Have you ever noticed your toddler or preschooler playing pretend in the corner with objects that resemble household items?
If yes, then you may be wondering why and how this form of play can help with your child’s cognitive and motor development.
Believe it or not, pretend play is more than just having a fun time repeating what they have seen you do as a parent or an immediate caregiver.
However, pretend play is a way for these tiny explorers to make sense of the world that surrounds them.
If you are in search of a toy that will help facilitate optimum holistic development through open-ended and imaginative play, Play foods are here to come to your aid.
Play foods are simple toys for toddlers and preschoolers that can be used as simulated food items to facilitate imaginative play.
Furthermore, Play food toys have a myriad of benefits and come with a diverse range of types and options to choose from.
To help you select the best Play Food toys that accommodate your child’s needs and requirements, here is a complete guide to choosing Play Foods for kids.
What are Play Foods Anyways?
Children from the early stages of development are highly curious and explorative, hence choosing toys that spark their interest and expand their horizons is absolutely imperative.
The term “play foods” can be pretty perplexing for parents who are just beginning to research toys for toddlers and preschools.
While most consider them to be mere hollow plastic toys in the shape of fruits or vegetables, these toys are more than just random plastic knick-knacks, in fact, Play foods are an opportunity for the child to learn and grow.
Play foods are miniature versions of basic kitchen tools as well as food items that are child-safe and child-sized making them perfect for tiny toddlers to hold and manipulate.
These toys are perfect for your little chefs to play with if they have a deep interest in kitchen activities, as they provide safe simulated play experiences by eliminating the need to use dangerous real-life kitchen tools.
What are the benefits of Play foods?
As a parent or an immediate caregiver, providing for your child is more than just fun, entertainment, and games.
Every parent strives to integrate elements that not only keep their child engaged for hours on end but also come as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Play foods toys for kids are a great way of inspiring your little chef and promoting open-ended imaginative play.
But if all this is not enough to convince you to buy a set of play foods for your child, the benefits mentioned below will definitely help you make up your mind:
Development of Fine Motor Skills:
Fine motor skills are basic abilities that utilize the smaller muscles present in the hands, fingers, and wrists.
These refined muscles help individuals perform activities such as writing, holding, grasping, and gripping.
Play food toys help children utilize the fine muscles present in their hands and fingers by gripping, grasping, and manipulating small components of the toys.
Most of the play food toys have manipulatives such as velcros, magnets, and handles that facilitate the development of fine motor skills.
Develop Language Skills:
Play food toys are a great way of introducing new words that help expand the child’s vocabulary.
In fact, group activities involving Play food toys help children develop efficient communication skills from a very young age.
Develop Sorting skills:
Play Food toys come in different colors, shapes, sizes, textures, dimensions, and even types.
By playing with these play food toys children are provided with the opportunity to observe, identify, and even sort the corresponding items into their particular categories.
Enhances creativity and imagination:
Creativity is more than just drawing alluring pictures on a canvas, in fact, creativity is a form of self-expression.
Play Foods are a great way of bringing out the creative potential in children during their early stages of development.
Play food toys promote children to engage in their imagination through pretend play.
With these toys, the possibilities are endless, they can become a restructure, a Michelin chef, a baker, and even a connoisseur.
Improves math skills:
Play foods are a great introduction to arbitrary mathematical concepts of quantity and numerals.
With the help of play foods, the child is able to comprehend the concept of numerics by counting how many plates to serve and even measuring each ingredient before they cook.
Develops responsibility and cooperation:
Lastly, group activities involving Play Foods are a great opportunity to inculcate a sense of responsibility and order in children.
Children are able to learn about coordination, cooperation, and sharing by taking turns and sharing their toys in collaborative activities.
A list of the best Play Foods for your child:
Play Food toys aren’t limited to just hollowed-out plastic food items, in fact, they come in a variety of types and encompass all the simulated kitchen tools required to create a miniature kitchen for your child.
It can be pretty perplexing and bewildering for parents to find the right play food toy that accommodates their child’s needs and requirements.
