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Market Tips & Ideas

Show me the (play) money and I’ll show you a marketplace. This one admittedly took me much longer to set up, but the kids are obsessed and it looks so good in the corner of our play room.  I may have to cheat on Trader Joe’s…

STUFF YOU MAY NEED: 

HELPFUL TIPS: 

We built the frame using a leftover IKEA bookshelf and really cost-effective PVC piping. The fabric took a minute to hot glue, but I love that you can customize the colors and it doesn’t add any cheezy kid decor to your space.

I got baskets from the dollar store and used little chalkboard labels (I can never get sick of that look, ha).

Aprons are a nice touch. So are paper bags (ours were leftover party favor bags) that you can reuse.

We printed out receipts and laminated them so the kids could write with dry erase markers and “take orders”.

I made a door for the store using leftover fabric and 2 sticky hooks.  This was key, because kids love having their own space and separations.

OK, so what can your kid learn? The responsibility of maintaining a store, arranging the shelves, and just keeping everything really neat. I even delivered a shipment and she had to re-stock the store, which is great for sorting skills. Ford was the chef and learned a lot about customer service. This play is obviously really great for early math skills and learning how pricing works. (My kids really have to work on their negotiation).  Last but not least, it’s never too early to learn to shop. I mean really. 



Elle Walker is a co-founder at What's Up Moms and the mom to three kids (7, 4, 2). In her spare time, she loves testing out kids activities (often muttering, "Pinterest, you lie"), to find the best play that minimize set-up, reduce costs, and uses stuff up around the house.