Cooking is a skill that’s valuable at any age and during any phase of life. Now, just because your child may be too young to use a real stove or oven it doesn’t mean that they’re not old enough to have their own kitchen. Having a pretend-play kitchen will make your young one feel like an adult and will allow him/her to model the activities they see their parents do on a daily basis.
A play kitchen will offer your kids all the joys of being in a real kitchen without the dangers associated with real kitchen equipment and tools. Your child may even learn a technique or two. If you look below you will see that we created the ultimate list of play kitchens as well as all of the pretend food and tool items your child will need to become a great chef.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Hape Wood Kids Play Kitchen
- 13 Wood Accessories
- NextX Pretend Food Set Kitchen
- 20 Pieces
- Toy Kitchen Accessories Set
- 6 Pieces
Criteria Used in Evaluation of The Best Play Kitchens
Play kitchens are made to help your child develop their social skills as they pretend play, pretend cook, pretend to serve food, making and sharing drinks and then cleaning up the kitchen. Those activities require interaction with others and can help your child develop their socialization skills and help them to make friends later on.
Teamwork makes the dream work! Play kitchens usually involve a variety of people who need to work together, so having one of these sets in your home will help encourage that teamwork atmosphere. That can include cleaning the kitchen up together or even cooking together. Your child will be able to learn teamwork when learning about the different jobs in the kitchen.
There are several things to learn with a play kitchen set, such as, learning the proper names of kitchen equipment, identifying different types of food, and even how to “cook” recipes. Some sets even go further with teaching educational skills such as color recognition, number learning and even helping to develop your child’s fine-motor skills.
Having an organized kitchen is optimum and makes it so that your child will be able to find everything they need when they start cooking. This helps your child learn the value of knowing where everything is and teaches them organization skills. Most play sets come with a variety of different storage spaces and can help teach your child how to properly store kitchen items and learn how to plan a kitchen out which will help them later in life.
A kitchen requires a lot of hard work and with the hard work comes a lot of responsibility. A play kitchen set should teach a child how to be responsible for their kitchen from cleaning to storage and cooking when dealing with kitchen items such as knives and the oven.
We all know when it comes to cooking there’s no such thing as a silent kitchen. Non-stop communication happens when we’re in the kitchen. A kitchen play set should teach a child simple communication skills such as explaining what’s for dinner or learning how to create a grocery list. The sooner your child learns how to communicate to others about their kitchen the better communicators they’ll become.
What Determined Our List of the Best 10
When we made up our top 10 list of best play kitchen sets for your children, it was not an easy task. We had to look at all of the existing play kitchen sets and rank each one according to their developmental appropriateness, age appropriateness, the quality of the set, the safety of materials that the manufacture chose to use, the credibility and reputation of the company and of course, the overall feedback from countless parents and caregivers who have already bought the play kitchen sets for their children and would buy them again.
Play Kitchens and Kids
Great chefs, artists and other creative individuals started playing with kitchen sets when they were young children. These play sets provided them with the opportunities to work out their imagination and creativity skill at a young age. Research shows that open-ended imaginative play is very important when it comes to the development of children’s problem-solving skills especially their divergent skills. This helps allows your child to look at a problem from a variety of perspectives, leading to the discovery of a several possible solutions. This will create a foundation of creativity, logic, and critical thinking which can, in turn, further enhance the problem-solving skills of your child for later on in life.
Having a kitchen play set provide such opportunities because it is up to children devise their own strategies to address a particular problem. They tend to figure out which strategy or action will work best for any given role-play scenario that your child creates. This will also lay a foundation for your child’s counterfactual reasoning-–this is the type of reasoning that operates on the what-if principle that your child will quickly learn. This helps your child make predications of what may or may not happen if certain variables are changed. This requires an understanding of basic logic and the beginning of learning cause-and-effect relationships.
Play kitchens can also provide a wonderful opportunity for kids to share their passion with other children as many of these play sets require cooperative play. This helps facilitate the development and enhancement of social skills which can provide the foundation for excellent emotional development.
Of course, playing with kids’ kitchen sets require mastery of gross- and fine-motor skills as children will need to handle play kitchen and cooking utensils and the like. They need hand-eye coordination as well as spatial intelligence.
Perhaps one of the most important benefits kids can obtain from play kitchens is that it introduces them to the wonderful world of cooking, food preparation, and food organization as well as food sanitation. Cooking is an essential home activity. Introducing this concept to children at the appropriate age can help them understand the essence of kitchen work. Additionally, they will also learn the values of cleanliness, sanitation, organization, preparation, and meal planning.
Kids’ play kitchens are a great way to stimulate kids’ love for food, nutrition, and cooking. More important, however, is the impact of these types of toys on their cognitive, emotional, and social development. So, if you are still at a loss as to what gifts to give kids this coming holidays, why not give them a kids’ play kitchen set? Our best 10 kids’ play kitchens list will help you decide.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a toy play kitchen set?
A: A toy play kitchen set is a lifelike toy that mimics a real kitchen. While it cannot store or cook actual food, it can give your child a fun experience as they learn how to operate their very own kitchen with pretend play. Toy play kitchen sets usually come with a stove, sink, refrigerator, cabinets, cooking and eating utensils, and appliances.
Q: What can a toy play kitchen set do?
A: A toy play kitchen set can give an imaginative pretend play without the dangers of a real kitchen. Cognitive and social skills can be developed as your child interacts with the kitchen and cooperates with their friends to create unique culinary dishes. They can also help teach your child the basics of a kitchen and how to operate a kitchen.
Q: What ages are best for a toy play kitchen set?
A: The minimum age is usually 2 to 3 years old and the maximum age is usually 5 to 6 years old. There are exceptions, of course, and it’s common to see children have toy play kitchen sets well into their elementary years but by puberty, they usually lose interest in toy play kitchen sets.
Q: Why should I purchase a toy play kitchen set?
A: A toy play kitchen set is a great way to introduce your child to the kitchen and basic skills such as cooking and cleaning a kitchen. Another reason to buy a toy play kitchen set is that it’s a great toy that encourages socialization and therefore, can teach important lifelong skills such as teamwork and sharing. Also, a toy play kitchen set can help with educating a child in object recognition, color identification, and even number learning.
Q: What are the benefits of a toy kitchen play set?
A: The benefits are immense but the most common benefits are as follows.
- Better visual recognition
They will learn how to recognize shapes, patterns, and colors.
- Enhanced motor skills
Their fine-motor skills will get better as they handle kitchen tools and utensils.
- Improved self-confidence
As your child learns how to run a kitchen on their own they’ll gain better ability.
- Developed problem-solving
They will figure out meals to prepare and how to fix minor kitchen issues.
- Vocabulary building
Their vocabulary will be immensely built as they learn about the kitchen and its objects.
- Better counting
Your child will learn how to count kitchen objects and therefore, build their numerical skills.
Q: How else can I discover toy play kitchen sets?
A: You should start with the Born Cute “10 Best Toy Play Kitchens For Kids & Toddlers Rated” list: Click the link of the toy play kitchen set that interests you and when you arrive at the Amazon page for the toy play kitchen set, scroll down to the “Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed” or “Customers Who Bought This Brand Also Shopped For” lists. Those two lists can give you a great starting point in discovering other toy play kitchen sets.
The “Frequently Bought Together” section on an Amazon product page can help and another great option is speaking with preschool teachers, daycare centers and other educational places that offer toy play kitchen sets.
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