Wood, felt or plastic play food? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 12-17-2009, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We are getting a play kitchen for ds1 (just turned 3) and ds2 (6 months) for Christmas and we need some food to go with it. I would love to get felt food but I'm not sure that's the best option for the baby- he'll be 'eating' things for a long time still. So I thought wood - until I remembered how ds1 used to throw things around and I see how he tries to 'play' with ds2 already. I don't want the baby getting clobbered with a wooden banana!

So that leaves me with plastic. Is there another option I'm overlooking? We do have some plastic toys but we're trying to limit the amount coming in.
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#2 of 30 Old 12-17-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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i have some wood from plan toys...most of it is small, and just fits in ds's hand....he could not clobber anything with it.

still, i'm thinking of crafting up some felt food, because I feel like the wooden food just isn't as fun to manipulate. and it does get thrown a lot.

plus i just think felt food is cuter.

i've seen sewn and crocheted food as well.

we have some plastic, but it's mostly the condiments and packaged stuff (ketchup, maple syrup, whatever...)

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#3 of 30 Old 12-17-2009, 06:20 PM
 
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We have some wood stuff and some felt stuff, but mainly plastic. Dd seems to like the plastic best, for whatever reason. This isn't a place where I choose to invest a lot of money, personally, so I'd go with the plastic. Like, I think the Waldorf dolls are much nicer than other dolls and are worth the extra money, so I'd invest there but save some money by getting plastic food, as kids seem to play wtih all pretend food in the same way.
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#4 of 30 Old 12-17-2009, 06:35 PM
 
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I much prefer felt. Wood is hard, loud and a bit cumbersome. All we really have is felt and the baby (9 months) mouths it but I'm totally okay with it.
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#5 of 30 Old 12-17-2009, 06:46 PM
 
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We have wood and plastic, and I vote for felt . There are even some cool cloth ones that I've seen on amazon that the banana peels.

Wood works okay, but if you have a thrower, then beware. The plastic stuff is super cheap and crappy (at least what we were given/have seen) and it is also small (choking hazards).

I would think it wouldn't matter if the baby chewed on the felt ones (or on cloth ones).

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#6 of 30 Old 12-17-2009, 06:51 PM
 
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I think it depends on how you feel about the materials.

I personally do wood and wool felt foods because I don't want plastic in my son's mouth and we are waldorf homeschoolers and just basically have a minimal amount of toys that are all handmade from natural fibers(mostly by mama to save money).

My sister has mostly plastic food because the material content doesn't matter to her it is cheaper and the plastic elimination she has been doing in her house is really just because she sees people say its better to eliminate plastic.

If you are trying to stay away from the chemicals in plastic watch out for felt food from places like toys r us because it is polyester so it's really the same thing as plastic. If that's not what's bothering you that could be another optioin. They do have packaged playfood at toys r us now that is fabric and felt so it would be soft but still more durable than say handfelted food.

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#7 of 30 Old 12-17-2009, 07:22 PM
 
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Most of our play food is wood (Haba, Plan) and we LOVE it. It's SO durable--dd had a little of the felt stuff, and it just got ratty and pilly quite fast. It was also impossible to clean when she was in the "mouthy" phase. She was not a thrower, however.

Although we don't buy a ton of plastic toys, my ILs got dd this and she LOVES it:
http://www.amazon.com/Garden-Fruits-...088589&sr=8-28

We've had it for over two years and it's still in great shape.
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#8 of 30 Old 12-17-2009, 08:45 PM
 
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We have some wood food, and some plastic. The plastic stuff is by Learning Resources, and it is used in a lot of children's museums. It is not cheap, but totally worth the price because it is well made. If I had the choice to do it all over again I'd go with felt though. That stuff is way too adorable. We have more than enough play food so I really can't justify buying any, but I love looking at it.
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#9 of 30 Old 12-17-2009, 09:38 PM
 
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Ours is all plastic so it can get left in the garden and not get ruined. It is frozen food right now
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#10 of 30 Old 12-17-2009, 10:18 PM
 
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I did plastic for awhile but then just started using real food.

