The toys that young children play with are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Today, the times that you can spend peacefully on your tablet or phone are few and far between when the kids are around. Many apps today are designed to entertain and educate toddlers and once they’ve had their sticky mitts on your smartphone, it can be quite difficult to convince them that it really should be up to you to decide when it’s time for them to have a turn!
Although there’s plenty of room for technology in a child’s world of play, there’s also a lot to be said for making sure that they have the opportunity to play using their imagination too – and that’s just what you can do by getting them some classic role play toys.
A great example is the traditional toy kitchen that many a toddler of previous generations has had. They may take up a bit of space in the kitchen or living room, but a toy kitchen will provide your child with hours of entertainment, and it’s not just about imaginative play either.
Kids love to imitate the grown-ups they see around them, so it’s not surprising that they are naturally curious about cooking and preparing food – they see it happening every day! There’s a strong link between toy kitchens and education about healthy eating. If kids can experiment putting pretend plates of food together for mum and dad, it will spark conversations about what foods go together well and what we need to eat to stay healthy. To begin with they may serve up chips and ice-cream on the same plate (and maybe that would be their ideal meal) but through play they’ll gradually pick up what foods go together and begin to understand what’s good to eat.
In a toy kitchen, the child is king – or head chef at least! They can use the kitchen as a prop to act out different games and scenarios, and all the time that they’re having fun, they’ll be learning new things. A toy kitchen helps kids to be resourceful – they might not have the ingredients they need to make cakes, but what could they make instead? With you at hand to guide them, they’ll learn about what different food dishes are made of, and for really little ones, a toy kitchen is also a great place to learn about colours and to practice their counting skills.
Of course, when your kids want to start helping out with the cooking for real, it’s great to have some easy kid-friendly recipes on hand. Check out the ideas on https://www.facebook.com/GreatLittleTradingCo for some inspiration!
Classic toddler toys like the toy kitchen and grocery shop are great for fuelling your child’s imaginative play where they can mimic real life scenarios from the grown up world they see around them. And, of course, there are other traditional toys like wooden castles and car garages that kick-start hours of creative play, whether it’s acting out fairy tales or just making up their own stories with a brother or sister or a friend.
The great thing about buying traditional wooden toys like this is that they are built to last and look attractive too. It won’t be just your first born who gets hours of entertainment out of them – their brothers and sisters will too. Then, when your kids have finally grown out of them, you may even find that you’re putting them away in the loft for the next generation to enjoy!