Free toys + imagination = 1 happy boy

A few weeks ago I scored an awesome play kitchen for Jack on freecycle.  If you don't already use freecycle - you need to!  It's kind of like craigslist, but everything is 100% free.  You can send out emails saying you're looking for something, or have something to get rid of.  I've scored nearly new toddler rain boots ($20 at Target), an almost new pair of snowpants that Jack can use in 1-2 years, and now Jack's play kitchen!

J bone has LOVED to help me cook for months.  It usually takes about 5 times as long to make the food, and 10 times as long to clean it up, but it's worth every second because it makes him so happy.  I wanted to foster his love of cooking and encourage creativity, but there were two issues:

1) we don't have extra money for a play kitchen
2) we don't have extra money for a play kitchen

Er...I guess that is just 1 issue.

Anyhoo, I posted on freecycle that we were looking for a play kitchen.  Withing 24 hours, someone responded that they had a wooden one that had been "rode hard and well loved, but it should clean up well".  On MLK day, Jack and I drove out to the BFE portion of our county and picked it up.  The little girl who had outgrown it came running out of her house with a huge bag of plastic food and said "he can have these too".  SCORE!  Freecycle isn't about bartering, but I did give them a fresh and still warm from the oven loaf of my bread as a thank you.

It stayed in Troy's truck for a few weeks, but finally this weekend we brought it upstairs after Jack went to bed and cleaned it up.  "We" is a relative term because I made Troy do it all.  We threw the plastic food in the dishwasher on sanitize.  Troy covered the kitchen with a blanket, and we waited for Jack to wake up the next morning.

The kitchen was A HIT!  And who cares that it's pink!

We've run in to a new way of teaching Jack about what constitutes "real food".  I'm doing my best to make clear to him that an onion, banana, egg, and a corn cob are not the core ingredients of a successful birthday cake.  You have to give the boy credit for creativity though!  And hey, the dinosaurs LOVED it.