Why buy play food for your kids' imaginative, kitchen playtime when you can just make DIY play food right at home?! This pretend mac and cheese could not be any easier.
DIY Play Food
Playing "restaurant" and "chef" never gets old in our house! Because it's one of our favorite activities, we have all kinds of pretend foods. For example, we have ice cream cones, pizzas, salad ingredients...the list goes on and on.
While making both our Shell Mac and Cheese with Ham and Broccoli Recipe and Tasty Vegan Mac and Cheese for the Family recipes, we realized that we don't have any mac and cheese play food at home. Since mac and cheese is my kids' favorite food, we decided to make our own DIY play food mac and cheese! We had some extra uncooked shell pasta and therefore, decided to color it and glue it to a paper plate. It was really that simple!
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Play food for the win!
I just love crafts that my kids can actually enjoy and play with for days! After our mac and cheese play food dried, we immediately starting playing 'restaurant.' My daughter felt proud to have made this special dish herself. As a result, she played even longer! It was also surprisingly easy to color the pasta; so, I anticipate using food coloring to make our DIY play food a lot more.
Other Fun, DIY Play Food Ideas
There are so many play food ideas out there. We can't help but love, for instance, our kids' favorites from our site:
Learn About Shell Pasta
While making this DIY play food, you and your kids might want to take a moment to learn some fun facts about this meal's featured ingredient: Shell Pasta.
Shell pasta is also referred to as conchiglie because its shape resembles a conch shell. It comes in three sizes: small (conchigliette), medium (conchiglie) and large (conchiglioni). Large shells are often stuffed and baked. Because pasta is a good source of carbohydrates, it gives our body energy.
Ingredient: Shell Pasta
Skills supported: Fine motor, (pouring, mixing and gluing), math (counting, measuring), following instructions
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✂ supplies ✂
- baking sheet
- parchment paper
- small bowl
- white vinegar
- yellow or orange food coloring
- 1 cup (or less) uncooked medium shells
- Ziploc sandwich bag
- paper plate or bowl
📝 instructions 📝
Consider setting up this DIY play food craft before cooking so that your kids can get to work right away.
2. Then, place uncooked shells into a Ziploc sandwich bag. Pour vinegar-color mixture into bag and seal bag shut. Shake bag of pasta vigorously until shells are evenly colored, but make sure that bag is sealed! Pour colored noodles onto parchment paper. Allow noodles to dry for 3-5 minutes.
3. Next, place droplets of glue onto paper plate. Glue the noodles one-by-one onto the plate. To make this more challenging, have kids count their pasta and make enough droplets of glue to match their number of pasta pieces.
4. Finally, allow glue to dry and then start playing!
Your kids can have endless sessions of 'kitchen' and 'restaurant' with this easy, DIY play food pasta! But don't forget...you can't really eat it! Haha
*For toddlers especially, these tasks may require adult supervision and/or assistance.