Tales From the Nursery

Tales From the Nursery: The Toddler Years

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It’s More Fun to Grocery Shop When It’s Pretend Play

When I was little I used to love following my mom around the grocery store with those little kid-sized shopping carts.  I also remember playing “shopping” and “house” with my own cart and fake food.  My pretend food pieces were shaped like known fruits and veggies but the similarities stopped there.  They weren’t even always colored correctly (do you eat anything that’s hot pink?).

Rissa enjoys pretend play and we definitely like to encourage imaginative play.  She’s still learning how to do it the way I remember, but she’s just barely 2 years old.  Sometimes I feel like I have to show her how to do it “right,” but then I remember there isn’t a right or wrong way for her to play. I mean, if she wants to boil her foam letters on her play kitchen stove and put the toaster in the refrigerator, who am I to stop her?

Sometimes I feel bad because I think pretend play is way more fun than the real thing.  Right now, Rissa thinks it’s fun to pretend to cook, put away dishes, sweep, and grocery shop.  But someday she’ll be an adult and grumble about the prices.  Then eventually she might have a toddler like herself to chase around who destroys the shopping list before she can actually get everything.

Okay, so maybe real adult life isn’t that horrible, but I do think playing house and store is more fun as a kid.  Rissa wants to help at the grocery store but she’s a little too grabby and tends to dart off, so I’m not able to let her be as free as she’d like.  She does make a good helper at home while putting away groceries though!

To make playing more fun, we received a set of Kids’ Reusable Shopping Bag with Fruits & Vegetables from One Step Ahead.  Rissa recognizes the items in this set more readily than some of the other play food she has seen.  They are colored well and look like the food they represent.  The best part is being able to peel the banana and orange and slice up the pineapple and onion.  The plastic pieces use hook and loop (think Velcro) to stick them together and easily come apart.  It adds another level of realistic play that just wasn’t possible with the play food from my childhood!

Rissa definitely loves the bags and will spend time loading and unloading them over and over again.  For some reason she also likes to put her groceries down my shirt.  We are able to use them for learning as she identifies them.

Mmm plastic grapes!

Now if I could just get her to understand that pretend eating doesn’t require them to actually go IN her mouth!


Disclosure: We received a set of these toys to review.  No other compensation was received.

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Comments ( 31 )

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  1. Jessica O November 22, 2012 Reply

    These look like so much fun! When I was little I loved playing store and ringing items up and playing school and “teaching” my friends. I can’t wait til my daughter is a little older to see her do it too!

  2. Janet W. November 22, 2012 Reply

    We have to be so careful with what play food we give my grandson because everything goes in his mouth! I like the sizes of these pieces and I love the variety!

  3. Laura Miller November 22, 2012 Reply

    This would be perfect in my daughters kitchen set! So very cute for lil hands!Krazed79

  4. Carrie Phelps November 23, 2012 Reply

    Such an ageless gift! This would be enjoyed by all my grandchildren ranging in ages of 1, 3 & 5!!

  5. Amanda Alvarado November 23, 2012 Reply

    Good luck getting her to keep pretend food out of her mouth! If you figure it out let me know because my 5 year old still puts it in her mouth! LOL She loves playing with her kitchen and foods and would love to add some more food!

  6. Leann L November 23, 2012 Reply

    This is so cute! We are actually getting our son a play kitchen for Christmas. He loves the kitchen sets at therapy & at school.

  7. Jan November 25, 2012 Reply

    LOL love it… I think my one year old great niece would try to eat it too, haha Everything goes in their mouths lol I still like the set tho, thanks for the review :)

  8. Darlene Ysaguirre November 25, 2012 Reply

    My daughters are always playing “cooking channel” as they call it and store these are so great

  9. beth c November 25, 2012 Reply

    very cute!! i love the reusable bag!!! my son & i work at a natural food store together so this would be perfect! i love all the fruits & veggies! he would have so much fun with this.. it would go great with the shopping cart grandma got him to keep at the store!! :)

  10. polly November 25, 2012 Reply

    our 4 year old grandson loves to play grocery store with his play food etc. we have fun!

  11. Priscilla Benavides November 25, 2012 Reply

    This is something I would of loved to play with when I was a child, I always loved kitchen pretend play! And yet this would still be perfect for small children of this age!prissybenavides

  12. Dree Getz November 25, 2012 Reply

    You always review toys that my daughter would love. This would be great for her.
    Dree Getz recently posted..New Years Drink Station #Giveaway {Rafflecopter}dreeg

  13. Bekah Kuczenski November 26, 2012 Reply

    This set looks great! My toddler is just getting to the age where she likes to pretend play, so I think she would love this!!MrsKucz

  14. Shannon November 26, 2012 Reply

    I’ve been trying to find some play food that is safe for my son since he still puts stuff in his mouth. Thanks for sharing a set safe enough for the just under 2 age group

  15. Summer Hansen November 28, 2012 Reply

    This is the cutest play food that I have seen hands down! Thanks for sharing!

  16. Lauren O. November 28, 2012 Reply

    The velcro play food has always been my favorite. I think my daughter would have a lot of fun with this set.

  17. Candace November 28, 2012 Reply

    My son loves pretending to cook for us!

  18. JoAnn Gibson November 29, 2012 Reply

    Pretend play is an important way for children to develop a sense of self! It allows them to think and feel and learn while creating a world all their own. Love being able to teach them about fruits and veggies using pretend play!

  19. hollylynn December 1, 2012 Reply

    My son is always playing in our produce. I think it would be awesome if he had his own and can imitate cutting them like mom and dad.

  20. Sherry Compton December 1, 2012 Reply

    My kids always loved setting up a store and pretend shopping. Now, my granddaughter is into pretend food and cooking for us. I know she would love a grocery set and shopping cart. This is a great way to get kids interested in nutrition and helps develop good eating/shopping practices.

  21. Austin Baroudi December 2, 2012 Reply

    This would go great with the kitchen set I got my daughter for Christmas! Thanks for the post.

  22. jenny green December 3, 2012 Reply

    My son always want to help me in the kitchen so i know he would love this set

  23. Deborah December 3, 2012 Reply

    My granddaughter is 20 months old and I know she would love this set!

  24. Roberta December 4, 2012 Reply

    This looks so fun, I think I personally would like to play with this! lol

  25. Jen F December 4, 2012 Reply

    We love pretend play shopping! It is so much fun. Love the tote bags with it.

  26. Gianna December 5, 2012 Reply

    My twins love pretend food.

  27. Stephanie Thompson December 5, 2012 Reply

    My grandsons love to play with pretend food and what they have isn’t nearly as nice looking as the things in this set.

  28. Nikkie Cossairt December 6, 2012 Reply

    Great review! I really like how this teaches them about shopping and have a pretend snack!

  29. Erin Massey December 6, 2012 Reply

    I love the food and love the tote even more – what a cute set!

  30. Karen Propes December 6, 2012 Reply

    I love this, everytime I go to a party I see all the girls playing with toy fruit and veggies if they have it there. It’s amazing how the girls would go to one little cabin house and stock all the houses, running back and forth all together like a small flock of birds. They were so cute.ncjeepster

  31. Elizabeth Parker December 6, 2012 Reply

    My 3 year old got a kitchen set for her birthday, but has no groceries! Something like this would be perfect for it. And she loves to “shop” around our house with items that she does have. :P

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