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If your toddler loves playing with toy food and kitchen sets, here’s a fun way to extend the play!

I went through old magazines and clipped out images of food, then glued them onto small paper plates. You can either attach one food item per plate, or make little “meals”.

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Now I set Veronika up with her own “restaurant”. I mimicked how to be a server, bringing over a plate. “Here is your soup and sandwich,” I could say. Or, I flipped the game on its head and said, “I’d like the pasta please,” to see if she could bring me the right plate.

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Of course she wanted to combine these plates with her food toys, which meant the game could extend into solo play.

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The plates are also great vocab builders, because there might be foods that your toddler has never seen before.

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Incidentally, if your child is having a difficult time vocalizing their wants, these images would be a great way to ease frustration at meal time. Cut out images of foods you actually cook or keep in the pantry, and ask your child to point to the one they want!