I've started a previous thread to try to figure out which kitchen set to buy my DD 4. I really think the accessories are just as important as the set, but I am torn between buying wood or felt food !!!!
I see some nice Plan and Haba stuff..and wouldn't mind paying a little extra if it is worth it.
But also hear a lot about felt food. I have seen even Ikea is carrying felt food now and have heard it's pretty darn cute.
Do your kids prefer one over the other? Is one a little more "realistic" to them, or does it not really matter to them ?
Any info is appreciated ???
p.s. Melissa and Doug ? is their wooden food any good ???? seems a lot cheaper than the Plan or Haba?
we do plastic
the felt did not hold up
M&D stuff chips
and plastic can get washed (another way we play) real looking and cheaper and if you are not dealing with a tiny child that is putting it there mouth and besides those that do put it in there mouths, felt does not wash well and wood doesn't either
selection wise we found more plastic items that were more useful (EX we have plastic sea-food that gets used a lot)- all came used (recycled so to say) YS, flea markets, craigs's list-etc
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We have both Haba and Plan food. We also have a felt banana and pancakes. I HATE the felt food. I swear it attracts EVERY stray piece of cat hair and fuzz in the house! I want to get dd a few M&D wooden food items for pretend baking. She seems to play with the wooden fruits and veggies the most, even pretending that the lemons are cakes, etc. The wooden items we have are holding up fairly well even with frequent falls down the basement steps
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We had a set of wooden sushi that was a lot of fun. I'm sorry, I can't recall the brand. We also had a set of wooden fruit. They still looked great when we passed them along to another family after years of play. DD made some felt food herself.
As part of a gift, I'd probably get the wooden items, and then help the kids craft some felt items themselves.
We mostly have wooden food and like it alot. I think all of ours is melissa and doug. We have a few felt pieces that are also a hit, especially the felt eggs which we put inside plastic easter eggs to be cracked for cooking.
Ours is a mix of plastic and wooden. The plastic we have is by Learning Resources. It is the stuff you find for play at childrens museums, so it really holds up. We have some plan stuff, and the M&D cutting set. I will say that the plastic stuff hurts a heck of a lot less if it gets thrown by a toddler. The felt food is adorable, but I know it would pick up every single dog hair. I've seen some cute knitted food lately, maybe that would be better?
The wooden cutting set by Plan Toys gets lots of play, as does a plastic set of groceries with cutting veggies my parents got us and a Betty Crocker play set with muffins. The only M&D thing we had (a wok set with a few cutting veggies and stuff) chipped pretty easily. Our HABA and Plan Toys stuff still looks new. We have some knitted things, but they are never played with.
We also have the Learning Resources Ice Cream set, which is loved.
We have mostly plan foods with a few Haba and my kid loves them. One of the best things we have is the little canvas bag that Haba sells because it makes it easy to clean up all the food (even for my 17mo old). Plus all the food fits into the bag.
What he loves the most about the wooden food is the huge clatter it makes when he dumps it all out onto the kitchen floor.
Plastic then wood. DS had tons of Melissa and Doug stuff and it was great. He loved it but the plastic was easier to clean up.
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We have mostly felt Haba food with some wood and plastic as well. I agree some of the felt stuff has gotten dog-hairy (mainly the little fries from the adorable hamburger and fries set) but we have a short haired dachshund so not a ton of hair and it hsn't been that bad overall and I think the felt is the cutest. DD has the Haba felt pizza with all the little topings, rearranging that is a huge hit, she also has the bread (velour, adorable!), cheese and cold cuts as well as bowtie pasta and she likes to make sandwiches and a melange of all the stuff (incl the gross fries) in a pot and her friends always gravitate to it. But we also have the wooden stew (super cute) and sausages, which are also very cute and very loved. I like how the Haba felt stuff has magnets to hold things together, like the little burger stays together (2 patties, lettuce, tomato) with magnets. Can you tell I love the Haba felt food? I'm getting DD the black forest cake for xmas, I think that will jazz up her tea parties! The older she gets the better the stuff is cared for, too, so that could make a difference, she's had the fries since she was 1 so they've had lots of time to get grubby...
