kitchen play activities

Mayhem and Messy Play #9: Let Kids Have a Kitchen Drawer

The kitchen floor doesn’t need to be covered with toys, instead it can be covered with containers, pans, and tools when we let kids have a kitchen drawer. At least, when it comes from the drawer it’s easier to scoop up and drop back in when it’s time to tidy up.

kitchen drawer play

A low kitchen drawer filled with a few items can be a source of play for kids of various ages. Young ones will enjoy simply taking out all the stuff and spreading it around. Kids a little older will use the objects to pretend or, perhaps, to build. The kind of play reflects their development. Because the objects can be used in several ways, they will meet children’s needs at various with kitchen items

Some possible items to include in a bottom drawer include plastic containers of different sizes, colors, and shapes, small metal pots and pans, a few tools such as a potato masher, ice cream scoop, wooden spoon, and spatula, and plastic dishes, cups, spoons, and forks.playing in the kitchen

Toys can often only be used in one way. With kitchen items, there’s no right or wrong way. Kids can play with them according to their interests and development. Little Sister loves to pretend she is shopping with stuff in the drawer. Big Sister liked to set up her own restaurant and serve us.exploring numbers

Children like using things that are not toys. Toys are what kids have, while kitchen objects are what adults get to use. Children imitate the actions of the adults around them during their play. Adults spend time in the kitchen, so understandably kids like to do that too. During kids’ self-directed play in the kitchen, we can occasionally interact with them. We might ask if they are making something to eat, or comment that a spoon banging on a lid makes a noise. Is it a loud noise or a soft noise? Messes are not always something we see, they can be something we hear too.making music fun

We often forget that play doesn’t come from toys, it comes from within children themselves. For some messy play fun and learning, would this work in your house or play center to let kids have a kitchen drawer?


Toy Kitchen Christmas Fun Adds Imaginative and Pretend Play to the Day

Toy kitchen Christmas fun cooks up play and learning for kids. Real kitchens are super busy now and kids often imitate what we do as they play. Toy kitchens are not just girl toys. Lots of boys enjoy playing in them as well. Since it’s Christmas, it might be elves playing in the kitchen anyway.

children play in toy kitchen

Toy kitchens are not just girl toys. Lots of boys enjoy playing in them as well. Since it’s Christmas, it might be elves playing in the kitchen anyway. While wooden or plastic sets will last longer, cardboard boxes can be turned into fridges and stoves and sinks. For the stove or sink, turn a box either on its side or upside down. Color or glue on the burners for the stove and cut out a door for the oven. A large plastic container set on the box will make a sink. To make a fridge, cut out the door and add a shelf or two. For a shelf, cut out two slots opposite each other on either side of the box. Slide in a piece of cardboard from one side to the other and let the ends stick out.

As kids cook in a toy kitchen, there is ample evidence of imaginative play. Wooden blocks might be getting stirred along with pretend plastic food. Sipping coffee is accompanied by slurping sounds. What we see on the outside as children play is only a glimpse of what’s happening on the inside. Just to imitate the words and actions of the adults around them, kids have to sort through all the things we say and do to find the ones that make sense for being in a kitchen. They are making countless decisions as they coordinate all the pieces. This practicing and creating requires a great deal of problem-solving, planning, and organizing. If children are playing with someone else, the interaction adds another layer to the play.

Toy kitchen Christmas fun is a simple recipe with basic ingredients: kids and imagination. What play is cookin’ at your house?



Kids Play with Anything #15: Child’s Play with Kitchen Items

Kids may have a roomful of toys and where do they play? Right in the middle of the kitchen. Have you noticed any child’s play with kitchen items?

Playing in the middle of the kitchen is understandable. After all, that’s likely where the adults are. Kids learn by watching and imitating the adults around them. It’s a mistake to think that play comes from toys. Play comes from within the child.

making music funWhat are some ways that kids play with kitchen tools? Somehow kids discover that a wooden spoon and a metal saucepan or bowl make wonderful music. Well, at least, they make wonderful loud sounds. Through their exploration, kids learn they are able to make soft or loud sounds, and rhythms that are fast and slow. To us, kids might look like they are doing the same thing over and over as they play, but figuring all this out takes many experiences.

play in the kitchenOnce babies are mobile, they like to move over to low drawers where they pull out all the containers or light plastic items and throw them on the floor. Again, this loose-parts play activity is enjoyed over and over. Young engineers may build with the sandwich and other containers, creating castles, towers, and bases in Planet Kitchen.

play with kitchen itemsOlder kids may use kitchen tools for their imaginary play. Little Sister likes to push her shopping cart over to the drawer that has all the kitchen tools and load up her basket. Once she has wheeled around the island a few times, she adds a few more. Making a meal can be a bit of a challenge because a particular tool needed at any given time isn’t in the drawer.recycled-learning-toolsPretending store or restaurant needs the real stuff. It’s much more convenient to give kids empty boxes, containers, cartons, and tins instead of full ones, so save these for play with kitchen items. Tea parties certainly need some of the treasures in the kitchen.

Child’s play with kitchen items is one of the ways that kids are like adults—spending time in the kitchen. How does your child play in the kitchen?

Helping Kids Learn to Play Series #7: Play Kitchens

Play Kitchens Cook Up Brain Food Play kitchens are often a popular choice for young children and can support their early development. Preschool children’s early education is delivered through PLAY, so it’s critical for us to provide opportunities and to extend the ways kids can play. The kinds of toys and experiences young kids have … Continue reading Helping Kids Learn to Play Series #7: Play Kitchens

Children Have a Need and Hunger to Explore

As parents and caregivers, we are also responsible for the raising of children’s minds. The ancient philosopher Plutarch said: “The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” It might be that we had enough fire on the weekend–the wood got damp and the fire smoked more than burned, … Continue reading Children Have a Need and Hunger to Explore

Kindergarten Readiness: Fun & Learning in the Kitchen

Encouraging your toddler’s early learning or preschooler’s kindergarten readiness can be as easy as opening a drawer in your kitchen. Having a drawer with plastic containers and safe tools gives your child something to play with while you are busy. The crawlers discover how they can take everything out of the drawer. Small containers will … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness: Fun & Learning in the Kitchen

Kindergarten Readiness And Water Play And Learning

This month kindergarten readiness plays-of-the-day are all about exploring and discovering, something that kids do from the time they are born. Scientists do the same thing, so in a way, children are natural scientists as they play and learn. Kids, from babies to kindergarteners, love to play with water. If the weather is warm enough, … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness And Water Play And Learning

Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – K = Kitchen Learning & Fun

K-k-k kids can play and have fun in the kitchen and, at the same time, learn and practice some basic kindergarten readiness skills. While it would probably be easier for us without their assistance, most kids love to be in the kitchen. Since that’s where the action is, that’s where we’ll learn and play with … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness ABC`s – K = Kitchen Learning & Fun