He really enjoyed filling up his cart with various small items he found around the house and ringing them up at the cash register. The only problem was, we didn't have any play food!
Well, we had a few wooden eggs, a corn shaped teether, and an apple rattle and pumpkin I made from felt...but that was it. When he pulled a flashlight out of his cart one day and told me to eat it, I figured it was time to stock his play store with some food. I had a lot of time to kill just sitting around after Christmas and ended up on a felt food making kick. Once you start it's hard to stop!
There are so many different foods you can make out of felt, but I decided to start with some of Abe's favorite fruits and vegetables. And don't worry, I traced all my pieces as I cut them out so I'll be able to make patterns later on, but with a baby due in the next few weeks, I figured I'd just post pictures of what I've made so far and share links to the patterns I used that weren't created by me.
I started with blueberries since my boy loves blueberries! They're kind of big (see the one in the shopping cart photo above), but I didn't want to make them too small. Six of them basically fill up a pint sized blueberry container.
Obviously, I wanted a way to keep the small things (like berries and peas) together, so I also made some produce bags inspired by these ones I use in real life. I had a tall wine bottle gift bag (made from some kind of mesh fabric) that I just chopped in half. Then I tore out a few stitches to add the little ribbon tags, and folded over the tops to sew a channel to run the string through. I think they're super cute, but Abe prefers dumping out whatever is in them to actually filling them with fruits and veggies!
I followed this pattern/tutorial for the strawberries, although I left off the stem on top and used brown thread for the seeds instead of yellow. The strawberries turned out smaller than I expected, so if you want larger fruits, that don't fit so well in little mouths, I'd start with a 4 or 5 inch circle instead of the 3 inch one in the pattern.
Abe really liked the peas for some reason. Maybe it's just because he's been eating a lot of pea pods lately.
The grapes were really fun, and surprisingly easy, to make. I think they're my favorite of the bunch!
We love corn on the cob, so of course I had to make some. It's less detailed than some of the felt corn I've seen (my kernels are just lines of stitching), but I made a removable husk! The pumpkin in the background is Abe's jack-o-lantern from few years back. You can find the pattern for that here.
We love watermelon at our house. Abe asks for it every time we read one of his Curious George books where they have watermelon at a picnic.
The carrot was really easy! It would be fun to make a bunch of carrots, beets, and radishes, and a little garden to plant them in. Maybe I'll get around to that this spring...
Almost every night at bedtime Abe asks me to sing Winnie the Pooh and Curious George. The Curious George song is a song that I vaguely remember from childhood, so most of the lyrics we sing are just ones I've made up. The song basically changes every night, but Abe never lets me leave out the line "he likes to eat bananas." My little monkey likes to eat bananas too!
I made the apple when Abe was a baby. It has a rattle in it like the Fisher Price Happy Apple from my childhood, but I decided against adding a face. Probably a good thing because now it fits in perfectly with the rest of the produce in his store!
I've been eating a lot of grapefruit lately, and even though Abe rarely eats it, I figured it would be a nice addition to his collection. I was working on it at Noah's parents' house and one of Abe's cousins asked me what I was making. Abe saw her checking it out and told her, "It's for my grocery store!"
So that's our collection of felt food so far. I'll probably make more when I find some spare time. It really is fun to watch Abe play with his little grocery store. I gave him a few kraft paper gift bags I had lying around and he fills up his cart, then rings up each piece of food at his cash register, and packs them in a grocery bag. Then he brings his bag over to me saying, "Mama, look what I got for you!" and unpacks each item for me to eat. Mmm...delicious.