Pretend play can help prepare kids for real-world situations — even fun ones like pizza and ice cream parties!
On Saturday, November 4, we'll be celebrating our 35th anniversary with a pizza party at the CAMP Store Columbus Circle, featuring pretend play fun with Melissa & Doug products, followed by REAL pizza and ice cream treats!
To register for this special event, visit this link. Act fast—tickets are limited. Leading up to the event, CAMP is hosting Demo Days with Melissa & Doug pretend play toys at three CAMP locations (Columbus Circle, 10/21 and 10/28; 5th Avenue; The SONO Collection, 10/28).
If you can’t make it to the CAMP event, we've got you covered: Here's our easy how-to for throwing an awesome at-home pizza and ice cream party combining our pretend play fun with real-life slices and scoops!
How to host a Melissa & Doug pizza and ice cream party at home!
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Fruits and veggie appetizers
- Pizza and toppings (Go the homemade route or dial up your favorite takeout spot. Whatever works for you!)
- Ice cream and toppings
- Kid-friendly beverages
Easel and/or paper and crayons for signage/menu
For the ultimate at-home Let’s Play Pizza Party experience, it’s all about mixing up the pretend play and the real thing. If you’re up for it, get an assortment of pizza toppings (pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, peppers), sauce, shredded cheese, and English muffins. For the ice cream part, pick up some sprinkles, hot fudge, caramel, and maraschino cherries. Kids will have a blast creating their own “pretend” concoctions with the toys then doing the real thing! Of course, the whole experience will be just as fun with takeout or frozen pizza to top off the pretend play portion of the party.
STEP 1: CREATE A SIGN & LIST YOUR MENU
Let your kiddos take the lead, and encourage them to establish a festive atmosphere for your at-home pizza and ice cream party: Have them create a fun, colorful sign and menu to welcome your guests (our tabletop easel or even our bigger standing easel work great for this).
STEP 2: DIY SALAD BAR APPETIZER
Kids cannot live by pizza alone, so to provide a well-balanced meal, offer fruit or veggie-based options for healthy appetizers before the pizza hits their plates. If you’re planning the menu for the party, you could use your Melissa & Doug Food Groups - Wooden Play Food or the Slice & Toss Salad Set for inspiration for your apps and salad bar. A DIY salad bar lets your child take more agency over their meals, and a colorful selection of fruits and veggies will engage them from the get-go.
STEP 3: PIZZA TIME!
If you're doing DIY pizzas, provide small bowls of toppings and let kids concoct their own personalized pizzas before you put them in the oven.
While you’re waiting for the pizzas to bake (or be delivered), encourage kids to act out the whole pizza scenario with our Top & Bake Pizza Counter, which can also provide inspiration real-life pizza toppings: pepperoni, olives, peppers, or mushrooms!
STEP 4: SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT!
After pizza, have the kids pretend play with our Scoop & Serve Ice Cream Counter to give the adults time to clean up after pizza and get ready for dessert. Here’s another instance where you can let the kids take the lead: Have them organize ice cream toppings (sprinkles, cherries, sauces, etc) for a DIY ice cream bar, and let them serve the frosty treats to their guests as ordered.
Want more great toy content from Melissa & Doug…check out these blogs!