The Etsy community is filled with talented artists and crafters selling beautiful and unique pretend play toys that help parents preserve the magic of childhood. This post is part of my weekly writing series, "Imagination at Play". Stay tuned for more every Friday night!
Convincing your kids to try new foods is no longer a challenge - at least when it comes to what they're cooking up in their play kitchens - thanks to Etsy seller BeckyM. Take a quick glance at what's on the menu at owner Becky's shop, and you'll find yourself drooling over elegant asparagus, yummy ice cream sandwiches and scrumptious chicken dinners.
Becky crafts every item by hand using wool blend felt, giving her customers a high quality product that children of all ages can enjoy for years to come. The wool she uses is much higher quality than the acrylic felt you'll find in your local craft store - not only is it softer, it's also much more durable - creating a toy that is meant to last.
Where does this felt foodie find inspiration? Becky got her start making felt food during the 2007 toy recalls. She wanted her daughter and niece to be able to play with toys that were unique, handmade and safe. So she turned to a skill that her mother, who was a quilter, had taught her when she was just 10 years old: sewing. Becky's mother passed away when she was just 13, and over the years sewing has been a way for her to honor her mother's memory.
Today, some of Becky's creations come from customer requests, but she revealed to us that many of her ideas pop up at night just before she falls asleep. "I guess I dream in felt food!" All of those dreams have led to some pretty amazing creations - many of which were recently featured in an exhibit in the Chicago Children's Museum.
There's no doubt that Becky loves making people smile through her felt food. "I'm really honored when customers buy food from my shop. It means they love it enough to spend their hard-earned money on it and love it enough that they will let their children play with it," she said. "I really appreciate my customers!"
Please take a few moments to check out Becky's Etsy store, BeckyM. I guarantee you and your children will fall in love with her felt food creations. Every play kitchen should be stocked with some of her healthy goodies and sweet treats. You never know, maybe your little one will want to try the real thing after playing with his felt cauliflower!