Children’s play can be so powerful that the learning and fun stretches from an early age all the way into adulthood, from kindergarten readiness to career readiness. From an artist that drew on the wall about the age of 2, to a nurse that played with Dr. Barbie, a mathematician that enjoyed numbers, a designer that “always like to draw”, a scientist that took apart her toys and dolls, and a crafter who created and sold products to her childhood friends, today’s post is about a famous chef.
I love this anecdote about chef, restaurant owner, and tv personality, Bobby Flay. Apparently, at the age of eight, Bobby Flay wanted an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas. According to Wikipedia, his father thought a GI Joe would be more appropriate for a boy. Even though Bobby got both toys at Christmas, the oven was not just a passing whim. Ten years after that Easy-Bake oven Christmas gift, he began working in the restaurant industry. That has been his career now for more than 30 years.
Playing chef can start with a few real pots and pans on the kitchen floor as well as kitchen toys or, perhaps, some recyclables. There are many choices of children’s dishes and food sets. Plus, kids like to help prepare and cook real food. Although it can’t really be called “help”, kids enjoy being included in the kitchen. Washing vegetables should be fairly safe for younger toddlers and slicing soft things like bananas can be done with a plastic knife for older kids. In the summer, kitchen play toys can move out of doors to a sandbox or mud bowl, but in the winter, inside is a better choice for most areas.
So often, adults do not see the drive, importance, and passion in children’s play. For some fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness, would your child like to play cook-in-the-kitchen today?