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.
What 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.
Once 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.
Older 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.Pretending 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?