For over a year now (yes, even before we left Holland), I've been trying to find the perfect kitchen set for the girls. I do not like plastic toy sets, so those are out. My aesthetics demand it be beautiful, simple, and (ideally) wood. My sense demands it not be overly pricey. I have found several online that seem to fit the bill, but of course none of those are available in Australia (or Holland, when we were there). Although I hadn't given up completely on a wood set, I've looked into making our own from reinforced cardboard, even finding some awesome plans on etsy for just that. And then yesterday, I found this on the side of the road (pictured post-repair and installation into cubby house):
It is clearly homemade with love out of MDF and bits from an old stove. It is really well-put-together, and the only thing wrong with it (a bit of rust on the metal bits) was easily remedied with a good scrubbing of a metal brush and a few coats of rust-inhibiting paint. Markus took care of that today, and so for $14 and some elbow grease, we have the perfect kitchen in the cubby house. There are lots of sturdy food containers I've saved from our family groceries over the year. Thanks to IKEA Children's Department, the play kitchen is now fully fitted out with pots, pans, a strainer, and kitchen utensils. There is even a set of plates, cups and utensils in waiting (I had purchased all of those a while ago in hopes of having a kitchen in time for Ellie's birthday, still a few weeks away).
Ellie is over the moon! Baby Stephanie might be...if Ellie would let her anywhere near the play stove. It's hard to share when something is so fun, but we're working on it.
Thank you to whomever put this old play stove by the roadside. You've made two girls (and their fussy mama) very happy!