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#11 of 30 Old 12-18-2009, 12:56 AM
 
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Oh, if you are going to go wooden or plastic (it may be available for other options as well, IDK), get something the can cut. It is so much fun for them to cut it and put it back together and cut it again.

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#12 of 30 Old 12-18-2009, 01:06 AM
 
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My child prefers wood food, but I think it's because it has weight and a lot of it comes apart/they can cut it. The wool/felt food was more popular stackable food and things with toppings like sandwiches, pizza, ice cream cones, etc.

I think a mix is a good option.

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#13 of 30 Old 12-18-2009, 03:32 AM
 
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Don't forget to get an old paperboard egg carton and fill it with Easter eggs (assuming you have any handy) They are plastic, but are the most played with food in our kitchen!
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#14 of 30 Old 12-18-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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we have had plastic and wood. right now we just have wood-some cutting food & the rest HABA. Both kids love the HABA best-the small size is just right for them to hold, and asthetically, it's very pleasing. I would be watchful of a mouth-y baby with some of the tiniest pieces.

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#15 of 30 Old 12-18-2009, 09:21 PM
 
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Ours is wood. The felt stuff would attract way too much dog hair, and I don't like the plastic stuff.

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#16 of 30 Old 12-18-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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This is the same question I have been pondering. I would love to get the wooden HABA food, but to fill a whole new kitchen it would be pricey, and money is a concern. I was going to get some melissa and doug food (a bit cheaper), but after some of the recent recalls have decided not to purchase from them anymore.

It is hard to turn the plastic food down when I can get a big box of food from target for $10. I know I am going to make some felt pizzas for DS. They have them at the local sciencenter and he loves them. Plus, even the most craft-challenged person can make them.

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#17 of 30 Old 12-18-2009, 11:06 PM
 
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IME felt food gets really gross really fast. I got some cute stuff given to me off Etsy. Within a few weeks it was all gross. I tried hand washing it and the colors all ran and it was ruined. I also never felt comfortable with the fact that my DD put them in her mouth and there was no way to wipe them off when we had other kids over. Or the day another kid came who was obviously sick and his snot got on a couple items and I couldn't clean them.

I much prefer wood or high quality plastic.

I don't like wood dishes, we have some plastic ones and "real" ones from IKEA and when the afternoon snack ends up being used in the kitcken I can just throw them in the dishwasher.
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#18 of 30 Old 12-19-2009, 12:21 PM
 
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The Learning Resources plastic food and such is wonderful- good quality and used in a lot of children's museums and daycare centers.
IMHO- I have felt food for DD, but it's pasta and bread. She seems like having items that are closer to their "real" counterparts. But she's also 5, and a bit picky. LoL.

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#19 of 30 Old 12-19-2009, 03:11 PM
 
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We have mostly wood food, with a bit of homemade felt food. I don't like the idea of the baby gumming plastic (esp plastic not made to go into a mouth, unlike an actual teething toy), so I avoid plastic. DS does not throw food, so I like the wood. If you have a thrower, I think felt is the best. You could avoid the problems with them getting ratty/running colors if you just make or find felt food made from recycled wool. That way you know the colors will not run if you try to wash it.
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#20 of 30 Old 12-19-2009, 03:44 PM
 
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I am very fond of the wooden food - especially the ones that have velcro so they can pretend to chop them into pieces and put them back together again! hehe

But plastic isnt the end of the world either if you have other things to worry about (like chucking! lol)

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#21 of 30 Old 12-19-2009, 04:51 PM
 
