How Does a Play Kitchen Help a Child’s Development?

Since my son learned how to walk, I can’t remember a day he did not walk in on me while preparing dinner.

My little chef would keep touching kitchen items. As the cautious (sometimes paranoid) mother I am, this did not augur well with me.

A friend advised me to get him a play kitchen. Am so glad I did! I realized that play kitchens are very good for kids.

I compiled a list of benefits about these toys. Read on and enjoy!

By Lilian.

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Benefits of Play Kitchens

Play Kitchens develop Fine Motor Skills

Play kitchens come with different accessories – utensils, foods, dishes, pots, etc.

When children pick and manipulate these items, they’re exercising the muscles on their hands and fingers.

This exercise grows their fine motor skills, which they’ll employ to brush their teeth, tie shoelaces, or even write using a pen.

Kids Learn how to Categorize

As children pretend play with play kitchens, they learn how to differentiate and categorize food and non-food items in the kitchen.

They also categorize different types of utensils – knives, forks, spoons, serving spoons, plates, etc.

This is way safer than having them play with real kitchen stuff.

Play Kitchens Foster Language and Social Skills

Play kitchens give kids an opportunity to role play with their friends.

They have little conversations as they explain what they’re cooking, how they’re cooking it and how fun it is!

They learn how to respond and continue with the conversation based on what the previous person said.

This grows their social and language skills.

Don’t forget about the new vocabulary such as baking, marinating, chopping, etc.

Play Kitchens Build Imagination and Creativity

One thing I love about play kitchens is that they really encourage kids to imagine stuff and be creative.

A friend once told me how her daughter prepares alphabet soup in her play kitchen.

Can you even imagine that?

The little chef writes out the alphabet letters and proceeds to chop them using her scissors before pouring them into her play kitchen’s pot.

She stirs continuously and then pours them into little bowls.

Isn’t this great imagination and creativity for a 5-year-old?

They Teach Kids the Proper Use of Eating Paraphernalia

You know what?

You don’t have to wait till your child is all-grown to teach them eating etiquette.

Get them a play kitchen!

The end of every cooking session is always eating.

Well, pretending to eat in this case.

Let your child learn how to use all the items in the table set, including that table knife, the different sizes and types of spoons, how to use a fork, and much more.

Play Kitchens Teach Children Independence

Another reason why I’m so grateful I got a play kitchen for my son is that it has helped me teach him very important skills.

For example, how to keep his kitchen clean, how to wipe the table tops, and putting stuff away after he’s done with the cooking session, to name but a few.

These skills make him more independent, now and even in the future.

Don’t forget about the self-confidence that grows when a child is able to do stuff on their own!

Now that you’re aware of the fantastic benefits of a play kitchen, you’re wondering, is my child old enough for one? Well, here’s the answer.

The Best Age to Get a Play Kitchen

Most kids learn how to pretend play at 2-3 years of age, so play kitchens are generally fine from this age.

However, every child’s development speed/rate varies, so there’s really no one-size-fits-all age for play kitchens.

You find that a 2-year-old might only know how to open and close the play kitchen’s cupboard door and twist the knobs to hear that “click”.

But as they grow, they learn how to chop stuff, ‘cook’ stuff, etc.

So, play kitchens grow with your child, and that’s fantastic!

Photo by middelveld


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