Tag Archives: Play kitchens

Different Types of Play: How Technology is Affecting Child Development

It is great that children are becoming tech savvy, especially in this generation. However, could a child’s active play and creativity be suffering? “Researchers who have tracked children’s creativity for 50 years are seeing a significant decrease in creativity among children for the first time, especially younger children from kindergarten through sixth grade. This decline in creativity is thought to be due at least in part to the decline of play,” according to the Washington Post.

“Play is a remarkably creative process that fosters emotional health, imagination, original thinking, problem solving, critical thinking, and self-regulation. As children actively invent their own scenarios in play, they work their way through the challenges life presents and gain confidence and a sense of mastery” says  Nancy Carlsson-Paige, a professor emerita of education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Ma. Moderation is important when it comes to how a children play. There are so many ways for children to play due to the advancement of technology. Television is no longer the only issue when it comes to making sure children are getting enough creative and active play.

The Washington Post released an article this week titled “Is technology sapping children’s creativity?” With all the new gadgets that children can play with from tablets, cell phones, flip down car monitors, and computers, children have a variety of options of how they spend their play time. Yet, if children become consumed with these gadgets, they may not realize that there are many other ways to play that do not involve a screen and interactive applications.

The question remains, can technology and play tie together when it comes to child development? The products that are on the market that are technology based for children have a value of being educational and Step2 offers a variety of fun toys that help foster imaginative play and creativity including play kitchens, a puppet theatre, and art easels. We believe that a little tech and a little imagination can help to raise a well rounded little one.

What do you think about children becoming more involved toys that require technology?

 

Creative Cooks Kitchen Review: Cooking Up Fun!

Step2 has a variety of kitchens to choose from, this fall we introduced a new kitchen called the Creative Cooks Kitchen. This product is exclusive for Toys R Us. Even though it has just been released, it has already become a big hit!

According to Time to Play Mag, the Creative Cooks Kitchen ranks 4.5 out of 5 stars for fun, 4.5 out of 5 stars for repeat play, and 5 out of 5 stars for assembly and instructions. Seems like they really loved this kitchen!

When asked why it is fun, Time to Play Mag said this, “With the Creative Cooks Kitchen, preschoolers can pretend to be just like mom and dad in the kitchen. This is a cute roleplay item that gives kids everything they need for a realistic kitchen experience. Parents will love this kid-sized kitchen as well thanks to its large storage capacity.”

Check out the Creative Cooks Kitchen for yourself!

Healthy Living

No one ever said raising a child would be easy. Between making sure your child is eating balanced meals and getting in enough physical activity, the endless concerns can make ones head spin. Luckily, Parents.com has listed 20 healthy snacks that your kid can enjoy. Along with healthy eating, active play and creativity add to the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Snacks:

Here are some unique healthy options to substitute for junk food:

Fruit & Cheese Kabobs, Bean & Cheese Quesadillas, Nutty Popcorn & Fruit Mix, Polka Dot Waffle Sticks, & Fruity Salsa

Not only is it important for children to eat healthy snacks, but physical activity is essential to fight childhood obesity and grow up to be healthy. Here are Step2, we encourage active play and creativity.

Play Kitchens

A great way to get children to use their imagination is to allow them to help out while you make them some of these nutritious snacks. If your child has a play kitchen, they can either pretend to make the same foods you are preparing or they can help out with small tasks in the food preparation.

Playhouses

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. It is essential for children to get out and play especially during the summer months. Staying active will help children to gain endurance and appreciate being able to keep up with their friends.

One way to keep kids active and entertained for many hours is with a playhouse.

With healthy snacks and great toys to stimulate the mind and body, children will have a ton of fun being active!

Teaching Kids Kitchen Safety

Kids love to mimic adults and, during this time of year, adults tend to spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing holiday meals. Before inviting the kids into the kitchen, it’s important to talk about kitchen safety with them.

Teaching kids kitchen safety is beneficial on numerous levels. Being safe in the kitchen is important, because it keeps children from getting hurt. However, it also provides them with the opportunity to help mom, dad, grandma, and grandpa while they are cooking. It isn’t necessary to make your children afraid of the kitchen to teach them safety. There are much more fun ways to do this, such as by giving your child a play kitchen on which he or she can learn!

Having a play kitchen can teach your child about stove tops, ovens, cooking times, pots, pans, and techniques, all while teaching them appropriate kitchen safety. They’ll then be able to learn about kitchen safety through play. Because it’s fun, the information will stick better. They won’t be afraid of the grown-up kitchen, because their play kitchen will have made it a fun place for them, but they will respect it, and that’s key.

There are many kitchen sets for kids; you can even get one that resembles the layout of their own kitchen. Get some play food as well, so your child can cook while learning the proper safety measures!

You Could Win $5,000 by Entering the Big Imaginations are Cooking Contest

Big Imaginations are Cooking Contest

We want to know how your kids use their imaginations! Now through November 20, 2011 we invite you to enter the Step2 Big Imaginations Are Cooking Contest by submitting an essay of 150 words or less that tells a story about your kids playing in an imaginative, unstructured way.

On November 23, ten finalists will be chosen to receive a new Step2 play kitchen and a video camera to create a video of their kid’s imagination running wild with their new kitchen. We’ll then post the videos on our Facebook page. It’ll be up to our Facebook fans to vote for their favorite video between December 12 and January 8 to determine the winner, who will receive the $5,000 grand prize.

Creative boy

To demonstrate and inspire contestants, we partnered with mommy bloggers Anne McGowan of Deal Wise Mommy, Dee Owens of Two Of A Kind, Working On A Full House, Crystal Rapinchuk of Surviving a Teacher’s Salary, and Xenia Sundell of Thanks, Mail Carrier to showcase their belief in the importance of imaginative and creative play for their own children. Check out their favorite Step2 play kitchens at www.bigimaginationscontest.com.

Video Stills

 

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