey Today.

Looking for a good Thanksgiving turkey recipe? There are so many different cooking methods today it could be difficult to know which one to choose, especially for those new to cooking, or with the responsibility of their first Thanksgiving dinner.

Deep fat frying, is claimed to be the fastest method, requiring a special (outdoor) cooker, approximately 5 pounds of peanut oil and the risk of possibly being most dangerous way to cook your bird.

Pan roasting and basting is the best known tried and true traditional American way to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey. When basting the big bird, be prepared to visit it in the oven every 15 to 20 minutes to squirt (baste) the turkey with it’s juices and pan drippings procured from the bottom of the roasting pan.

Some folks really like special made for turkey oven bags. These bags trap the original evaporating moisture in the bag, not loosing it to the oven. They also provide an effortless auto basting of the turkey, thus maintaining maximum moisture of the turkey. Here, the downside is, if you wait all year long salivating for the crispy skin of the roasted turkey, it just might be the reward belonging to the cooking bag, sticking with it, not you. Also, the bag can not be opened during the cooking process, even if for some reason you may want to open the oven door to sneak a peek at it and talk turkey about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or give it football updates.


Grilled, rotisseriesmoked methods are out of kitchen methods.  In some families this BBQ style turkey cooking is reserved for the man, leaving the mashed potatoes, sweet potato marshmallow casserole, jiggly Jello salads, green bean mushroom dish with French onions sprinkled on top and pumpkin, pecan, sweet potato or mincemeat pies for the women folk.


If you have been pondering how to deep fry a turkey, Fabulous Food’s will take you through the process step by step in pictures. (worth a thousand words)

Strange Brew beer can cooking is another twist to add to the mix (you up).










Did you ever consider wrapping your turkey in bacon?


Before choosing your final turkey cooking method, you can count on Martha Stewart for the Perfect Roast Turkey. She will show you how to brine or roast a turkey. Martha also offers basic turkey tips for newbies as well as experienced cooks. Every smart novice must not forget to consult with Martha for “Everything Thanksgiving” to be in the know.

Now, you decide.

It’s a good thing!



Remember to start thawing your frozen turkey a few days before Thanksgiving, then roast it in this modern kitchen’s microwave or oven.



This may be the year to try cooking the Thanksgiving turkey on the barbie, or least pretend that you are.



Find fabulous little aprons at the Hip Hostess.