This post about the benefits of play kitchens and creative play was written by Sandra Cobain, editor-in-chief of BestForTheKids.com.
7 Benefits of Play Kitchens
Play kitchens have always been one of the most popular children’s toys to ever exist. In the beginning, these kitchens may have been little more than a plastic oven and work surface with bits of fruits, vegetables and a few cooking pots. Nowadays, there are more options than ever before, with full range play kitchens that include all the utensils and accessories that could even put your own kitchen to shame!
However, before dismissing these creations off as simple toys, these sets bring about a whole series of positive benefits, teaching and educating your child in important life skills and personality traits that can help and guide them through the rest of their lives. From improved math skills to food knowledge, here is my list of the top seven benefits that play kitchens can encourage within your children.
1. Encourages Teamwork
How often do you see a child more happy and excitable than when they are playing with their friends or siblings? Kids love to socialize with others. With a play kitchen, your children are inclined to distribute certain roles to one another that will reward them with the completion of the task of cooking an imaginary dinner. For example, if you have one child doing the cooking, another cleaning up and another putting everything away, this is a fantastic example of teamwork, a skill that will remain with them throughout all stages of life.
Consider the LifeStyle Deluxe Kitchen. This multi-featured play kitchen is capable of entertaining up to four or five children at time. This allows each of them to adopt their own crucial role in the kitchen, giving the chance to try and work together while working around each other, passing each other food and other equipment needed to get the job done.
2. Molds Vital Organizational Skills
As all parents will know, organizational skills are one of the hardest concepts to teach. However, with a play kitchen, it’s easy to demonstrate and share examples of why it’s both beneficial and smart to be organized and plan things out. In this scenario, with all the tools, accessories and cutlery, if your child doesn’t stay organized, how will they be able to find what they are looking for? By keeping everything in its place, your child will know exactly where everything is, promoting the value of being organized.
For example, take a look at the Elegant Edge Kitchen. This multi-tiered kitchen is overflowing with features, functions and storage space that it’s vital that your kids stay organized. By designating each piece of equipment to its own cupboard or housing and by keeping all the food in safe and organized manner, your child will quickly learn that by tidying things away and keeping things neat, they will have a much more enjoyable time.3. Teaches Responsibility for Belongings
Kids are renowned for breaking things. In most cases, it’s not intentional but at a young age, it’s hard to teach a child about the value of money. A play kitchen, however, for most kids, is one of the greatest play sets available, quite possibly their most valued toy. By telling your children that they have to look after and care for every aspect will help to teach them this valuable lesson. Even down to the little details of cleaning up after they have finished so it’s ready for use next time is a lifelong skill that will benefit your child no end.
4. Helps with Counting Skills
As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Whether your child is beginning to learn or already knows how to count, a play kitchen is great practice that draws no negatives. While playing in the kitchen, whether they are serving up dinner and portions or trying to figure out how many people need a seat, there are so many opportunities for your child to improve their all-important counting abilities.
For example, the Dream Kitchen comes with over 130 play food pieces representing all kinds of food in many different shapes and sizes. If your child has received ‘orders’ that one person wants three carrots, two peppers and so on around the table, your child’s counting abilities are constantly tested in a friendly and encouraging way, enabling them to efficiently develop their skills while having fun.
5. Aids Social Development
Children love pretending. Imagination is one of the driving forces of children’s happiness and there’s no exception when it comes to play kitchens. This is because, when imagining, kids can mentally become whoever they want to be, creating empathy with those types of people and giving them a real insight into other people’s lives. For example, even if your child has never been aware of what it’s like to work in a kitchen; by trying to serve up all the meals in an allotted time, they will receive a genuine insight into the world of a chef, a priceless development skill that gives them a glimpse into the big wide world.
6. Teaches the Importance of Sharing
It doesn’t matter whether you have a small or big play kitchen, the element of sharing will remain the same. Whether your child is playing with siblings or friends, there are always going to be times in which they will have to share the food and tools. Despite being one of the more difficult traits to teach, this is such an important skill for your child to learn at a young age and will benefit them no end in life, especially during the younger educational years.
7. Encourages Teamwork and Communication
Your child may play with many kinds of toys. From play kitchens, dolls, cars and even imaginary friends, communication is always a key element that runs consistency throughout all of them. The sooner your child begins to learn about how to effectively communicate with people, the faster the skill will improve. Better still, if you incorporate shopping lists or waiter orders into the play kitchen, this can be a huge motivation for your child to learn to read and write.
Due to the larger size of the Grand Walk-In Kitchen, communication is the key to success. Each child, whether siblings or friends, can have their own position in and around the kitchen where they will be able to communicate with each other, as well as using teamwork, in order to have the best time possible. This is such a great opportunity for parents to get involved, enabling them to positively encourage these life lessons.
By giving your child the freedom and tools to explore new concept through the toys they love, they can learn vital life skills that will benefit them throughout their lifetime. Alongside these skills, you’ll be encouraging personality traits such as trust, confidence and even a more outgoing and creative personality, all of which are essential for a healthy, happy child.
About the Author:
Sandra Cobain is the editor-in-chief of BestForTheKids.com, a website geared towards helping parents find the best stuff (whether it’s toys or parenting advice) for their kids. She’s also a child psychologist and mum to two zestful kids. She recently wrote a comprehensive post titled 101 Ways to Make Your Kids Smarter.