The manufacturers of children kitchen sets want their product to look very realistic—knobs, plates, and an oven you’d be proud to own yourself. However kids still get to use their imagination to create meals no top chef could dream up! Throw parties for your friends that would amaze even Rachel Rae (bet she never had the Fairy Kings and Queens sitting at her table). The marvelous thing about these extensive meals and feats; they actually don’t have any calories, just fun. Your chefs will conjure new creations as that they reinvent themselves over and over again. The game of meal preparation, cooking, restaurant, head chef, never grows old and boring, because the child can do anything. Without a doubt, very few playthings have such mileage.
Child kitchen sets can help you teach your child important manners and table etiquette. After you “cook” the play dough pot roast for the pretend party, you can show the “guests” how to thank the chef for a wonderful meal. Even an imaginary tea party (you can play the Queen of England) can lead to a lesson on how “little ladies and gentlemen” should behave at the table. Elbows off the table!
While child kitchen sets were primarily seen as “girl’s” toys, they don’t necessarily promote a stereotype of the traditional housewife. Instead, the cooperative and social nature of a kitchen set reinforce how family chores are equally divided among men and women. Observe your children and their playmates, and how they take turns washing dishes or cutting up vegetables. And if they lapse into standard roles, it’s a good time for you to come in and “teach” them otherwise. “Daddies wash dishes too,” you can say, handing him a plastic plate.
Child kitchen sets can come with accessories, but part of the fun is helping the child create his own special pantry. Recycle old cereal boxes and cans, but let him draw or print out his own labels and design his own logos. You can also buy clay that can be shaped into fruits, vegetables and other food stuff, before being baked in the oven to make a delicious “meal”. This may actually be a sneaky way of getting your child to learn about the basic food groups, or practice reading and writing as they copy their own “recipes”.
And who knows, all that interest in a child kitchen set will help your child become interested in real cooking and food preparation. Try giving them simple cooking chores, like washing the potatoes or helping roll the dough, or let them watch you cook so they know what to act out when they’re in their own kitchen. They may be “pretending” today, but a decade from now, you could literally taste the results of what they learned through play. As a result, a child kitchen set makes a great addition to any playroom.