Whether they are playing the role of a head chef, baker, cafe owner, kitchen porter, parent or waiter, children love playing different roles and scenarios in imaginative play. With a play kitchen, your child can imagine themselves in all kinds of roles while rustling up some mouth-watering imaginary treats.
Benefits of a play kitchen
A play kitchen is one of the best things you can have in your home for encouraging imaginative play. A play kitchen can:
- Enrich creativity
- Enhance language and communication
- Improve social skills and teamwork
- Help develop planning and organisation skills
- Mimic important life skills
- Offer a sense of independence
- Boost cognitive and problem-solving skills
- Encourage mathematical learning
- Enhance visual recognition
- Promote healthy food choices
- Develop fine motor skills
So it’s time to pop an apron on your child and help them get imaginative in the kitchen!
Play kitchens with style
Explore our range of play kitchens and get a modern, commercial-looking kitchen that’s perfect for your budding chef. Providing hours of fun, our play kitchens consist of everything you would expect from a gourmet kitchen.
Take our Gourmet White Toy Kitchen, which features a four burner cooktop, oven, sink, and even a dishwasher! Finished in a lead-free and non-toxic white colour with silver metallic trim, it features:
- Doors that open and knobs that click for realistic play
- Hardened child-safe Perspex and magnets on doors to keep them closed
- Door hinges made from durage metal
- A removable sink for easy clean-up
- Sink tap swivels and tap knobs that turn
- Removable internal shelves
- Plenty of storage.
Building a play kitchen
Building your own play kitchen allows you to customise it to suit your child’s individual personality. Use what’s in front of you - a play kitchen doesn’t require anything too flash, just a little bit of creativity. Check your garage, recycle stuff from your own kitchen, use old paint as primer, and have a real-looking, stylish kitchen on a budget.
If you can, pop it on casters so it’s moveable too.
Start with your base cabinetry. Are you using an old TV or nightstand, or a desk, table or chest of drawers? For this example, we’ll use an old TV cabinet. Sand your TV cabinet down really well to ensure your paint will stick.
For your backsplash, take a 12” x 1” x 6 feet piece of pine board and secure it to the top of the cabinet using wood glue, straight metal brackets and screws. If you can, clamp your backsplash in place overnight to allow the glue to dry.
Prime and paint the pine board and your TV cabinet with your chosen colour. To make your splashback look ‘real’, draw some vertical straight lines every 2.5 inches down the length of the board. Give your lines depth with a fine-point silver pen.
Take a piece of black craft foam, a piece of child-safe Perspex and some superglue to create your stove top and oven. You can add some knobs using wood disks and contact paper. Your knobs can then be screwed directly into your cabinet.
To make the sink, pick up a cheap faucet from Bunnings and a mixing bowl. Measure the rim of the bowl and cut a hole in the top of your cabinet that’s slightly smaller. The lip of the bowl should sit just over the hole.
For storing utensils, either add a shelf to your splashback or attach a curtain rod or Grundtal bar. With some S-bend hooks you can hang saucepans, frypans and buckets for your utensils.
Populate your child’s new toy kitchen with the accessories they’ll need to play with. Check out our full range of kitchen accessories here.
Engaging play in your play kitchen
When playing with your child in their play kitchen, let them lead. When you pretend play with kids it’s important not to guide them. If they ask you for help and ideas it’s okay to prompt them, but try to let them take the reigns whenever possible. This will make their experience in the kitchen a whole lot more fun.
And don’t forget that for even more fun, stock your kitchen well. HipKids can help with this, whether you’ve bought a kitchen from us or you’ve made your own. At HipKids we’ve got aprons, rolling pins, whisks, bowls, blenders, mixing spoons, pastry brushes, pastry wheels, cookie cutters, cup cake trays, cake pans, cake stands, weighing scales, and even a coffee machine.
From the ‘food’ side of things, we’ve got toy fruits and veg, toy wooden cupcakes, popcorn machines, biscuits, sushi, pastries, whole chickens, smoothie goods, eggs, juice, milk, sauce and bread.
The more you stock your kitchen, the more fun is to be had! Check out the full range of toy kitchen play sets at HipKids today.