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We don't have any food yet as my DS1's getting a play kitchen from my mom for xmas. She's told me she as a little food in it along w/ a few dishes, so I'm waiting tillt hen to see exactly what it has. I was looking on amazon this morning though and really like the stuff by Plan Toys - not quite as expensie as Haba, but still not made in China. And they have the stuff that you can "cut" which is cool. I think we'll end up buying DS some of that either right after xmas or for his birthday depending on how much 'food' there is in the kitchen. And depending on what dishes it has, I'll probably get him the cooking/tea set(s) from Green Toys
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#22 of 30 Old 12-19-2009, 05:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamadelbosque View Post
We don't have any food yet as my DS1's getting a play kitchen from my mom for xmas. She's told me she as a little food in it along w/ a few dishes, so I'm waiting tillt hen to see exactly what it has. I was looking on amazon this morning though and really like the stuff by Plan Toys - not quite as expensie as Haba, but still not made in China. And they have the stuff that you can "cut" which is cool. I think we'll end up buying DS some of that either right after xmas or for his birthday depending on how much 'food' there is in the kitchen. And depending on what dishes it has, I'll probably get him the cooking/tea set(s) from Green Toys
I have the Green Toys tea set for DD, and we both love it! It's a really nice thick good quality plastic!

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#23 of 30 Old 12-20-2009, 10:42 PM
 
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nak

our felt is always gunked up with hair or dust, even though we have a relatively clean house

the kids get frustrated with wood and cheap plastic because it slides off of plates, trays, etc.

the more expensive, rubbery plastic food is the favorite here

they also like the velcro fruits and veggies that come apart (orange can be "sliced" and leaves can be removed from cauliflower) even though they are the hard, slippery plastic

the *very* favorites are real foods we planned to throw out, like bread crusts, the last handful of pasta from the box, and 20 year old jars of spices that have lost their potency

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#24 of 30 Old 12-21-2009, 10:28 AM
 
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One of our dogs eats the felt food, both wool and acrylic. It's wood or plastic from here on.

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#25 of 30 Old 12-21-2009, 02:19 PM
 
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I never tried felt (pet hair here), but retired all our wood food due to paint chipping after a couple years. The plastic looked more real, has lasted pretty well, and been easy to clean. Plus if a toddler tosses it no one gets hurt.

We did have to freecycle all the junk food that came in the pack at the beginning so they were not playing with food we do not want them to eat

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#26 of 30 Old 01-03-2011, 11:58 AM
 
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Great thread. I think I will give the wood food a try. Thanks.!

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#27 of 30 Old 01-03-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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DD got a toy kitchen for Christmas, and has a couple pieces of plastic food, and a melissa and doug set of wooden cutting food. the wooden stuff got taken away because a few of the pieces can fit in her mouth and I wasn't comfortable with her chewing on it because I felt like she was going to start chipping the paint off. she'll get it back when she's ready to not chew on it. she hasn't been trying to chew on the plastic stuff yet. 


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#28 of 30 Old 01-03-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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I made some tightly crocheted food (such that filling can never poke out) using organic cotton (cotton does not release much fiber) from this book: http://www.amazon.com/Tasty-Crochet-Pantry-Patterns-Treats/dp/1600613128/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294102583&sr=8-1. Easy to wash in the washing machine also.

My now 5 year old still likes to play with it, it looks real enough.

 

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#29 of 30 Old 01-04-2011, 10:01 AM
 
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Regarding painted wood chipping. I have sort of stopped buying Melissa and Doug for that reason. I think A Toy Garden sells a set of cut-able wood fruit that is stained not painted. i think we''ll go that way when adding the wood fruit. I find making the felt fruit really easy. And you can buy simple patterns on etsy. I did just order some waffles from an esty seller, as I think that looked too complicated and time consuming for me!!

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#30 of 30 Old 01-05-2011, 04:09 PM
 
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We do wood.  My 2 yo son isn't really interested in the felt stuff, and I prefer wood to plastic.  He seems to only like toys that are very realistic (ie prefers the plastic Schleich animals to the expensive wooden ones).  We have a lot of the plan toys food, and it does not chip.

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