Every child should have a play kitchen, they are an amazing, versatile and central piece of any toy room. This is a toy that grows with your child as your child develops, so their play becomes more complex, extending their language skills, creativity, and imaginative play.
The play kitchen comes in a vast range of sizes so it is perfect for every size of home. You do not need a dedicated playroom or a vast space. These kitchens will fit in the smallest of corners and many are now used as an outdoor toy called a Mud Kitchen. This again extends the life of the play kitchen further and with it children’s learning.
Most children have a play kitchen by the time they are two years old, at this stage play is simple and very much a mimic of what they see the adults in their lives doing. Whether this is making a sandwich or washing the dishes.
A play kitchen can extend a child’s development in more ways than any other single piece of toy equipment. They are a fantastic example of toddler development toys.
When a group of children play together, their imaginations soar and they can create the most amazing and advanced storylines. This in itself is helping their creativity and social skills develop. They have to practice taking turns and for young children, this is a huge milestone to reach, however, if the children are older then they have to develop their group skills to determine who does which role.
Many of the kitchens come with a huge quantity of play kitchen accessories designed to make play more realistic and fun. But, accessories such as the food that is attached with velcro is designed to develop fine motor skills as the children practice their cutting skills.
Counting and colour recognition can be easily integrated into play with a young toddler. Counting items of food, categorizing them in colours. This can then be extended for older children, categorizing the food by food groups such as protein, carbohydrates and more complex maths skills such as dividing the apples equally between customers can be incorporated.
In my opinion, children will probably not grow out of a play kitchen until at the earliest 11 years old. The reason for this is simple, the kitchen gives children so many valuable lessons to learn, so many opportunities to develop skills such as math, colour recognition, fine motor skills, problem-solving, creative play and the most important one of all is the ability to have fun!