As you may have seen in my kitchen renovation posts, we have a decent size kitchen but there is very little free space.
My husband has a 60 mile commute to/from work which means I’m usually preparing dinner on my own with a toddler wrapped around my leg begging for Momma. I don’t know what is is about cooking dinner, but this is the true “witching hour.” Keeping a little one distracted and happy is no easy feat when trying to prepare dinner with knives and a hot stove.
We gave our daughter her own drawer in the kitchen. It’s on the very bottom and filled with the most random things: a book, silicone muffin tins, stale Cheerios she hid, a block. It might be a loss drawer for me, but it keeps her happy and entertained.
Our little one loves the sounds of the kitchens, the louder the better. She is so curious and wants to help with cooking. Every now and then I will let her help me mix items together or I’ll hold her and tell her what I’m doing. When she is a bit older, I plan on getting her a stool that lets toddlers stand at the counter and help prepare the food.
My husband built a custom kitchen for our little one in the small nook of free space in our kitchen.
The entire box and doors are made with a few sheets of MDF from Home Depot, some nails and a few brackets.
For the backsplash, I got a free sample of removable wallpaper and paid $5 shipping for it. We also got a removable vinyl chalkboard from Home Depot. When she’s older she can write her “menu” or “grocery list”.
For the countertop, we used a remnant of our Ikea butcher block countertop from our countertop reno. It was the PERFECT size. We didn’t even have to cut it. How amazing is that?!
Her sink is made with a dog bowl with a silicone ring. We cut a hole in the top of the counter and the bowl fits right in. She pulls it out and puts it back in all the time. I ordered a “hot water” faucet on Amazon for $12, and it looks awesome.
I grabbed an oven replacement knob at Home Depot for her “stove”. She’s able to turn it back and forth.
She has a “stove” on the left which has a handle for opening. And a cabinet on the right for storing all of her cooking supplies. Old food contrainers make great pretend food items, like oatmeal and yogurt containers.
Finally, we painted it to match Mama & Dada’s kitchen. She loves it and it definitely helps keep her distracted, just a LITTLE bit.
It took a few weekends to put the whole thing together, but it was worth it!