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Pretend or imaginative play is more than just a fun activity for your children; it also serves as an essential part of their cognitive and social development.
Play kitchens are among the most popular children’s toys that have ever existed, offering an excellent opportunity for imaginative play and, therefore, social and cognitive development.
In the past, play kitchens were a simple plastic structure that only resembled a real kitchen’s shape and was limited to a few attributes. Today, toy manufacturers have surpassed even the most modern real kitchens. A child can now find a complete set of kitchen utensils and accessories in a toy kitchen that we use in everyday life.
Although the play kitchen remains a toy, the benefits of this creation cannot be underestimated. Playing with the kitchen set, kids learn essential life skills that remain for the rest of their lives.
Benefits of Pretend Play Toys like Kitchen Sets
Several eminent scholars (e.g., Erikson, 1950; Freud, 1958; Piaget, 1962) of the last century spoke of the significance of pretend play in cognitive, social, and emotional development. Vygotsky was perhaps most resolute in his belief that pretends play is a “leading factor in the development,” noting that children develop a range of skills and learn culturally valued competencies (Berk, Mann, & Ogan, 2006). For more information, please follow the link for A Research Summary on Play and Learning.
Below are the most notable benefits of buying a toy kitchen for your child.
Social and Emotional Development
Pretend play allows children to transform into whoever they want to be. Empathy is cultivated in children as they take on the role of someone else. Self-confidence in children may increase due to the realization that they can be any character they choose. And with that comes the desire to try new things and learn new things.
A play kitchen allows children to create their recipes, take on different roles (what it’s like to be a chef, waiter, patron, etc.), use utensils and appliances, and act out scenarios they have witnessed with their creative twist.
Fine and Gross Motor Skills Development
While playing with the kitchen set, kids engage in many physical activities, such as chopping, sautéing, frying, and serving up their delicious imaginary meals.
They would be preoccupied with sorting through the utensils in the cupboards. They would be in charge of operating the kitchen appliances that came with the set such as refrigerator, microwave, stove. Some of the kitchen plasyets have working “ice” dispenser! In addition the toy kitchen set comes with several realistic details, such as doors, handles, stove knobs, and dishwasher trays. These activities aid in the development of motor abilities, while practicing the actions that they see their mom and dads doing in the kitchen thrills kids a lot!
Cognitive Flexibility Development
Improved cognitive flexibility is a scientific term that refers to the fact that early pretend play has been shown in studies to encourage imagination and creativity in children. This is essential for kids’ development as we implement creative thinking in different areas of our lives all the time.
Teamwork and Communications Skills Development
The earlier kids to learn about how to effectively communicate with others, the more quickly their communication abilities will progress. You can even motivate your child to learn to read and write by incorporating shopping lists or waiter orders into the play kitchen.
Communicating with each other is always a key element in kids’ development. If your kids don’t have siblings, invite their friends for teamwork and get involved in-game. It will allow you to encourage their personality traits such as confidence and trust, which are essential for your child.
Organizational Skills Development
As a parent, you are probably well aware that organizational skills are one of the most challenging skills to explain and develop. A play kitchen is a great helper for you to demonstrate and share examples of why it is beneficial and intelligent to be an organized person and plan things out in advance. Play kitchen with all of the tools and accessories, scenarios, and play will demonstrate that they have to find what they are looking for when they need it. Your child will understand that all stuff should be in its proper place, reinforcing the importance of being well-organized.
Life Skills Development
Kids kitchens provide children with the opportunity to practice various life skills that are necessary for the future. Planning and organization, numeracy, cleanliness, making healthy food choices are examples of these skills.
A child can simulate the preparation of a meal by planning it, counting out the food ingredients, setting the table, serving it, pretending to clean up, and finally putting everything away after their play session.
You can also use their toy kitchen to teach them about healthy foods and the importance of unhealthy items being eaten only on special occasions, such as birthdays.
When you encourage these life skills in your children’s creative play, you will begin to instill these critical life skills in their minds, which will prepare them to become successful adults later in life.
Here is the list of the best play kitchen sets that are available in many online shops and that will surprise you with its realistic features!
Which children’s kitchen playsets are the best?
After reviewing quite a few reviews in various sources and listening to the opinions of parents about children’s kitchens, I came to the conclusion that one of the best companies producing children’s kitchens is KidKraft.
KidKraft Ultimate Corner Wooden Play Kitchen with Lights & Sounds
KidKraft Ultimate Corner Wooden Play Kitchen Set is a great way to make your little one feel like a professional chef in his or ger imagination.
This KidKraft kitchen is designed to be used by children as young as three years old and
Take a look at all the details in this KidKraft Kitchen playset: dishwasher, oven and microwave, freezer, refrigerator, and washer. A child can open and close, which makes this kitchen playset a highly interactive toy. Removable sink is easy to clean.
Your little one will be delighted by “cooking” process as burners emit natural lights and sounds.
