I got the idea from a visit to the Children’s Museum of Richmond. They had done the same thing with all the play food in their kitchen area and as soon as I saw it I thought “Duh!” So I just finished covering all of mine in the thick, clear packing tape.
We got our first set of play food when Santa brought the girls a kitchen set the Christmas before last. Since they were only 1 1/2 years old, Zoe and Mia immediately tore up the food boxes. We have since gotten more play food and while the girls don’t tear them up, they sometimes play rough with them. I have to say that as soon as I started covering the little boxes with clear packing tape they immediately looked new again. And the few I finished earlier and put out for the girls to play with seem to be holding up much better and feel a lot stronger.
I did learn right away to not point out the tape or the girls would try to pull at it. When I didn’t say anything, they didn’t notice. And to keep the job from being tedious, I would just do a few at a time when I had a break and then throw them back in the pile.