Let’s play together with a Step2 pretend play kitchen!
The open-ended playtime opportunities play kitchen playsets present are excellent ways to encourage lots of cognitive and social skill development for toddlers. They’re constantly challenged to think outside the box and explore their kitchen in different ways with each and every time they play. Get involved in playtime with our top three play ideas and even make up your own to keep playtime interesting with your little one!
1. Cooking Show
Give your little chef five to ten minutes to prep their favorite pretend meal and think out how to present it to you. Create a mini cooking show by taking a video of them recreating their pretend dish and talking you through each step, so you can make it too! Continue the pretend play by making “episodes” of the cooking show to watch with family and friends.
You can even make a cooking show episode with guests, like siblings and adult role models! Encourage social skill development by giving your junior chef someone to talk to and guide through their process while on camera.
2. Restaurant Role Play
Be a customer in your toddler’s own restaurant! Get creative with art supplies to make menus and come up with a special restaurant name together. When it’s time to open, place your order with your cute waiter or waitress and ask questions about their daily specials. As they get cooking, give special meal requests, like no onions or extra cheese!
Restaurant play encourages critical thinking as little ones cook ingredients to make a requested dish and problem solve when a request comes through that they haven’t made before.
Tip: Complete your playroom “restaurant” with the addition of a kids’ table set for diners to relax. Our favorites include the Step2 3-Piece Farmhouse Table & Bench Set™ and Step2 Naturally Playful® Picnic Table with Umbrella.
3. Tidy-Up Time
Cleaning up can become a fun part of playtime with consistency and patience. Make it fun for your toddler by sharing the clean-up responsibilities, like washing and drying the dishes in the sink, putting play food away, and other small tasks. Chances are, your little one has watched you clean your own kitchen and will be excited to mimic that cleaning behavior too. Cleaning is a popular play pattern for toddlers, so they’ll get excited about keeping their space tidy through lots of practice with you!
Cleaning up together will help flex fine and gross motor skills as toddlers put accessories away as well as foster great cleaning habits as they grow.
What games and creative ideas have you used to keep your toddler engaged with their play kitchen? Let us know in the comments below!