To help you find the right Play Foods for your child, here is a list of some of the best Play Food Toys in the market:
1. Melissa and Doug Fruit Cutting Set:
Develop your child’s fine motor skills with the help of this wonder Melissa & Doug Fruit Cutting Set.
This fun Play Foods Set allows tiny little hands to explore the joys of cutting, slicing, and preparing fruits for dishes.
This fruit-cutting set is made from two halves of solid wooden pieces shaped like your child’s favorite fruits that are attached by a magnet.
Children can pretend to cut their fruits by separating the magnets with the help of a child-safe wooden knife provided in the set.
2. Toy Life Wooden Kitchen Set:
Pretend play has never been more fun! The Toy Life Wooden Kitchen is all your child needs and more to create their very own mini kitchen.
This wonderful Play Foods Set comes with a wooden board fashioning large components such as a stove, a sink, and other smaller compartments for smaller objects to fit in.
This Wooden Kitchen set comes with small objects such as spatulas, spoons, pots, pans, vegetables, fish, and even salt and pepper shakers that can be fit into their corresponding compartment.
This wonderful Play Foods set is great for developing the child’s creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
3. Melissa and Doug Canned Goods:
Take the imaginative play experience one step further with the Melissa and Doug Canned Goods Wooden Play Food Set.
This amazing play food set comes with ten different canned foods with removable lids that help develop fine motor skills in children.
They also fashion exciting grocery labels that allow children to sort and categorize the cans as they, please.
4. Hape Homemade Wooden Pizza Play Set:
Who doesn’t love a slice of freshly cooked pizza right out of the oven? If you have a tiny toddler who has a great interest in cooking, then the Hape Homemade Wooden Pizza PlaySet is yours to buy.
This Play Food set is made from high-quality solid wood and is composed of small and large components including a pizza paddle, pizza cutter, pizza knife, large pizza slices, and smaller veggie topping pieces.
This wonderful Play Food Set facilitates the development of visual sense and problem-solving skills in children by allowing them to piece together each component of the pizza play set independently.
5. Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set:
Grouping, categorizing, and sorting materials are great ways of developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills in children.
The Learning Resources Farmer’s Market Color Sorting Set incorporates baskets labeled with names of different colors and different fruits and vegetables.
This Play food set allows children to sort different colored fruits and vegetables into their corresponding baskets.
6. Smart Snacks Shape Sorting Cupcakes:
The Smart Snacks Shape Sorting Cupcakes Play food set is another great sorting toy for your child.
This toy is perfect for tiny toddlers to teach them about the three basic primary colors.
It also helps children differentiate between varied sizes, dimensions, and even shapes.
7. Growing Vegetables Wooden Play Set:
What better way to learn about and appreciate nature than by growing your own vegetables?
The Growing Vegetable Wooden Play Set is a way to allow the child to explore the natural world.
This adorable Play food set allows your toddler to dig out their very own fresh fruits and veggies from their garden and prepare delicious meals.
The Growing Vegetable Wooden Play Set is a fun way to introduce new vocabulary and promote self-directed imaginative play.
8. Hape Egg Carton:
The Hape Egg Carton Play Food set is an adorable wooden variant of your real-life egg cartons.
This comes with an egg carton packaging and half a dozen eggs that can be separated from the shell.
This wonderful Play Food set is great for toddlers who love to pretend to cook and bake.
9. Melissa and Doug Star Dinner Restaurant Play Set:
Lastly, the Melissa and Doug Star Dinner Restaurant Playset is an engaging and interactive play food set, meant for tiny restaurateurs.
It comes with all the elements required to start your very own miniature at-home diner or restaurant.
The Melissa and Doug Star Dinner Restaurant Playset is made from high-quality materials, and inspectorates well-produced components such as a ring, cutlery, different dishes to serve, a menu, coffee pot, cups, and even toy dollar bills.
The Melissa and Doug Star Dinner Restaurant Playset is not only perfect for autonomous play but also great for pretend play group activities that can help develop their child’s social, emotional, and language skills.