At Hazelnut Kids we carry two brands of wooden play foods: Haba and Plan Toys. Since we believe that wooden play kitchens are one of the best toys to give children, it was important to us to find a large variety of wooden play foods. But, sometimes customers are surprised at the size of the foods, so I’d like to talk about that today.
Our Plan Toys sets are much larger than the Haba sets. Some come with a cutting tray and have velcro in the middle of the foods so that children can practice cutting foods. You can order most items individually as well.
We have a large selection of Haba foods which are sold individually (except for the Fruit and Vegetable Set that we put together and comes with two shopping nets). They are smaller than Plan Toys foods, and actually quite petite.
When I first bought Haba foods for my sons, I was surprised at the size. But, as I saw them play with them I realized how appropriate the sizes are for kids and the way that they play. If a child is preparing a feast for their friends, they may want to add several foods together in their play pan. Larger foods (such as Plan Toys) would only allow one or two foods to fit in the pan, but the child can add several of the smaller Haba foods together in the pan. They also fit on child-sized dishes more easily. As adults we are so used to larger foods and cutting them down to child sizes that we expect larger things. But it’s more fun for a child to have a whole apple that fits on their plate than it is to just have a piece of apple. Just as kids like having a play kitchen because it gives them the feeling of having their own perfectly sized world in the middle of this very big world, they like having play foods that are kid-sized, too.
Some customers ask if they can mix Plan Toys foods and Haba foods. Our response is that their sizes aren’t similar, so placing a Plan Toys apple on a plate next to a Haba banana may look a little strange, but we’ve found benefit in having foods from each brand. Both sets are designed for children 3 years and older, so if you had a child who just turned three, he may enjoy cutting the larger Plan Toys foods apart while an older child may like cooking with the smaller Haba foods. If you are just looking for one set of foods that you may not want to expand on, a Plan Toys set is nice because it is a complete set in one box (and a couple of them come with trays). But if you are looking for a set that you can continue to build upon (i.e. gifts for each birthday or holiday), Haba is a great way to go because there is so much variety.