Hop onto Pinterest and you’ll be met with hundreds of different ways in which you can create a kid’s kitchen play area on a budget. But what if we told you that starting with a ready-made kitchen can save you both time and money?
A play kitchen is an absolute must in any home with kids. One of the most frequently used toys by children of all ages, your kids will love making pretend desserts, prepping for picnics, and inviting friends over for imaginary dinners. And if your pretend kitchen is well-prepared, then your child’s favourite toy can be a central part of your home – a lure for imaginary play at any time of the day.
To make your kid’s toy kitchen both stylish and functional, order a ready-to-go toy kitchen from HipKids and build from there. All of our play kitchens are beautifully crafted, and the neutral styling makes them ideal for both girls and boys. Simple and contemporary in design, our kid’s kitchens complement any decor and colour palette and are a pleasure to showcase in your home.
Choosing accessories for your kitchen
Pretend play accessories enhance the toy kitchen experience by increasing the role-play value. A kitchen playset will come with basic accessories, but to really get your child involved for the long haul you may need to invest in some extras. You can also use the accessories to help instil in your child healthy cooking and eating habits from a young age (more on this later).
When sourcing accessories for your child’s play kitchen, consider the age of your child. If you have toddlers in the house you don’t want accessories that are too small as they could pose a choking hazard.
You should also consider whether or not you want plastic pieces in your toy kitchen. At HipKids we much prefer the use of wooden accessories, as they not only look much more sophisticated, but they are:
- Environmentally sound – sustainably sourced and a renewable substance
- Safer for your child to play with and put in their mouth
- Durable and long-lasting
- Great for firing the imagination
Accessories you might like to consider include:
- A smoothie set
- Toy pasties and a cake stand
- Sushi and tidbits
- A choppable chicken
- Apron and utensils set
- Weighing scales
- Toaster set
- Fruit set and carry bag
- Eggs and carton
- Pots and pans
- Food and beverages (sauce, milk, cheese etc)
All of these accessories and more are available from the HipKids website.
If you’re going for ease and value, you’ll love our Kitchen Accessories Value Pack which comes complete with toaster, coffee machine and mixer set, plus all the little utensils that complement them. Featuring clicking sounds, and levers and lids that raise, your kids will have hours of fun with these accessories.
Encouraging play in the kitchen
Most kids thrive on the responsibility and independence that a toy kitchen provides. Some even understand the importance of kitchen safety, shouting things like “hot” when near the oven and remembering to wash their hands before starting any food prep. Other kids might need a gentle nudge to get the play and learning started.
Kitchen play is empowering for kids, and it’s important to let them explore the kitchen as they feel comfortable. That said, playing alongside your child can be a great bonding experience and a fantastic way to build some new skills.
- Give your child a recipe to followand they learn that every ingredient and process fits into a sequence. This is an integral skill for problem solving.
- Get them to name the accessories in the kitchen and build their vocabulary. Focus on nouns, such as plate, cup, fork, knife, apple bread, chicken; verbs, such as cut, pour, wash, dry, stir, bake and freeze; opposites, such as hot/cold, wet/dry, big/little, full/empty.
- Invite friends over to play with the toy kitchen and promote your child’s social skills. When several children are playing in the kitchen together they need to work on taking turns, because not everyone can do the same thing at the same time. This can teach them sharing and engagement skills.
- Ask your child to turn knobs, pull down levers, chop chicken etc to help develop fine motor skills. Many kitchen have knobs that can be turned, which puts fine motor skills to use.
Setting up healthy eating habits
Healthy eating habits can be fun to teach, and with a little planning and the use of a play kitchen you can do this easily. Download some printables from Pinterest or check out the Australian Government’s Healthy Eating Learning Experiences Pack. Choose realistic looking healthy food for creative play, and teach your child as you play about the importance of healthy eating. You can also talk about international cultures and foods in fun and interactive ways, encouraging your child to try new things in the ‘real world’.
Ready to start building your play kitchen? Check out HipKids’ toy kitchenware and kitchens, and let the fun and learning begin!