In case you never knew, the play kitchen is the best toy ever! Seriously, it is the best. It is gender neutral, spans ages of kids, encourages great creative and imaginative play and honestly gets more use than any other toy in our house. My kids play with their kitchen every day. Sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for hours. They play together or separately. Sometimes they make the dinners I make and sometimes they come up with the craziest combinations of food. The best part is that they actually stand at the stove and cook, then plate their food and then serve it to anyone who will give it a try.
From the perspective of a Mama of boys, I love that something that can so easily be deemed a “girls” toy is one of their favorites. I totally understand that boys and girls are inherently different. And frankly, I would never want to change that. I didn’t teach my boys to vroom a car or turn everything they can get their hands on into a sword or a gun. They do that on their own and whether I like it or not, that is just what boys do. I personally don’t mind all the boy characteristics and I understand that boys are active and wrestle and will never be content to sit and color quietly in the corner. However, I do love to encourage empathy and play that teaches my boys to be considerate and nurturing. The toy kitchen really does that on its own. They make food to share with others, they learn to work together and every time they create a meal they break the gender norm that women do most of the cooking. I love this!
The added bonus when they play in the kitchen is that I often get to hear their thoughts on food. For instance, today as they were preparing their meals they were talking about making their healthy dinner. They were careful to include fruits and vegetables and needed to cook it just right so it would be good for you. Kids don’t always eat what we give them and sometimes it feels like they never want the healthy stuff, even though we don’t offer a lot of non-healthy stuff. It warms a Mama’s heart when you realize your kiddos really do hear what you tell them about eating healthy in order to grow big and strong!
If you ever needed an endorsement to buy a play kitchen for your kid, here it is…BUY your kid a play kitchen, it is the best toy ever! You’ll never be sorry you encouraged your little boy or girl to be a cook.