Now that my kids are six- and nine-years-old, I’ve finally gotten rid of all our little kid tableware. While I was sad to see the faded Elmo melamine plates and construction vehicle flatware go, my boys were happy to know that they’ve finally joined the big kid table, so to speak—plates and all. If your little one is between toddler and school-aged or you want to start your beginner eater off with a set of fun tableware that can grow with her, I found super cool tableware for kids that fits the bill.
In every case, I’ve indicated what the tableware is made of, from ceramic to melamine and BPA-free plastic to bone china. If you have slightly older children who are capable of leaving their plate (mostly) on the table, consider moving them to china or ceramic. Yes, it’s breakable, but it’s also the most reliably non-toxic option. That said, I get it if you need something unbreakable. Really, I do. Choose whichever option is best for you and your kids.
It doesn’t get any cooler than the Starman, which is why I’m freaking out over the awesome David Bowie plate at Donna Wilson. A fitting tribute, 15% of the sales for this hand-painted plate go to cancer research. The only drawback is that it’s made from bone china, so be careful about handing it over to very little kids. The good news is that you hardly have to invest in this plate early to make it worthwhile. In fact, I plan on buying two for my boys—and another two for me and my husband.
I’m in love with the handmade ceramics at Marinski Heartmades on Etsy, each decorated with a whimsical design done in a graphical style and colors that feel grown-up—in a good way, kind of like illustrations in a great, modern fairy tale. These pretty bowls and cups fit just as easily set in front of a wee one as they do in front of a tween. Though, again, these are made from breakable ceramic, so careful if you have a thrower.
Find gorgeous handmade bowls, cups, and serving ware for $30 and up at Marinski Heartmades on Etsy.
Nom nom nom isn’t just an Instagram tag! Forget the ABC’s and swap in this melamine Nom Nom Plate at Design Life Kids (photo very top), which is sure to last them into their smartphone years. And not just because those will be starting at 5-years-old soon. (Ha!) If this is a little too grownup for your taste, Design Life Kids has lots of other modern melamine plate designs that you should check out. The Happy Cloud Plate makes me smile and I love that their adorable cups, like the Yay Tumblers shown here, are made of unbreakable plastic.
Designer Rachel Powell combines a love of mid-century design and a playful illustration style to create bold, graphic prints, wallpaper, housewares, and tableware that remind me of a modern-day Marimekko. I’m particularly smitten by her tableware. A few of the Yoko plates could be a set for the kids on their own, or mix and match them with the Woodstock tableware for a lovely everyday set for the whole family. But, yes, the fact that they can serve as a proper tableware set does mean that these are made of breakable bone china.
Find the entire Rachel Powell tableware collection, including the Yoko and Woodstock sets, at her site. Prices are in British Pounds, though they do ship worldwide.
Smiling Planet makes artsy lifestyle products that are earth-friendly and marked with sweet messages of peace, diversity, and respect for the environment. Their tableware is made from recycled, recyclable, medical-grade #5 polypropylene plastic that is free of BPA and other known toxic chemicals. If you need unbreakable, this thoughtful company shares the research as to why #5 plastic is the way to go. Between that and the sweet illustrations adorning their bowls and plates, the extensive Smiling Planet tableware collection is a great option that can grow with your little one.
Find the entire tableware collection for kids ($7.00-14.95) at the Smiling Planet site.