Kale, Collards, and Spinach are classic kitchen staples that are right at home in a play kitchen felt food set. I like to build play food sets with a huge variety of both “super healthy” food and “junk food.” Play kitchens and felt food aren’t just for kiddos to pass time by playing- play is how kids make sense of the world and their experiences. In play as with actual feeding, providing lots of options and encouraging the child to be empowered to choose helps build healthy kids. One key component of eating disorder treatment for struggling adolescents and adults is helping them understand there is no such thing as a “bad” food or a “not allowed” food- all foods can be consumed in ways that are nourishing and all foods can be consumed in a way that bring the body harm- helping kids understand this at meals and in their own play kitchen can help create healthy kids with resiliency against a culture that often promotes disordered eating. This quick little tutorial on creating felt greens can be a fun addition to the diversity of you play kitchen’s menu.

 

Today I’m demonstrating how to make leaves out of felt-  specifically I’m working on a kale type leaf that’s made out of wool felt (wool felt holds up to play better- specially for a single-thickness felt food project like a leaf).

First I’m bending the leaf in half and I’m stitching about three-fourths of the way up to the leaf- just to get a nice sturdy spine on the leaf like real kale.

Next, I begin making big loopy stitches in a really random pattern across the leaf and then gathering them every seven to ten stitches. This helps create the wrinkled texture that you want on felt kale leaves if you’re going for a slightly more realistic look. This works great for kale, greens for the top of carrots, and also for spinach

To created bunches on the leaves I take a couple stitches at a time, gather, and then loop it twice to knot it, and then trim. it’s so easy!

Next we’ll work on the stem and I do that by folding one of the straight sides in very tightly and then running  a  quick stitch up the stem to hold that roll in place.

 

Once I’ve got that one side rolled in and held down with some stitches I’m going to roll the other side tightly over the first rolled side and then begin to stitch that down.  Here I show you a close-up so you can see how I get in there and make that stitch. You’ll need to tighten it pretty much with every stitch to get a really nice tight stem that will support the leaf.

This kale leaf takes me maybe 10 minutes of work including cutting so it’s a really fast project!

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