Toy Kitchens: Cooking up a storm of benefits
Us parents do spend an awful lot of time in the kitchen. To children the kitchen is a forbidden playground full of wonder.
Hot things they can’t touch, cold things, shiny utensils, lights, beeps, and noisy pots and pans…oh the temptation!
It can be quite the challenge keeping them amused and out from under our feet while we’re preparing meals. The solution? Get them their own kitchen!
Our little people love to mimic us and it is very good for them to do so.
The more children act out real life as they perceive it, the more they are developing, and gaining an understanding of the big wide world.
Encourage Imaginary Play
Toy kitchens are the perfect space for this all-important role-play. While your little chefs are nurturing their imagination as they cook up a feast, they’re also developing their fine motor skills and coordination.
The kitchen is also the ideal arena in which to begin experimenting with measuring, filling, emptying, and exploring weights and capacity.
Siblings will develop teamwork, social skills, and problem solving skills as they plan their menus, and assign themselves various tasks.
Toy kitchens grow with your child
Well worth the investment, a toy kitchen is one of those great favourites that will grow with your child, and is much loved by both boys and girls.
A toddler will start with exploring the drawers, cupboards and utensils; eight year olds will be preparing intricate canapés for their swanky cocktail party.
With this in mind, it’s definitely worth finding a unit that won’t be outgrown too quickly.
Responsible little chefs
Toy kitchens are a lovely place to begin teaching responsibility by making sure it is kept clean, and everything is put away in its place; they’re also an education hub for good kitchen hygiene and storage habits.
Introduce children to the importance of properly handling their imaginary raw meats, and making sure they wash their hands prior to, and after handling pretend food.
Messy Mud Kitchens
Toy kitchens are also fantastic outside. Consider a unit that will be suitable both indoors and out.
Mud kitchens encourage open-ended play and exploration of the outdoors.
How many different types of leaves can they find in the garden for their mixed salad?
What flowers are they going to use as garnishes on their mud cupcakes? Getting down and dirty in nature is not only mind-bendingly fun for little humans, it’s also fantastic for their immune system.
It’s fun for us too
It’s beautiful interacting with your proud little cooks as they come up with creative and inspiring dishes.
Ask for a dash of icing in your eyeball soup, or a sprinkle of sultanas on your choc-chip pasta.
Have your little restaurateurs take your order and cooperate in the roles of chef and waitperson. You will be amazed at what they come up with, and you’re free to get on with the real deal! Win-win!
What incredible (or hilarious) meals have your talented mini master chefs concocted in their toy kitchen? Leave us your comments :)