Kitchen play is a classic form of pretend play for good reason. Children love to imitate what they see. Do they see Mommy baking cupcakes or Daddy manning the grill? They find it exciting to mimic those behaviors using their very own kitchen playsets. In the coming lines, we will share its benefits then we will explore the top 10 kitchen playsets for this year.
With the potential to inspire growth in a wide variety of areas, providing your child with a kitchen playset at home has many benefits. A few of those benefits are as follows:
- Gross motor skills: Many kitchen playsets encourage standing and reaching which strengthens core muscles.
- Fine motor skills: Holding spoons and manipulating small toys builds hand muscles necessary for writing.
- Memory: Putting items in cupboards and later remembering where they are.
- Counting: Opportunities arise for counting how many food items are on a plate.
- Fractions: Pizza or other food items that can be divided give children a chance to experiment with and gain an early grasp of math concepts such as fractions.
- Vocabulary: Food sets often include items your child may not already know the name of.
- Communication: Pretend play encourages children to practice using words to communicate. For example, “Can I have a hotdog?” or “Do you want an apple?”
- Sharing: Children observe their parents making food and giving it to others. Having their own play food allows them the chance to practice generosity by sharing that food with those around them.
- Taking initiative: In a toy kitchen, children get to make their own choices and practice initiating activities.
- Innovation/problem solving: When not everything fits inside the fridge, or when two children are playing but there is only one ice cream cone, your child will learn to think up creative solutions to these problems, encouraging them to think innovatively.
Kitchen Playset Role-Play Ideas
Expanding children’s imaginative role-play is a great idea for any parent. Introducing them to new play ideas keeps them engaged and growing.
With the kitchen playset, try playing “takeout window”. Preschoolers love this game! First, tell them you’re hungry. Then, ask if they have food you can buy. Encourage them to list the items they are offering you (great vocabulary practice). Take it a step further by suggesting older children do this in writing. Choose one of the items they listed. For older children, ask them how much it costs. Then, pretending you have money, count out the number of dollars they stated (fantastic counting practice). Pretend to give them the money, receive the food item, eat it, and repeat with joy!.
Play I spy in the kitchen. First, arrange the kitchen playset items in the kitchen or on a table. Depending on your child’s development level, you can mention the item you are thinking of by color, name, or by the letter, it starts with. For example, if you are thinking of the steak, you could say: “I spy something brown.” The child then looks to find a brown toy among the kitchen items. This game is excellent for strengthening memory, for example, when your child must remember what they are looking for. Beyond that, it also encourages problem-solving when your child thinks, “lettuce isn’t brown so that can’t be it.” Finally, this game is a fantastic chance to practice vocabulary. Be sure to let your child take turns spying the item.
Top 10 Kitchen Playsets for 2020
Your child can be the king of their own barbecue, just like Dad! Complete with a flipper, tongs, and a bottle of ketchup, your child will have fun serving hotdogs and hamburgers straight from the grill. Because it is made by Little Tikes, you can know this is a durable and relatively light toy. This barbecue has a smaller footprint than most play kitchens which could come in handy if your space is limited. Added to that, this grill can be set at two different sizes to grow with your child! Note that even at its taller size, this grill may be too short for 5 year olds.
Remember the suggestion above about playing “takeout window” with your child? Little Tikes understands how much children love that game. Consequently, they’ve made this food truck. It comes with various menu items and a cash register. In addition, it has a steering wheel and a working horn. This one-of-a-kind toy is certain to keep your kids engaged and learning as they’re having fun.
This modern looking kitchen has plenty of doors to open and things to do. For instance, your child can use the microwave, fridge, oven or sink. Beyond that, it comes with a coffee pot and a toy cell phone. As with all Little Tikes kitchens, this playset is built to last. However, if your child often climbs things, beware that this kitchen could tip due to its light weight. On the other hand, if you want to be able to move your kitchen around easily, then this would be a great choice for you. Also note that this set comes with dishes for two people, but no food. Therefore, you may also want to purchase one of the food sets mentioned further down on this list.
If you’re looking for a play kitchen that is strong and sturdy, then this is the kitchen for you. This heavy kitchen will stand the use of time, and it is made of wood, not all plastic like Little Tikes kitchens. Because of its solid build and heavy weight, this kitchen is hard to tip, it may also be tricky to move. Your children will enjoy opening the doors and filling the large fridge. This particular design is for children aged 3-6. In addition, they have a toddler-sized model. The simple straight-forward design of this kitchen leaves plenty of room for imagination.
Don’t have room for a full toy kitchen or barbeque in your house? No problem. Try this grill on your table, or set it on the floor. Your child will be thrilled for a chance to cook on the grill, just like Daddy! This kitchen playset stores well since all the food fits into the grill when not in use. Including steak, chicken, and two hamburgers, there’s plenty to share. Moreover, your child will strengthen their fine motor muscles using the tongs, and practice hand-eye coordination as they stack the burgers. Both of these skills are critical for learning to write.
Tired of all the plastic toys? Your child will love how this set of child-sized stainless steel pots and pans looks, just like the ones used in a real kitchen. Therefore, this set will be a great addition to your child’s play kitchen. Furthermore, they are an excellent basic set for your child to use innovatively. They could be used in a wide variety of ways. For instance, you could use them in a mud kitchen, with playdough, in a dry sensory bin or perhaps your child will turn them into drums for their new band. You never know what they will come up with next.
Looking for a catch-all set of play food that contains a wide variety of items? Then this might just be the set you’ve been searching for. This set includes fruits and vegetables, meats and sweets. Not only that, but it even has a DIY sandwich, yogurt, and a juice box. As for the quality of this product, you can be sure it is excellent because it is a Learning Resources toy. These bright and colourful, yet relatively realistic food items, will please your child and give them a wide variety of play options. Therefore, if you only want to purchase one food set for your child’s kitchen, this is the set for you.
Another non-plastic toy to consider, this set contains 7 painted wooden fruit, each one of which is designed to be “cut”. On top of that, the set includes a wooden knife, a cutting board, and a crate to store it in. This allows your child to have a blast “cutting” the food with the wooden knife over and over again. As a result, this playset is particularly good for encouraging the development of hand-eye coordination. Furthermore, your child will get to explore concepts such as counting and begin experimenting with the early stages of math concepts such as fractions.
Like all Learning Resources toys, this set of fruits and veggies has fantastic durability, even for toddlers. This set comes with 25 food items and 5 baskets. Because of its excellent design, this set has a wide range of cognitive development opportunities. Young children love putting toys in baskets and dumping them back out. This results in developing an understanding of concepts such as mass and capacity. As children grow, they begin sorting things. Subsequently, these items can be divided by colour or by fruit versus vegetables. In addition, every food item is unique giving your child the opportunity to learn 25 healthy food names. Encourage your child to practice counting, or discuss how important it is to eat healthy food. This kitchen playset will provide hours of engagement.
Here’s another unique and engaging toy so that your child can be just like Mommy and Daddy. This pretend coffee brewer, complete with coffee pods, will excite your child. Soon they’ll be making coffee for everyone. In addition to that, the set includes a menu card so your child can take orders. The details on the menu card match up with the options on the coffee machine dial. This allows your child the opportunity to practice the following instructions, which is an important intellectual skill. This wooden toy is built simply and with plenty of room for imagination.
In conclusion, whether you prefer plastic, wood, or metal, whether you want a full kitchen or just a set of food, these are great options for you. Whichever kitchen playset you choose, know that your child will be learning and growing as they play. Furthermore, they will be having fun. Encourage them to practice early math concepts, to problem solve, and to take initiative with their very own kitchen set. Who knows where those skills will take them?