Valley Restaurant Equipment!
1000 Maxwell Road
Eugene, OR 97404
So this place is a business that caters to restaurants: they buy, sell, and trade everything you would need to own and run an eatery: chairs, microwaves, pitchers, silverware, pop dispensers, neon signs...EVERYTHING. Now maybe you're wondering why on earth you would need to visit a restaurant supply store when you already spent most of your everloving life in your kitchen preparing food for the people who live with you and expect you to feed their insatiable appetites. Here's why:
1. Just walking around the place is seriously impressive. Free entertainment right here. They have rows and rows of unusual things for kiddos to feast their eyes on. You can walk by a cooler and brainstorm what sorts of yummy desserts were once sold in there. You can check out the giant gas powered six burner stoves and discuss how many hamburgers you could fry up with it. Lots of very cool stuff.
2. There are two cats wandering around, so that's fun.
3. There are several work areas where employees repair equipment and machines. This is a dream come true for any little who is fascinated with tools.
4. Everyone who works there is so friendly! They were all very tolerant of my grumpy yet super interested kiddos.
5. They are open at 9 am, which is an hour earlier than most businesses. Need to get out of the house? Valley is your answer.
- Math - figuring out prices
- Writing, spelling, word choice
- Fine motor skills - you could give them an old magazine or the ads from the Sunday paper and let them cut out pictures of food to glue into the menu.
We have played many games of restaurant already and are loving taking turns being the customer, server, and chef. Since we also found the order notepad and the check holder thing (is there a name for that?!) it all feels very official.
The spoons and scoops and bowl and syrup decanter are just for fun. :)
Here's a picture of how we've been using some of the stuff to keep mama from going crazy - I mean the boys busy - on gray days:
Another day I was getting ready to throw out a whole pot of rice that I had apparently REALLY overcooked (Who messes up rice? Honestly!) when I thought about letting the boys play with it first. Might as well get some use out of it right? So we pulled out some bowls and other kitchen goodies and they went to town. See that pitcher my big boy is using? Valley Restaurant Supply sells those, and they are wonderful.
Can we talk for one quick minute about how to manage messy play like this? After a lot of trial and error, I've figured out a pretty good system. So take yourself to the Dollar Tree and buy about half a dozen of the plastic tablecloths. Cut them in half. Then when you're ready to use one, just grab it and go. Once the play is done, strain all the water down the drain, dump all the solid stuff on the tablecloth, throw all the dishes in the sink for the magical dish fairy to deal with, and carefully roll up the tablecloth and throw it away. I realize this is sort of wasteful, but for me, knowing an easy clean up is coming makes me much more willing to say yes when my kiddos ask to "cook" or "make a messy meal" or whatever. :)
Also. It goes without saying that managing your mess will be much more simple if your littles are stripped down to their underoos or diapers.
Anywho, please stop by Valley Restaurant Equipment. I promise they're not paying me to say that! They were just so friendly and local and offered so much great stuff. Well priced high quality manipulative toys for ALL THE CHILDREN! So go already. For reals. And tell them Megan sent you.