Believe it or not, learning about the world of culinary delights early on can do kids a world of good. But in order to teach them about all these complex bits and pieces, you need to have an effective method in tow. And that’s exactly where toy kitchen and tea sets come in, introducing imaginative playtime that encourages them to interact with food and ingredients.
What is imaginative play?
In early childhood, children engage in what is called imaginative play, as we mentioned above. This is when they pretend to be someone or something else, often using props to help them recreate a scene. We’ve all seen those home video tapes of us as kids, pouring tea for our soft toy best friends – that’s the kind of play we’re referring to here.
In other cases, a child might pretend to be a doctor and use a stethoscope to listen to their patient's heart. Or, they might use blocks to build a house for their toy people. All of these scenarios are a part of the imaginative play category and are hugely important in developing integral life skills. Playing with toy kitchens and tea sets by pretending to cook for someone else and follow a recipe is another prime example of this.
The benefits of play kitchens and tea sets
With imaginative play at the heart of these products, there are plenty of benefits for kids to reap when it comes to actively using them as part of their daily routine. Here are some worth noting.
Learn about healthy food
When it comes to teaching kids about healthy food, it’s not always easy (i.e. getting them to eat their veggies over the other goodies on their plates). But with the help of imaginative play, it can become a lot smoother.
In these situations, kids learn crucial food skills and make decisions about what they’re consuming. They learn the importance of preparing meals and the importance of healthy eating habits as a whole.
Teamwork and sharing
Learning to cooperate with others around them is another big plus to imaginative play with kitchen and tea sets. These cases provide opportunities for children to learn how to work together and share. From there, they develop the skills to achieve goals using each others’ help and prepare meals or host tea parties successfully as a result. Plus, it aids communication – which is always worthwhile.
Planning and organisation
Imaginative play teaches foundational food skills that encourage children to plan and organise their food and settings. It gives them a chance to practice their ‘cooking’ techniques and then map out how to plate it all up (as best as they can) when they’re done. While they’re not likely to be a MasterChef anytime soon, these skills go a long way in presentation abilities later down the road.
Finally, toys like this help children to learn about and understand the world around them.
When children are engaged in this form of imaginative play, they are using math concepts like counting, measuring, and sequencing – all of which are hugely important both now and in the future.And who knows, you might just have a culinary master in your household that you didn’t know about.