Play Kitchen Conversion

Kids’ Kitchen RemodelIKEA play kitchen for kids transformed into garden center potting bench for kids

  • What: Play Kitchen Conversion
  • When: Six years and up
  • Why: Get more use out of their play kitchen
  • Where: At home

Have your kids moved on from their play kitchen? Not quite sure what to do with their old play kitchen, which sits unloved in a corner now that they’ve lost interest? If you want to breathe new life into this old standby, try converting it into something new. Overnight, it can go from kitchen to garden center.

IKEA play kitchen mess with pretend food dishes and more piled precariously
Here’s what our play kitchen looked like before we converted it.

When I got sick of staring at the constant mess of my kids’ play food, cookware, and more, I finally did something proactive. For my son’s recent birthday, we converted our IKEA play kitchen into a garden center where he can tend his plants with love.

IKEA play kitchen after transforming it into garden center potting bench for older kids
And here’s how it looked after we cleaned it up and turned it into a garden center, complete with gifts.

I started by emptying the entire thing from top to bottom into a plastic storage bin. From there, you can easily store, donate, or sell the items as desired. Once the kitchen was a blank slate, we repurposed all the parts for our new garden theme. We gifted him his own bag of garden soil, along with some pots and water trays to spruce it up. Then we relocated his gardening tools so everything he needed to plant seeds, pot plants, and dig was easily accessible.

IKEA play kitchen with plants, tool. and water for kids' garden center
My son added water to the sink, and planted some seeds in a tub on top of his new garden center.

My son took to this surprise idea very well, though some kids might want to participate in the transformation. He filled the play sink with water for his plants and rinsing tools, then hung some towels on the rod to dry them. The hooks also work well for any garden tools that can hang, and to keep a small brush and dustpan for easy clean up of any spills. The lower cabinets hold a bag of soil, empty pots, and tools with ease. The surface and upper shelves work great for plants, as the open back style allows lots of natural light inside.

IKEA play kitchen lower cabinets containing gardening plant and potting supplies
The lower cabinets work great for storing potting soil, gardening tools, empty pots, and more.

I’m curious to see how his new plants take to this garden center. But in the meantime, we’re all thrilled to have a place for his plants to thrive while taking up less space in the house, and reducing the clutter and parting with toys that no longer see much use at the same time. If your child isn’t into growing and gardening, this kitchen could also work for some other themes catering to their current interests.

Happy growing!

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