Pretend play is a must for young children. Though most kids love to pretend play and can spend hours themselves or with friends, there are different types of pretend play and different types of pretend play toys for all ages.Though is some universal pretend play there are definitely pretend play toys that is are more for girls and toys that are much more suited for pretend play toys for boys.
If you have children or have taught young children you will know that no matter what the literature tries to tell you, boys and girls are different and like different things. Just watch a classroom full of little girls and boys and you will immediately see what I mean. When I taught preschool years ago, when free time came around the boys almost always made a beeline for the blocks and trucks while the girls made out for the housekeeping area and art areas.
There are of course, pretend play games that both girls and boys play together and the interesting thing is that when boys play house or any other pretend play games with girls they tend to lower their tone and can get into the games as much as the girls. The girls seem to be a calming effect on the boys. Below I am going to highlight some specific pretend play toys that both girls and boys like and talk about their pluses and minuses.
Pretend play toys can be divided up into very specific types of categories the largest The largest of these categories is the pretend play kitchen sets. These are a standard feature in most preschool and kindergarten classrooms and in many, many homes with preschoolers as well. Schools tend to buy more higher grade sets like jonti craft and step2 while parents may opt for the less expensive sets.
Then there are the accessories that go with the kitchens like play food, plastic play utensils and pots, and of course, when the kitchen turns into a store you can add a toy cash register and toy money.
Little girls love to play house and can do so endlessly. Before the plethora of ready made kitchens and playhouses, little girls just used their imaginations. They still use their imaginations with the beautiful store bought kitchen sets but, they are made much richer with the various items one can buy nowadays. If you wanted to buy an inexpensive playhouse the Expresso Cafe Play House may be just what you are looking for.
It is NOT for outdoor use as though it is very durable it does not hold up through real wind. It also can get ruined in the rain. It is perfect for a large basement but, may not fit in your living room. Young children love going into closed places and this has a closed area and an open area. It is very easy to assemble and will give your children hours of uninterrupted play.
If you wanted to get your little girl (or little boys if they are young enough not to be nervous about being called a sissy) then there are so many to choose from. Little tykes has a few options like the Little Tikes Super Chef Kitchen which is not very expensive and is all plastic. If you wanted to go more high end and get an amazing walk in, complete kitchen experience then you may want to check out the Step2 Grand Walk – In Kitchen.
Some people are looking for more of a wood look and if you don’t want to get the expensive preschool, commercial sets then the KidKraft Deluxe Big & Bright Kitchen is wood (partly pressed wood) and has delicious bright colors that are not so common in kids kitchens. This kitchen actually comes with a phone which is a must for little girls as you know. Even though it’s wood, its not as expensive as some of the more sturdy plastic ones
If you are going to buy your child or children a kitchen set then most of them do not come with pots, pans or food.There are a number of inexpensive sets of pots and pans like the Small World Living Toys Young Chef Cookware Set that you can add on as an accessory to the children’s new kitchen. Many children don’t need store bought, plastic food items as they use the items they find in their own kitchens. If you want to keep them away form your kitchen you can get the standard type of play food like the Step2 Play Food 101-pc. Set or you can even get the more exotic type of plastic, fake food like the Small World Living Toys My-Oh-My Pizza Pie
As I said before you can often get little boys to play along with their sisters or friends in the play kitchens. There are however, some more classic pretend play for boys that they enjoy more than the kitchens. My grandson will willingly play with his little sister with her kitchen set and he even has his own doll. However, he practically salivates when he gets things like a Tek Nek Fire Fighter Role Play Set, a Black And Decker Junior Power Tool Workshop (Closed Box) and of course a Bruder CATERPILLAR Skid Steer Loader.
The bottom line is my grandson is the one who won’t leave a construction site or a fire station when we pass by while his sister does not have even a 1/2 of the same interest. So it makes sense to go with pretend play toys that he can relate to much better.
There are many, many pretend play toys covering all types of professions and activities that kids engage in. There is a Zillionz Talking Cash Register to help them recreate their shopping experiences and of course a Super Shopper Shopping Cart. Don’t forget about their visits to the doctors so you can have on hand a Learning Resources Pretend & Play Doctor Set.
When I was teaching years ago, I worked with a master teacher who had a bunch of these kits in her closet. As soon as she saw an interest in any of these topics, out would come the doctor kit, or the fireman kit and would replace the standard housekeeping stuff for as long as their interest would last.
Pretend play is so full of excitement and variety and it is wonderful that there are so many different types of items to buy to help enrich this type of children’s play. so much better than sitting in front of the television or computer.