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Happy Friday: Pretend Grocery Store Food

6:48 PM MST
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Sent from reader, Diana:

You may have seen this before, but I thought I’d share just in case. A couple years ago we got our kids a lemonade stand/grocery store stand on clearance. Rather than buy mini fake food boxes at a toy store, I use plastic grocery bags (because I never remember my reusable ones) to stuff empty real food boxes when we’re done with them. The kids love shopping for the foods they actually eat. And it saves us money and “recycles” both boxes and grocery bags at the same time.


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  • Pamela says:

    Great reminder! Thanks!

  • donnainohio says:

    Cool idea!

  • mary g. says:

    that’s a great idea! we bought a bunch of the fake food boxes when the girls got their play kitchen. they play with it so much that the boxes are falling apart. i am going to use your idea to re-stock their pantry – they’ll be soooo stoked!

  • Kim says:

    I did this also. I have an empty case of paper box filled with food that we’d eaten. My daughter loves “buying” the real things!

  • Holly Marie says:

    That is so cute!

  • Laura says:

    Did this all the time for my kiddos. So fun!

  • stephanie says:

    Aw thats cute!

  • Carissa says:

    I would just caution that supervision is a must. All it takes is one kid’s idea of a fun way to use one of those bags to turn tragic and deadly.

  • Julie says:

    My mom used to do this with us and my boys are getting a kitchen/grill for Christmas so I’m going to do it for them!)

  • Kelly says:

    I love that she cut the box tops for education off! Awesome!

  • Viviana says:

    A great idea! But I think I would rather fill them with old newspaper, wrapping paper, tissue paper etc. I would worry to much about my little ones playing with plastic bags and getting them on their faces.

  • Ashley says:

    Threw me off, at a quick glance that looked like an actual loaf of bread! The Children’s Museum in my area does this. They use a lot of tape to seal everything off…I suppose it’s because there are a lot of 1 year old running around that probably shouldn’t have access to plastic bags.

    I love this idea, thanks for sharing!

  • tracy says:

    its a cute idea,but where would it be kept?the ones you buy from the store are the size for the kitchen and fit,these just seem really big to just have lying around

  • Queen Mum says:

    Great idea!! My preschool did this many years ago. As a small child I remember thinking it was so fun to play with real food packages/containers. Bravo Mom :)

  • Lynne says:

    I do this for my daughter. She loves to have all the same food in her ‘kitchen’ as mommy does. I use all the free sample size boxes of things I have gotten….cereal, band-aids, cheez its, etc. If they get ruined or little brother gets ahold of them its no big deal.

  • Ashley57 says:

    So cute! Thanks for sharing.

  • Sheila says:

    Here is another idea along the same lines. When I was a kid I would cut out pictures of food from the sale fliers and cover them with scraps of clear contact paper. Voila, I had play food for my Barbies. I would even cut out pictures of things like clocks, pictures, etc to hang on their walls.

  • julie says:

    Great idea. I use my plastic bags to pad boxes for items I sell on Ebay.

  • Susie says:

    First thing I noticed was the Education Box Top was cut out! Reminder: if you you no longer have kids in school…you can find a local school that would LOVE to get your box tops!!

  • Cari says:

    Great idea for the boxes…But the plastic bag????? No way is that safe… Sad people don’t realize these thinga…

    • Lynn says:

      Some people are right there playing with their kids…I’m sure her kids aren’t infants. Please stop being so judgmental of others – my parents did the same for me and I loved it.

      • grace says:

        Well put, Lynn. Her kids are probably older so the plastic bags are not an issue. I think it is a good idea and a nice post and I hate to see people turn things negative. A simple, “Please remember that plastic bags are unsafe for young children” could have served the purpose without being rude and condescending.

      • carri says:

        Wasn’t being judgmental at all, I said it was sad. If u are trying to say I wouldn’t be there playing with my kids you are very mistaken. But I was just saying plastic bags are unsafe around children. Doesn’t matter if her children are infants or not, toddlers and preschoolers could get those packages open and get the bags out. That’s all I was thinking, before u want to say someone is judgemental maybe u shouldn’t be judgemental yourself… Insinuating other prople are not right there playing with their kids… And I did say I thought the boxes were a great idea.

  • Jen says:

    Cari’s last sentence does sound a little judgemental, but I think it’s a good reminder. Young children definitely should not have access to plastic bags.

  • dayna says:

    awesome idea.. thanks alot!!

  • Emery says:

    Those who are concerned about the bags… Use newspaper! Great idea, Diana! I wish my kiddos were still little! :(

  • Cee says:

    Back in the 70’s when I was a young girl I put together a play apartment with old furniture and the like up in my attic and I also did the same thing with empty food containers. I had forgotten about that until I read this. I am sure the youngsters will have great fun, it seems more realistic than the plastic store bought sets.
    As for those who point out that it is being too critical of others who mention that it is sad how people do not realize the dangers of plastic and very young children who simply are stating a true fact and reminder to others are not the ones being too critical, the ones who point it out are the ones being too judgmental!

  • Monica says:

    Great idea! I’ve spent too much money on the Melissa and Doug wooden toys when I could do this. Will be doing this for now on.

  • Dana says:

    I don’t know where my last comment went, but I would like to also state that we must be mindful about bags etc. around our pets. Not being judgmental, just speaking from personal experience. Our dog suffocated herself in a potato chip bag.

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