As a parent, I am quite fond of toys that encourage imaginary play. It’s believed to enthuse children and help cultivate their ingenuity and inventive juices. While I’ve been guilty of using the TV as a babysitter before just as many other parents have, it’s important to understand the significance of keeping our children’s minds challenged and engaged when ever possible. One favorite toy that helps to augment a child’s artistic and innovative side is a play kitchen. But is there an age that is most appropriate for a child to begin exploring the idea of cooking and/or is there such an age where the child will no longer recognize the value of a play kitchen?
As with anything there is never a hard and fast rule when it comes to the development of our children. Yet, it was a question I wanted to address because I often come across such an inquiry on various forums and blogs. Most often people are wondering if their child might be too young to play with a toy kitchen but on occasion, people ask if their child may be too old to appreciate such a gift.
So you may be asking, what is the best age for play kitchens and what are the reasons behind that answer? It can be concluded that the ideal age to fully utilize and appreciate a toy kitchen is between two and half and 5 and half years old. Acquiring a play kitchen for your child under the age of two is certainly a prerogative but don’t anticipate there to be much awareness until they are closer to two and a half. Imaginary play is a concept that is developed in children over the age of two and children younger than that are just not ready cognitively to grasp this idea of pretend play. Although they may be captivated by all the bells and whistles, literally, they won’t connect to the imaginative power of a play kitchen until they are a bit older.
Ok, but what about the kids that are over the age of five; would they have an attraction to such a toy? At this age, expect them to be more allured by the idea of cooking with real food. They are ready to experiment using genuine ingredients while creating their own master piece. In conclusion, it seems to logical that the ideal ages to truly appreciate a play kitchen and benefit from imaginary play is between the ages of two and five; a limited window maybe but a great instrument none the less.
As I said, all children are diverse and some may really take pleasure in a toy kitchen outside of the ages I listed but for the most part, I think, as a parent you will be more satisfied with your purchase if you stay with in these guidelines.