My kids love playing restaurant. It started when my oldest was a toddler and we got him his first pretend kitchen and the love has grown with each child. We no longer have the pretend kitchen as we have had to make room for other things as the kids got older, but that hasn’t stopped them from pretending to have a restaurant (and trying to actually have their own restaurant when we make dinner). The one thing that always seemed to be missing from the kitchen play was a “menu” so my kids decided to make their own.
It’s cute to see all of the little drawings on regular paper and to watch how their handwriting has matured over time, but they still weren’t satisfied. So, while picking up a few hardware items at Home Depot the other day, we came across a paint sample leaflet. I usually let the kids pick out 2-3 individual paint samples when we go there as a reward for behaving and they take turns creating all kinds of things out of each new color. But, I don’t let them go crazy with the samples or get booklets and other things that we don’t need, so they were thrilled when I told them they could each take a leaflet this time for their restaurant.
Each book had several folded pages, so the menu could be extensive, and they were more sturdy than the usual paper I let them use so they were thrilled. My son chose a taller leaflet while my daughter opted for a square-shaped one that included more colors. They each created their own menus through writing the items and/or drawing a picture on each square and then my husband and I were able to “order” what we wanted. I love that my daughter matched her food items to the colors so that it “made more sense” while my son specified each page for different types of food (drinks, entrees, desserts, etc.). You can clearly tell how each of their brains works when they make things individually; my daughter with the “fashion styling” train of thought and my son with the more “orderly” mind, very much representative of their individual personalities.
This “craft” was totally free, I didn’t have to help at all other than the initial trip to Home Depot and offering up an occasional food suggestion when called upon, and the kids LOVED making and playing with their new menus. Don’t you just love it when these sorts of projects just fall right into your lap?! 🙂