When this mom from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, made a Facebook post featuring pictures of her daughter’s new playroom, she wasn’t expecting that it would get a lot of attention. But to Renee Doby-Becht’s surprise, her post was shared nearly 9,000 times in the popular social media platform.
“So I posted a picture of Ariah’s playroom in a Facebook group yesterday and I did not expect the response I got. Ariah’s favorite store is Target and of course Starbucks are in most Target stores. Although this gift was really late, I wanted to do something different for Christmas this year,” Renee wrote in her Facebook post.
Her 3-year-old daughter, Ariah, loves pretend play. And to make her playtime dreams come true, Renee transformed her playroom into a toddler’s paradise – one complete with a Target and Starbucks playset!
The Target playset was equipped with a checkout station, its shelves stocked with make-believe canned food and cereal. There was also a tiny shopping cart and a Target tote bag to put the groceries in.
Of course, Ariah also had a custom-made Target uniform and a name tag. Pictured wearing the ensemble, the youngster looked like an extra cute Target employee!
The Starbucks playset had toy pastries and tiny frappucino cups, the insides of which were painted by Renee to make them look like the real thing. Her former elementary school teacher, Georgia Cucinello, made Ariah a cute Starbucks apron.
The stands were created with the help of Renee’s sister, Brigette Doby, who is a graphics designer and a photographer, and a family friend named Robert Mueller.
“We created Target using the Melissa and Doug shopping center and Starbucks using Ariah’s cube storage unit in her playroom. Robby added wood and cheap flooring to the storage unit and I painted the rest,” Renee wrote on her Facebook post explaining how the playroom was completed.
Brigette was the one who “designed the Starbucks menus, made all the logos, price tags and sale signs.”
Renee’s Facebook post featuring Ariah and her new playroom garnered a lot of attention, especially from other parents who also wanted to do the same for their children.
“There were so many comments and likes and all these positive comments,” Renee told Good Morning America. “It was mainly moms that were commenting…they were just blown away.”
Not only did the project make Ariah a happy toddler, but it also helped Renee heal as she went through a divorce.
“It was just a bad time in my life … I just felt amazing doing something for her, and that gave me joy,” she said.
Because of Renee’s “crazy idea”, Ariah now enjoys playtime more than ever with her friends.
“[Ariah] tells her little friends, ‘Come see my playroom. I have Target in my playroom!'”
Renee has made it possible for her daughter to experience make-believe play, and she says that she hopes to one day open a public space for other children to enjoy the same.
What a cute and awesome concept!