Play kitchens are a wonderful way for children – both boys and girls – to be creative and have fun. Traditionally, play kitchens have been presented as gifts for little girls. However, studies show that boys also benefit from pretend play, such as cooking, playing doctor, or pretending to do the grocery shopping.
Here are a few reasons why both boys and girls can benefit from a play kitchen:
- A toy kitchen set usually comes with many elements, including play food, a play microwave, a stove, play pots, kitchen utensils, storage for the play sets, ovens and oven timers. Using these various tools and accessories can spur children to think about what they want to make for dinner, which child is going to do the grocery shopping, who going to set the table for dinner, and what side dishes are going with the main entrée. They may want to decide what to serve for dessert and how long it needs to be in the oven to bake.
- Kitchen sets for kids are also a great way to entertain kids while adults are preparing a meal. Because kids often want to mimic what their father, mother, or grandmother is doing, a children’s play kitchen is the perfect diversion.
- Pretend play that involves an element of work is also advantageous. Because a ready meal does not magically appear on the table, play kitchens help children thinking about what goes into the preparation of food. After all, someone has to make a grocery list, go out and buy the ingredients, fix the meal, and clean up afterwards. If more than one child is using the play kitchen, they must work together and decide who is doing which tasks. They can also ‘pretend entertain’ and have guests over for dinner. This can potentially teach them the importance of hospitality and how to treat guests when they come over.
- Gone are the days when a woman’s place was in the kitchen. Today, men and women often share the responsibility of cooking and food preparation. Or perhaps the man might be more inclined to cook and experiment with ingredients, while the woman enjoys the more scientific process of baking. Interest in food, flavors and seasonality is not limited to women; some of the world’s best chefs are male. Play kitchens are wonderful gifts for boys and girls.