As you look at all of the wooden play kitchens, pretend play food, and dress-up clothes in your local toy store, you may be wondering if there is any real purpose to pretend play. You already know that children learn by watching and doing. But there are so many other reasons why pretend play is so important to child development.
1. Children Develop Their Imaginations Through Pretend Play
When you purchase pretend play items like costumes or play kitchens, your children have the opportunity to develop their imaginations. They can think creatively and act out daily scenes that have meaning to them. Play helps them explore the value of imagination and creativity, which are essential to developing problem solving skills.
2. Children Learn Social Skills
Pretending to play house or pretending to be chefs in a kitchen helps your children develop social skills. They have to take turns doing different things with these toys and communicate with each other as they do it. Sharing and compromise are necessary so your children can learn how to be reasonable and responsible adults.
3. Children Are Able to Learn Alongside You in the Kitchen
Many parents place play kitchens in their real kitchens at home. Play kitchens give children the freedom to explore cooking and cleaning activities that might otherwise be dangerous for them. If your children have a tendency to get too close to the stove, you can always redirect them away from danger by directing them to their own play kitchen. They can copy what you are doing in the kitchen in a much safer way while still learning from watching you.
4. Wooden Play Sets Set the Stage for Parent/Child Interactions
You want to spend time with your children, but it can be hard for you and your children to find activities you both enjoy. Children love to pretend to cook meals for parents, imagining all kinds of food and all manner of kitchen scenarios. Play sets set the stage on which children can willingly interact with each other and interact with you, their parents. That parent/child interaction, even if it is only for thirty minutes a day, is so important to their psychological and emotional development. It forms bonds they will need all of their lives, and creates loving memories, too.
Help your child engage in the power of pretend play by purchasing wooden play kitchens or other types of play sets.