There is enough storage space to allow children to store their toys and other accessories. It teaches children to keep the kitchen area tidy, and I’m sure you would agree that it is an essential process in developing the skills that will be implemented in life.
The only drawback of this beautiful play kitchen is lack of accessories. You will have to buy them separately.
Modern-style phone gives additional charming feature to this already perfect playset.
L-shape will help to save a space in the room.
Melissa Doug Wooden Chef’s Pretend Play Toy Kitchen with “Ice” Cube Dispenser
In comparison to many other play kitchen sets, the Melissa Dough Play Toy Kitchen is wide enough to accommodate few kids at the same time. Imagine what this will do for you when you have other families visiting! It encourages children to work in groups and to develop social skills that will be useful later on in their lives.
Imagine the fun that awaits your children if there is more than one kid in the family or if you often have guests with children! This kitchen playset will keep your kids occupied for hours!
Fully assembled, the kitchen toy measures approximately 3.5 feet in length and 3 feet in height, making it the largest kitchen toy model currently available on the market.
The refrigerator, which features an innovative ice maker, the microwave, which has a turning plate, the oven, and the stovetop, which have functional dials, the sink, movable hooks, and a grocery checklist are just a few features.
Step2 Gourmet Kids Play Kitchen
This modern-style pink kitchen playset is suitable for toddlers aged two years and has everything for realistic role-play.
Most of the kitchen playsets have a microwave, refrigerator, and stovetop burner featuring lights and sounds. But this amazing playset features a chalkboard to keep track of the grocery list. What can motivate your little one to learn to read and write better than this?
In addition, Step2 Gourmet Kids Play Kitchen features a refrigerator with a built-in water dispenser, coffeemaker, and double sink that helps keep things organized.
Pass-trough window calls for a lot of imaginative cooking fun.
Step2 Lifestyle Dream Kitchen Playset is high quality but at the same time an inexpensive toy kitchen set
It includes all of the features of a standard kitchen set, as well as a few extras.
If you have a toddler who does not play independently, this pretends playset can make all the difference in the world. It has a wide range of entertaining activities.
There is a wide range of realistic features coming with this toy kitchen set. By the way, I found out that the kids’ favorites are lights and sounds, and it doesn’t relate to the kitchen toys only.
When the frying pan is placed on the burner, it makes a humming sound. When a pot is placed on top of it, it emits boiling hisses. In addition, there are small lights on the burner to give the impression that it is on fire. When your children play with the Step2 Lifestyle Dream Kitchen Playset, they will undoubtedly be immersed in their world.
If you frequently host other families, keep in mind that it can only comfortably accommodate two children at a time. If it becomes necessary to do more than that, it is an excellent time to teach your kid to share their toys with others.
Step2 Lifestyle Dream Kitchen Playset is genuinely interactive. Your kid will be thrilled to empty the recycling bin, open the microwave, refrigerator, cabinet, oven, and drawer doors. Step2 Lifestyle Dream Kitchen Playset also comes with a toy phone, which is a nice extra touch.
With a total weight of 10.6 pounds, the entire set is lightweight and easy to move around. However, it will move when children play with it, so it is recommended to position it against a wall for the child’s safety.
Getting this fantastic kitchen is a bonus of 37-piece accessories that include plates and cups, cutlery, pans and pots with lids to make a culinary process more fun!
Little Tikes Super Chef Kitchen Blue & Cream
This plastic, compact, modern kitchen can fit in any play area, even in a room with little space. But the small size has not prevented the manufacturers from including all the necessary accessories required for quality playtime, such as microwave, stove, molded-in sink, oven with working keypads, play phone, and clickable knobs!
While playing, the burner makes electronic sounds, which is great fun for kids and makes the game more real.
There is enough space inside the refrigerator to store play food.
Despite its small size, the kitchen is designed so that two children can play at the same time. Not all toy kitchens, even those with a large size, can boast such feature.
KidKraft Uptown Espresso Wooden Play Kitchen with Play Phone, Chalkboard & Towel Rack
What I love about this kitchen is the removable sink, which is easy to clean. Also, this play kitchen has four burners instead of the two that are more common.
The windows in the microwave and oven allow your kid to “watch” cooking and improve his culinary skills.
This kitchen is made of metal and wood, which certainly makes it durable and sturdy.
Shelves for utensils and extra storage space allow you to store all the kitchen accessories in one place and keep the room tidy.
KidKraft Vintage Wooden Play Kitchen with Pretend Ice Maker and Play Phone
Compared to the previously described kitchens, this one is the right size for a toddler.
I love vintage things, and the toy kitchen is no exception. In case you don’t have enough space in your child’s room, agree that this kitchen would complement any living room decor. Even the thermometer on the ice box makes this kitchen a piece of art!
The sleek stainless steel parts are durable, which will allow more than one generation to play with this kitchen for ages!