Role playing is a type of play that comes with various benefits for children and their development. As it has no precise rules, being a free play, it leaves it up to the child’s imagination and creativity and it challenges their ability to explore and experiment. This builds up their confidence and self-awareness, as well of their awareness of others, through play.
Children love to be involved in grown-up activities; they want to feel independent as much as they can and that from an early age. Can you remember how many times you were trying to make yourself a cup of coffee/tea, cook something, set the table and your child asked to assist you or even to be allowed and do it by himself? I can definitely say I’ve lost count. Seeing how much they enjoy such activities you cannot stop to wonder why they shouldn’t do it more often, in a rule-free environment, of their own choosing.
If you’re wondering how exactly playing with a kitchen toy is going to serve your child, let me shine some light on the matter.
Social and emotional development
When they’re engaged in pretend play, children can be whoever they want to. Having the liberty to choose who and how they want to be helped them build self-confidence, something that will awaken their appetite for discovery and adventure. As they act out someone else’s part, they begin to grasp the concept of empathy. While playing with other children, one must adapt and find solutions for difficult situations, all while considering others’ point of view, thus helping them gain important social skills.
Whether we’re talking about toddlers who are just starting to speak and learn their first words while playing with their kitchen toy, getting familiar with vegetables, fruits and cutlery items or we’re talking about youngsters who understand the concept of a restaurant kitchen and the hierarchy of it, starting to act as different kitchen workers, pretend play kitchen is great communication enhancer.
Pretend play comes with many trouble-solving problems that put your child in the position to find solutions and to use their critical thinking. It invites them to be resourceful, and to reason in a logical fashion. Their ability to observe and analyze things can be challenged while playing pretend, and as they’ll go through similar situations, they can apply similar solutions. It’s a wonderful chance to plan and organize things, which will help them on a daily basis.
Improvement of motor skills
The kitchen play set can come as a game changer for a toddler, as he’s trying to work with the play foods, or cut them into pieces (wooden ones) he will be stimulated to develop fine motor skills. If we are talking about an older child, this play helps him work out towards better gross motor skills as well.
Allows the child to make sense of a real-life situation
Remember when I said about how they love being independent and trying to do grown-up things? This is some of the highlights of getting a kitchen toy for your little one, they will finally get to do some of the things you do, but this time they will have full control over their actions, you won’t be setting the rules. They can test on their own, they can learn from their mistakes, they can confidently imitate what they see you doing without having to ask for permission. Something as usual and common as making dinner can be turn into a quite lengthy role play between siblings. They can get their inspiration from you or even from cartoons or movies, because there are plenty kitchen role play ideas.
Promoting gender equality in households
Kitchen toys aren’t considered to be gendered toys in our days. This means that it is no longer seen as a taboo activity for boys, many of them enjoying playing pretend kitchen. If they grow playing with kitchen toys it increases their chances of doing that later in life, in their family’s household, which brings us one step closer to a gender equality promoting world. Also, let’s not forget that some of the world’s top chefs, Michelin awarded are men.
Healthy relationship with food
This is one of my favorites, because it’s such a simple and efficient idea to help your child grow a healthy pattern when choosing food simply by helping him befriending it through play. If he’s going to learn about food in a fun and appreciative manner, then chances are he’ll grow fond of healthy food choices and patterns.
It is a long-term play
It takes a lot of time for kids to get tired of playing with kitchen toys. They are known to attract toddlers as young as 1-year-old and can maintain interest to a 10-year-old, as well. Depending on your child’s interests, this is a type of play that can keep him engaged for many years, thus making a kitchen toy a fine acquisition. Besides, you can even learn how to make a toy kitchen, it can be a lovely activity for you and your child and a memory that he’ll carry with him forever.
These being said, I strongly recommend kitchen toys if you haven’t got one yet.
I will admit to having played, too, with the one I got for our kids and I found it to be a wonderful bonding experience both with my kids but with the kid in me. Encourage your kids to try new things and praise their efforts as they’re moving through with their play, you’ll be surprised of the skills they develop really quickly. Maybe, who knows, they’ll soon invite you to cook beside them and you can come with precious recipe input. I really hope that you found what you were looking for in here and that my experience was of use to you. I’ll also hope getting a kitchen toy to bring you some nice experiences and memories of role playing with your kid. And remember, their kitchen, their rules!