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Chicken noodle soup? A pizza? Perhaps a steak with a side of broccoli? It will all be on the menu once you unveil your new kid’s kitchen! Expect your little chef to start cooking up a storm, an activity that brings with it countless developmental benefits.
To start, playing in the kitchen helps boost kids’ language and communication skills. They will learn plenty of new vocabulary and this offers an excellent opportunity to teach them about food groups and healthy eating. They’ll also learn new verbs (stir, reheat, mix, etc.) and opposites (hot vs cold).
Play kitchens can help kids learn math and number skills, as they have to count the number of plates and silverware they need, weigh their food, and figure out how many minutes it needs to be in the oven.
It can teach them organizational skills as they will have to put their food away in the cupboards, figure out what goes in the refrigerator, and organize their plates and cutlery. And if your child is cooking alongside a friend or sibling, he or she will learn about cooperation and teamwork, not to mention improve his or her social skills.
Play kitchens teach our kids about problem solving. What happens when they’re missing an ingredient for a recipe or a dinner guest cancels? This will give them the opportunity to learn to think on their feet and find answers to problems that arise.
It’s also a very valuable tool for role play as it offers an opportunity to learn about cooking, cleaning and setting the table. They can bake cakes, wash dishes and set the table, just like the adults do. And, of course, they can learn what it means to be a chef.
There are so many options out there, how do you pick the best one? Which one will keep your kid entertained? Keep reading for a few of our tips for finding the best mini kitchen for your child.
It goes without saying that you’ll want to find a kitchen that fits the space you have. Don’t forget to leave an area in front of the kitchen as your child will need to open cabinets and bend over to look in the oven.
Some kitchens come with accessories and others don’t. If you want your child to have a more colorful and realistic kitchen experience, you’ll want to invest in pots, pans, fruits, vegetables, an apron, and other foods and utensils.
Some kitchens have just a stove top, sink and oven, while others are more elaborate. You’ll want your kitchen to grow along with your child, so make sure it has enough features to keep him or her busy and interested for years to come. Additionally, if you have more than one child you’ll want a larger kitchen so they can all play there together.
Toddlers can be rough with their toys, so make sure you buy a quality kitchen that’s built to last.
On the one hand you might look for a kitchen made with eco-friendly wood and non-toxic paint, or you might prefer a model made with plastic and metal, which could prove sturdier.
Are you ready to find the play kitchen of your child’s dreams? Start scrolling to see our top picks, and bon appetit!