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We got our daughter the KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen for Christmas. She loved it. There was one problem though. She’s about 17 months old, and she wasn’t yet able to pull the cabinet doors open once they were closed. So we got into this cycle where she would close a door, cry to me to open it, and then close it again a few minutes later. Over and over and over.
I couldn’t stand running over to open a door every few minutes, so I knew we had to find a solution. We thought about taking off the hardware that latches the door, but worried we’d lose them. The next idea was to make something to stick in the latch so that the door would never close all the way.
I took off one of the male connectors for a cabinet door latch and modeled it. Then I added some mass to it to prevent it from being a choking hazard. I actually looked up the rules the toy industry uses for this. Here’s a page from the Consumer Product Safety Commission about it.
I printed one and tried it… it was way too loose and fell out pretty much right away. But while I was thinking about what changes to make, it occurred to me that I’d already pretty much modeled the male part of the latch… so now I could just remove the existing ones knowing that I could print replacements if they were lost.
I hopped back on my laptop and made some quick adjustments to make my model match the latch. I even printed one out to make sure it worked before I took the others off. While I was testing it, my daughter came over and opened one of the other doors. Apparently her inability to work the doors had been all in her head and she’d gotten over her fear of pulling hard enough. So this whole exercise was rather pointless for us. But maybe someday a latch will break and I’ll need to print a new one.
Even though we didn’t end up needing the replacement latches, perhaps they will be of use to someone else. I’ve posted this design on Thingiverse so you can print your own if you want. I’m not sure if other KidKraft play kitchens use these same things or if it would only work on the Uptown model.
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