2 cats, a dog and a long-haired Mama here. No way I'd bring felt food into my house, especially no that my 8 month old has discovered the play kitchen!
These were the first felt food that DD made herself. We had eggs that "cracked" open. One day, she took some white felt and cut it into an amoeba-shaped, irregular round, cut an oval out of some yellow felt and stuck it on the white with some glue. The next time I cracked open an egg while we were playing, I got a little surprise. She was laughing and so excited to "get me".
I guess we are the exception. We have two long-haired kitties and our felt food is just fine. (Sometimes I use the lint roller on it.) We don't have a ton of pieces: a soft serve ice cream set, some pancakes, a sandwich, and an ikea set. The Ikea sets are machine washable, which is awesome! My DD prefers the felt to the wooden ones we have, which are Plan Toy. You can get decent deals on the Plan stuff at Amazon if you put it on your wish list and check regularly for the price to drop. You ca usually save 20-30%. If you have an Ikea nearby, I would absolutely pick up a couple of their felt sets since they are so inexpensive...And their dishes are great as well.
Saw this thread yesterday and wanted to post that there are Melissa and Doug food sets 50% off on amazon today :). We have felt, wood, crocheted, and food made from some other cloth material(?). We love it all. We have cats and hair isn't a big bother on the felt for whatever reason. I am most fond of the wooden food. I love the cutting sets and magnetic sets, too fun! Dd who is almost 3 plays with it all.
we like felt and plastic here. they seem the most realistic and the wood food is just too hard (i have a thrower), we do have the m&d sushi set but it is all chipped up. yuck.
i also just bought they ikea foods and they seem pretty cute! my absolute favorite is the haba biofino line though. the food is so fun!!
I prefer the plan toys food. Their cutting wooden food is terrific. They now have wooden fruit and meat too. We love the breakfast set. Nice quality and detail, not horrible priced, good design. Favorites in our house. Some of the haba food is good and some is not. The little cakes and cookiess are awesome. Some of the other biofino stuff is not nice at all like the sandwich. (And the biofino line of cloth is made in China). The wooden haba is nice by tiny. Our etsy felt food gets the least play with the exception of the chicken with velcro parts. I don't know why.
We have M&D as well but I don't like it. Clumsy compared to the PT and the paint chips and it looks shabby. That being said, the pizza set was a huge hit for a long time at age 2. Also, 50% lots of it today on amazon.
The Ikea stuff is not actually felt... it's sewn from some other fabric that is easier to clean and doesn't attract hair and dust like felt. We have a few of their sets and they get a lot of play, and hold up very well.
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We have both wooden and felt and definitely prefer the wooden. Like others said, the felt is harder to clean. My kids just seems to like the wooden more too. I am not a Melissa and Doug fan. Their stuff just does not seem that well made to me. We have a fair amount of the Plan Toys wooden food and it has held up great over the years. The kids love the cutting food the most. Haba stuff is nice too. Either one would be my choice. I just tend to find better deals on the Plan Toys.
We have lots of haba and plan toys play food which are all great. There is also some felt items I made myself which the kids like a lot. We don't have pets and keep our house very clean so the felt doesn't get dirty but I could see how it might with pet hair around. I made the felt food myself, you can get a couple pieces out of one 39¢ sheet of felt and a penny's worth of thread so even if they don't last too long it's not a big investment. I made all flat foods; pancakes, cheese slices, kiwi slices, leaves for a salad, big lettuce leaf for sandwiches, butter pats, fried eggs, big tan circles that work as pizza crust or tortillas, pink rounds for meat slices, and one steak which came out great made from red and white felt. We also have a knit artichoke and lobster (who is mostly a sea creature rather than a meal) from Palumba.