Five Creative Play Ideas for Kids in the Kitchen

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Do you spend a lot of your time in the kitchen? If you love to bake and cook all kinds of recipes and are often trying new things, you probably want to be able to share the passion that you have with your child. Even if he or she is still a bit young, there are several different ways for you to encourage him or her to have fun in the kitchen. In fact, if you are not sure exactly how to make it fun for your little one, consider trying some of the many creative kitchen play ideas that are listed below, which includes buying a kid’s wooden kitchen set to make playing feel even more realistic.


1.  Creating a List for a Shopping Adventure

Print out several pictures of some of the different foods that you often shop for at the grocery store, such as boxes of cereal, bananas, milk and juice. After you have printed out a few of these pictures, you can have your child sort through them and then decide which ones he or she is interested in adding to the fake shopping list that will be created. Supply your child with a pencil and a sheet of paper to make the list and then watch to see what he or she begins writing down. You can then have your little one paste the pictures next to each item that is on the list.


2.  Preparing Play Food

You can purchase a Step2 Kitchen so that your daughter or son will feel a lot like you by being able to use assorted kitchen utensils and equipment that you probably use each day, such as pots, pans and a stove to cook the pretend food. The kid-friendly kitchen may include an artificial microwave, plates, bowls, a fridge and a little oven. While you start making some of your food on the real stove, you can give your little one some clay to create his or her own food. Do not forget the rolling pin and the cookie cutters! With the clay in hands, your daughter or son will be able to roll out the “dough” and then cut out shapes of different types of food using the cutters. After preparing the fake food, your little one can pretend to cook it in the oven or the stove. You could also choose to use edible clay if you would like. There are several recipes for clay that tastes like peanut butter, cinnamon and even chocolate.

Depending on the age of your kid, you may need to supervise with the rolling of the clay and the cutting of different shapes with the clay in the pretend play kitchen. While you are cooking something for dinner, you could say to your little one, “Why don’t you have a look at how I am rolling this meatball. Now do you want to give it a try with you clay?” You may notice that your child wants to imitate all of the things that you tend to do in the kitchen, whether that means rolling a few meatballs, kneading dough or pouring several ingredients into a bowl.


3.  Throwing a Tea Party

The cool thing about having a kid’s toy kitchen is that you can get lots of accessories for it, such as a tin tea set that comes with a few cups, saucers and a large teacup. It is a great way to play pretend by telling your child to “heat” the tea on the play pretend stove so that the two of you can sit down and chat with one another. When your kid tells you that the tea is ready, the two of you can have a seat at the table. Allow your child to use his or her imagination by pretending to pour the fake liquid into each cup before you start to act like you are taking a sip. A little tea party is always a fun way to bond and create great memories that will mean a lot to both of you.


4.  Sorting Food by Type

If your child is still relatively young, you may want him or her to learn the difference between different foods. If you have fake food, whether you have purchased plastic pieces or have crocheted your own, you can have your child sort them all out while having fun with the children’s play kitchen. Have him or her sort the vegetables followed by the fruits, canned goods and beverages. When your little one is all done, you can check to see how well he or she did. It is a great learning experience for all children because they get to play with fun items while figuring out how to differentiate the different types of foods that they eat at home.


5.  Mini At-Home Supermarket or Café

There is nothing more fun for a kid than to turn the kitchen into a mini at-home supermarket. Before playing this game, it is a good idea to purchase a cash register that your child would be able to use after pretending to scan items. You could act like you are the shopper while he or she is the employee of the supermarket who will ring up your groceries and bag them for you. Have a look at the food items that are spread out, grab a few and then take them up to the mini cash register where your little one is standing.

If you do not want to do the whole supermarket idea, you could change it to a café. Your little one could pretend that they are an amazing chef who is cooking meals at a local café. You could walk in and order a few items, such as a muffin and a cup of hot tea. Allow your little one to pretend like they are preparing the food and drinks and then serving them to you at the table.

Giving children a chance to enjoy imaginative play is good for their development. You may notice that your little one loves spending time in the kitchen while imitating your behavior. It is a great way to spend quality time together.