Posted on: 25 May 2016
Kids are almost always drawn to dramatic play areas in preschool and kindergarten. They enjoy pretend play and engaging in activities that model what adults do at home. If you buy a wooden play kitchen for your children, there is so much more to what it can teach besides kitchen routines. Here are three things you may not have expected wooden play kitchens to teach your children, which will prove of value to them as they get older.
Never Climb into an Oven, Even If You Can Fit
While it may be great fun to reenact the scene from Hansel and Gretel where the witch climbs into the oven and Gretel shoves the witch in and closes the door, if your children attempt this with a wooden play oven, they may find out how scary this really is. However, they would be far less likely to try this with a real oven later on after having played out this story with a toy oven. The lesson learned is: never climb into an oven, even if you can fit--it is too scary (not to mention dangerous).
Burners and Fire Safety
In an age where microwaves cook much of our food, painted burners on a play stove are a bit of a novelty for kids. You can take full advantage of this by teaching them all there is to know about oven burners, how they work, and why they should never be touched with bare hands, even after they have been turned off. You can also incorporate lessons about fire safety and the hazards of setting anything flammable on top of a burner, as well as how to put the flames out without making it worse (e.g., water on a grease fire is a no) or spreading the fire by trying to fan it.
Never Overstuff Your Refrigerator
Kids are funny in that when you attempt to tell them not to put too much stuff inside of something, they try to prove you wrong. It is a sign of developmental maturity and reasoning, but it is still fun to see them try anyway. As you instruct them to pick up their play kitchen area, remind them to not "overstuff the fridge." They will still try to stuff everything they can into the fridge but the door will not close. When that happens, you can share with them what happens in the real world when you put too much in refrigerator and the door does not close. Food spoils when the refrigerator is not closed, and much of what tumbles out of the fridge cannot be saved or eaten fast enough to avoid spoilage.
These are good things for little ones to know and are important life lessons you can teach with the help of a wooden play kitchen.Share