Let me start by saying I am wholly and mightily impressed by parents who have crazy crafting skills. The labor of love that some of them put into crafting toys for their kids is both amazing and intimidating. I feel like I belong in the category of parents who means well but lacks motivation past buying supplies for a project I saw on Pinterest.
Speaking of projects on Pinterest, when I ran across free food templates for play kitchens including the wonderful campbell soup cans, grocery staples and canned veggies and fruit, it made me look at A.'s stash of play kitchen food.
Thanks to all of the Ikea food sets and crazy clearance finds from Target, his kitchen is fairly stocked that way but lacks boxes of food.
So when I mentioned to My Mom that I wanted to add some more play food to A.'s kitchen and showed her some of the printables, she thought they were nice but offered a much simpler, easier, free way. Her idea? Use the boxes of food you already used, boxes your kid probably understands already, stuff them with scrap paper and tape them shut.
Duh. I've already been giving him spice bottles once they run out and juice bottles, I just never thought to do it with card board boxes!
What you need
empty boxes of pre-packaged food
tape - packaging tape goes much faster but regular is fine too
5 minutes or less - each box
My Cost Break Down - $0
$0 - empty boxes of food (because I already put it in my food budget)
$0 - scrap paper; I used junk mail
$0 - tape; left over from the holidays
Take your box and stuff it full of scrap paper till it's firm. This box is going to get stepped on and ruined eventually, but by filling it with scrap paper it will hang on for a bit longer. Tape the box shut and then wrap tape around the whole outside of the box. Or don't. Whatever floats your boat. I do because it seems to help keep the edges from busting so quickly.
Go through your recycling bin and make as many as you want. And there, your kid now has a bunch of new free kids play food boxes!