Let’s talk about the wonderful world of pretend play in early childhood! 

Do your kids love setting up cafes and shops at home and spend hours serving customers and baking special treats in their play kitchen?

Did you know that by doing this, your kids are building creativity and problem-solving skills? When children engage in imaginative play, they are constantly coming up with new scenarios and figuring out ways to navigate those scenarios. This helps them develop their critical thinking skills and learn to problem-solve in a fun and playful way.

But that’s not all! Pretend play also helps develop language skills. As children engage in imaginative play, they are using their imaginations to create new worlds and stories. This requires them to use their language skills to communicate their ideas and thoughts to others.

And there’s more: pretend play also helps develop social skills! When children engage in dramatic play with others, they are learning to collaborate, take turns, and negotiate. They are also learning skills like empathy and communication, which are crucial to developing strong social skills.

This is one of my favourite DIY craft activities to make with kids. It reminds me of my own childhood and I love that the main item used is a recycled take away lid.

Are you ready to make your own lolly machine?

Let’s get started!


🟡 Plastic lid from a take away bowl

🟠 Coloured paper

🔴 Coloured card

🟢 Pom poms

🔵 Craft embellishments

🟡 Scissors, hot glue gun, pen, 


Let’s gather up all the materials you need and place them in front of yourself.

Now, trace around your lid shape to create the base of your lolly machine. Think of it as a canvas to decorate!

It’s time to get creative! Use a bunch of different coloured papers to create a cute picture or an abstract masterpiece. We’re making a rainbow, but you can do whatever makes you happy!

Take that beautiful creation and attach it to your lolly machine base using glue. And don’t forget to add some extra decorations to make it extra special. Attach the stand of your lolly machine to the back of the base. Let’s fill it with pom poms to make it look like real sweet treats. They’re so fluffy and colourful!

Finally, it’s time to seal it all up. Use a hot glue gun to attach your lid and you’re done! Your lolly machine is complete and ready to enjoy.

So, let’s encourage our little ones to engage in pretend play and watch as they develop new skills, learn new things, and have so much fun along the way!

Want to make your playtime more fun and creative?

Here are some fun tips for you:

Set up a bakery or cafe on the kitchen table or build one out of cardboard boxes.

Create a variety of lolly machines out of different size recycled take away container lids.

Make unique sweets to put into your lolly machine.

Read a story about sweet shops to ignite children’s imaginations before you begin your DIY craft here’s one of my favourites ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ By Roald Dahl.

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