Can Boys Play With Toy Kitchens?
Can boys play with toy kitchens? Yes they can and here’s why they should
I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that if you are asking the question “can boys play with toy kitchens?” it’s probably because someone has suggested they shouldn’t or that toy kitchens are for girls.
Frankly, any child should be able to play with any toy regardless of gender. And being as almost every toddler group and childcare setting in the country is likely to have a toy kitchen in this instance they probably already do.
Admittedly there are still plenty of very pink kitchens out there for kids but there are also a huge number of gender-neutral ones with the trend seeming to be toward more realistic, modern and retro style kitchen that is great for boys and girls. And for kids that love pink why not let them have a pink kitchen.
Plus, at some point, regardless of gender, all kids are going to need to learn to cook. Long gone are the days when you’re little boy will go straight from your loving home to that of his new wife who’ll be ready and waiting to cook and clean for him. And thank goodness for that. Add some marvellous bits of wooden play food to your kitchen, along with some pots and pans and hey presto a budding chef is practising his skills!
In most homes, children will be accustomed to seeing both parents in the kitchen, even if one is the better cook. And there are plenty of famous male chefs. But regardless of history, gender or opinions play kitchens are wonderful toys for all children and a great addition to your home or garden.
Benefits of playing with toy kitchens
Play kitchens are great for developing language and communication skills. In younger children, this could be learning the names of the different foods and utensils as well as actions like stir or whisk. As they get bigger it moves on to developing narrative thought and storytelling as they make up games to play.
Role play is great for feeding the imagination and developing children’s creativity. Children love to act out things they see in real life and will then expand on this in all kinds of ways.
Kitchen play is great for learning life skills and developing independence and self-confidence. Children take charge of their kitchen, keep it clean, set the table for dinner, organise ingredients and learn about basic cooking concepts and healthy eating as they play.
Toy kitchens are also a great way for children to develop key skills such as problem-solving, numeracy and fine motor skills that they will need in so many other areas of their lives.
Not genderising toys allows our boys more opportunities to express themselves and develop all aspects of their personality. Not all boys like football, action figures, tool kits and cars. Some will grow up to be fashion designers, hairdressers, chefs, writers, while yet more will be scientists, nurses, doctors, teachers, architects and engineers. A boy who plays with dolls is simply having fun and possibly learning to be nurturing at the same time.
And if you’re down with the benefits but not sure you can handle the comments, how about an outside toy kitchen or mud kitchen. Because no-ones going to tell you that boys shouldn’t play in the mud.