Last Friday, we went to the craziest sale at Takashimaya’s basement atrium. Even though Sophie has truckloads of toys at home, I still wandered in to see if there were any good bargains. The best buy of the evening must be this kitchen set that was usually retailing at $59.90 but was marked down to $20! Plus it’s pink, so how can I say no, right?
If there is one toy that all kids will enjoy, it’s definitely a kitchen set. Never mind if you have a boy, after all the many chefs I know are all guys. While I picked out a pink kitchen set that’s obviously meant for little girls, I do think that children should be exposed to different toys without any gender biasness. So she does have her fair share of trains, cars, and even soldiers which were handed down from her cousin.
Even though we’ve only had the kitchen set at home for a few days, I’m beginning to see how the kitchen set can encourages creativity with pretend play.
1. Encourages Imagination
I’ve seen Sophie use her creativity as she cooks up a storm in her little kitchen. She would pick different food, throw them into her pot, sizzle away and serve it up with sauces before presenting us her dish of the day. She sure shows signs of junior master chef aspirations.
2. Interactive Play
I know I’m not alone as I hear other parents lament how the iPhone and iPad makes their kids disappear into another space and time zone when they get so engrossed with their games. With a kitchen set, Sophie and I get to spend quality time by playing together. I’ll ask her to cook something for me and she’ll ask if I want it with salt or pepper (yes, she’s learnt new words too). I’ll heap praises on her culinary skills by lapping it all up and hinting subtly that she should do the same when mama cooks her meals too. Yes hint, hint, Sophie.
3. Pretend Play
All kids love imitating their parents. Since Alexis doesn’t cook, I’m sure Sophie is trying to imitate her cooking mama. While Sophie is too young to help in the kitchen while I cook, she can do so in her kitchen without fear that she’ll burn the house down.
With this kitchen set, Sophie has learnt words like pepper, salt, oven and canned food. I’m also trying to expand her Mandarin vocabulary by teaching her the different vegetables in Mandarin.
A kitchen set can also aid in teaching food, colors, counting, sorting and hygiene. Don’t forget to wash those hands before you cook!
If you don’t already have a kitchen set, you still have time to hop down to Taka’s toy fair that ends on 2 Oct 2011, this Sunday, where you can choose from a variety of kitchen sets. If pink is a tad too sweet for your liking, you can opt for an orange and blue set, suitable for boys. Or how about a apple tree theme, that’s suitable for little boys and girls. They definitely come cheaper than electronic toys and gives you opportunity to bond with your girl or boy. I’m suspecting this may be a toy with some longevity in the house.
Do you have a kitchen set at home? What other things children learn with a kitchen set? Let’s exchange ideas.