Play kitchen for children: game or educational tool?

That toy kitchens they have always been one of children’s favorite toys and even today experts suggest introducing children to cooking games from an early age. The kitchen sets for children are actually not just toys, but they represent gods right pedagogical tools.

Playing with the kitchen educates the child in’learn important skills and allows him to develop personality traits that can help and guide him for the rest of his life. It is no coincidence that small toy kitchens are one of the most important educational tools introduced in Montessori schools.

The benefits of playing with the kitchen

  • Develop language and communication

First of all, a play kitchen is great for promoting language and communication. Through the game, children learn many new words such as “mix”, “cook” and also the name of different foods and dishes. Expanding the vocabulary allows you to develop verbal intelligence, which will be very useful for communication in society and for starting school.

  • Increase social skills

Another benefit of play cooking has to do with social skills related to role play. Interpreting social roles through imagination and fantasy allows us to understand the mechanisms of interpersonal relationships in a game context. Pretend play is very useful in preparing the child for future adult roles.

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  • Improves feelings of self-efficacy and confidence

Playing around in the play kitchen gives the child a strong sense of independence and security. This is the main reason why the play kitchen is an indispensable element in all Montessori schools. The child actually performs his actions in total autonomy while playing, e.g she feels independentin other words, he likes to show the adult that he can handle it all by himself.

  • Encourage teamwork

With a play kitchen, children tend to divide certain roles among themselves to complete the task of making an imaginary dinner. For example, if there is one child who cooks, another who cleans and yet another who puts everything away, the ability to work as a team is developed, a skill that will stay with them throughout their lives.

By giving your child the freedom and tools to explore new concepts through the toys he loves, he can learn vital skills that will serve him throughout his life. In addition to these skills, children with kitchen sets will be able to develop personality traits such as self-confidence, resourcefulness, extroversion and creativity, all of which will be crucial in their lives.

Toy kitchens: which ones to choose?

Depending on the age of the child and its specificities, we will have to look for the most suitable model, also in terms of space and materials.

You can buy a toy kitchen already about a year and a half, i.e. when the child has already learned to stand up and interact with a whole range of objects. But at this age it will still be necessary to do pay close attention to small objects, such as ingredients and accessories if already included in the kit. If the child is small, it will also be necessary to reassess attach the kitchenette to the wallto prevent the child from throwing it at him.

For small children, there are actually mignon models that simply rest on the floor for easy access, such as the Hape portable kitchen, made of wood.

Then there is the inevitable toy kitchen from Lidl discount stores which every year sells like hotcakes: for the modest price of around €50, it is often already equipped with all accessories such as pans and gloves.

Among the really stylish models, but at affordable prices, there is the kitchen New classic toyoften available for around 80 euros on Amazon, with a sink and two burners and a glove, salt and pepper shaker, pots and spoons.

Finally, for those who cannot do without amazing sound effects and lights, you can count on super-equipped kitchens made of plastic. Less impressive, but easier to assemble (sometimes they require almost no assembly), they are just a lot flashier to encourage our children with so many colors.

If, on the other hand, you are a fan of creative recycling and very well versed in DIY, you can always choose to restore the shine to your grandmother’s old bedside table or to a few pallets with a DIY play kitchen!

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