Play Coffee Shop

Milk and Sugar

This was a spur of the moment activity that turned out so well that we played again after daddy got home. You don’t have to have props like we made today but I find it helps support younger children and keeps the activity going. Pretend play offers young children a chance to practice skills within their own frame work and rules , so let them set the boundaries, make suggestions if they need it but follow them, not the other way around.

  1. Gather your materials. Grab whatever you have that you think might work for a coffee shop. We grabbed some cups, an apron, play coins, and some foam to be made into coffee. We also used a magna doodle for a menu board and our play kitchen.
  2. To make the foam coffee I just cut up some brown foam sheets into small squares, you could also do this with paper . If your child is one who still puts everything in their mouths I would used something edible like cheerios, the foam and even paper could pose a chocking hazard so be careful.
  3. Set up your coffee shop – first up a menu. I asked my son what was on the menu and how much each cost. Careful our cupcakes will break your bank.
  4. Get your aprons on and start playing – first up, was my tall rice milk cappuccino !
  5. Just keep it going by really being into it with them, you will both have a blast!

Additional Activity !

Click on the picture below to see what we did
with coffee grinds a few weeks ago !

Paper Bag Monster Craft !

I could not have asked for an activity to go better! He loved making this fun and easy monster and has played with it a bunch already. For craft like this that are going to be played with I try to make them before nap so that the drying time is less painful for the ever so patient two year old.

  1. Gather your materials . You will need a paper lunch bag, some paint, some scrap construction paper, 2 large googly eyes, glue,tape,scissors and newspaper.
  2. Start by handing your child the paper bag, with the flap side down ( that will be the back) and have them paint it.
  3. While they do that, cut out a fun mouth, some big eyes and some silly hair. Older kids can do this themselves!
  4. Glue the eyes on
  5. Glue the googly eyes on top
  6. Glue the mouth and hair on!
  7. Set the bag aside , rip the newspaper into strips and hand them to your child to crumple.
  8. When the bag is dry enough stuff the crumpled paper in!
  9. Fold and tape the bottom. I like to use tape because it’s flexible .
  10. Read your Monster !


“The Very Worst Monster” by Pat Hutchins will give you and your child a good laugh. Hazel is a horrible monster but all her family is so busy oohing and awing about how horrid her baby brother is no one notices her. This is a cute story about siblings but these siblings are competing to be the very worst monster! My son thought the monster’s antics were hilarious and I thought the sentiment about siblings was sweet. Cute book!

“Twelve Terrible Things” by Marty Kelley is horrifying to me, yet my son loves this book. He must have slipped it in our library bag because I have no recollection of choosing this book, and I didn’t pre read it when we got home. By then it was too late, my son was hooked on the dark humor this book delivers. The book offers up 12 terrible things, like a scary clown, a goldfish on it’s way down the toilet and monsters under the bed . The illustrations are all from the reader’s view point so the scary things are looking right at you! I am easily scared , I can’t watch horror film trailers without getting nightmares. I screamed twice reading this , my son just wanted “more more!” . I really don’t recommend this book for young kids although some older ones who like scary things will love it.

“My Monster Mama Loves Me So” by Laura Leuck is more my kind of monster book for kids. Imaginative illustrations by Mark Buehner kept my little man pointing out spiders, bats and owls and he loved counting the extra eyes and arms on the monsters. The story is really sweet too. It’s all the things a mama monster does throughout the day with her little monster. It’s a sweet message about how love can be an action as well as a feeling!

Earth Friendly Sensory Tub

earth day crafts for kids

I have used a lot of things in sensory tables and tubs before but I had never used coffee grinds until today. To say it was a big hit is a big understatement. At first he did the standard scooping but soon our patio turned a coffee shop , and sensory play turned into dramatic play! Also the grinds are great for your garden so don’t forget to add them to your dirt after you are done.

  1. Gather your materials. I saved up 3 days worth of used coffee grinds from my trusty and much used coffee maker. You will also need a tub, some coffee scoops ( any thing will do) and some mugs. I believe the cups were the trick to connect the coffee grinds to the dramatic play that came about 10 minutes into the exploration. I am so glad I grabbed them.
  2. Explore! There is no wrong way to do this. My son did a lot of filling and dumping to start with.
  3. Explore how the grinds feel , my son exclaimed ” cold and softy Mama!”
  4. Next we played coffee shop, this was completely directed by my son, and here he is handing me my “banana coffee” not my usual soy cappuccino, but I happily took it!
  5. After our exploration we fed our garden with the coffee grinds.


Giddy Up !

Cowboy Sheriff’s
Vest !

Who wants to be the bad guy? You’ll need someone to do something naughty so your little Sheriff can rope ‘em in and lock ‘em up ! My son loves Woody, he goes everywhere with us so it was only a matter of time before he’d show up here too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a brown grocery store bag, some markers or paint, scissors, some yellow paint or glitter, and tape.
  2. Start by cutting your arm holes and the bag so it lays flat – now this won’t make the perfect vest , a better one is done by not cutting off the top and making a semi circle at the neck and arm holes, however it’s hard for toddlers to paint, and if you want the store logos on the inside you’ll have to cut it like this.
  3. Have your child color or paint their vest.
  4. While they are coloring , trace or draw a star
  5. When they are done hand them the star and have them paint or glitter it in yellow or gold.
  6. Trim the ends of the vest so it makes a neck.
  7. Cut out the star and glue on the right side. Let dry.
  8. Try on and make adjustments, we needed bigger arm holes and we took in the back.
  9. To take in the back simply fold the extra paper in on itself and tape.
  10. Pop it on and go find those naughty guys!

” Cowboy Slim “ by Julie Danneberg is a touching story about a cowboy who just doesn’t fit in. He writes poetry and is proud of it at first until someone calls it sissy. Then he fails and fails and fails again at all the things that “real cowboys” can do. When the herd is in danger though Slim saves the day with his rhymes! This book was too long for my son at 2 to enjoy but 4-5 year olds would be perfect for this length of book as well as the message about putting other people’s interests down and why it’s okay to be different even if others don’t get it.

“Cowboy Small”
by Lois Lenski is a cute cowboy book for the younger set. We have the board book edition and it’s been loved for a long time at our house. The text is simple, the drawings are charming and the book covers all the basics of what a cowboys does day and night.

I’m Fried !

Felt Fried Egg !

This is really nothing more than a “hmmm what could we make with that?” sort of craft. We were eating a ton of applesauce and had lots of these containers laying around , so I did a little brainstorming and voila a new item for our play kitchen.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some paint, white felt, glue , a cleaned out single serving container and scissors.
  2. Start by squirting some paint in the container, we used red and yellow to make orange. For a fast craft like this I try to add in a color mixing lesson . My son has always loved this, if your child isn’t into it don’t push.
  3. Put the container aside to dry. Make sure it’s not too full with paint. I had to scoop some out and we did some finger painting after with it.
  4. While that is drying – draw an outline ( although if you are good with scissors just wing it) of a fried egg.
  5. Cut out.
  6. When the painted cup is dry, add glue around the edges
  7. Press down on the felt, let dry.
  8. Get cookin’


This song was a favorite of mine in Brownies, don’t know why but kids love it!

Fried Ham

Fried Ham, Fried Ham,
Cheese and Bologna
And after the macaroni
We’ll have fun with,
Pickles and pretzels,
and then we’ll have some more fried ham,
Fried ham , fried ham , fried ham!