When our oldest child was 2 years old, I designed a wooden play kitchen. My husband and I built it and the kids loved it. Unfortunately, it did take up quite a bit of space, and we eventually sold it. Lately I have been thinking about it, as my younger two children are growing. Our space is even more limited now that we have four children, though.
When I saw the kitchen playmat tutorial at Balancing Everything, I knew I wanted to make one. I didn’t have enough felt to make one, so I just substituted fabrics I already had on hand. I also seemed to have forgotten that there were actual PDF patterns available for download by the time I sat down to make it. My trusty scissors and I just cut into the fabric. I did use my first set as a pattern to make two more for some little nephews and nieces, as the kitchen playmat seemed to go quite nicely with the play food I already had made for them.
There are ribbon ties on one side. When my children are finished, they can roll it up and stick it in the bin of handmade playfood. Fantastic! I toyed with the idea of making placemats with plates, silverware, a napkin, and place for a glass on them. I decided it might be overkill, until my six year old came downstairs and suggested the same thing. Sometimes she is eerily like me.