Pretend play is so important for childhood development. I try to engage my three-year-old with interactive play throughout the day because I know it's a great way for her to learn and I also enjoy hearing what she comes up with all by herself. Lately, her favorite thing has been cooking pretend meals and having picnics. I've teamed up with Step2 to review the Step2 Great Gourmet Kitchen Set and show how kids learn through play!
When this adorable kitchen play set got delivered I knew my daughter would be excited to play with it. She loves making pretend food to serve people and enjoys interactive play where she can invent stories and be in charge.
We took all of the pieces out of the box prior to setting it up [and let me just say the box is a toy itself with endless possibilities!] and my three-year-old helped me put the kitchen set together. I would say that set-up took a little over an hour and that was with two kiddos 'helping'. The directions were thorough and everything was fairly simple. It just took awhile to piece it all together and add the stickers. You will need a Phillips-head screwdriver and two AA batteries for the stove-top.
As soon as we had the kitchen set assembled my daughter was ready to play. She found the coffee maker immediately and thought it was so fun to use the pods and pretend she was actually brewing coffee.
There's also hot chocolate or tea and the pods are stored above the coffee maker along with a clock which is great for learning to tell time.
The stove-top has a burner that lights up and makes boiling noises when you place the pot or frying pan on it. While she fried something on the stove-top, my daughter twisted the salt and pepper shakers (which sound very realistic!) to add some flavor to her meal.
While she was 'cooking' I asked her about what she was making and who was coming for dinner. She may have been taking some creative liberties with her blueberry-chocolate-soup but it was so fun to watch her putter around the kitchen set and talk about what she was doing.
The Great Gourmet Kitchen Set comes with a set of dishes for two as well as some cooking utensils, pans, condiments, a pot holder, reusable shopping bag, and a perfectly realistic smartphone. Though she had no problem coming up with pretend food for us to eat, I think I'm going to purchase Step2's 101-Piece Play Food Set for my daughter so can have even more fun.
I love the double oven and refrigerator which lend to the storage on this kitchen set. They also opened up a conversation about foods that need to be cooked or baked vs. foods that need to be kept cold. I'm always amazed by how much our daughter can learn through play.
The stove dials click as you turn them which is just another example of the details Step2 includes in their products. The sink's faucet and handles also move realistically. The pass-thru window lets kids interact with each other as if they're going through a drive-thru or playing restaurant.
There's a chalkboard above the stove top that would be perfect for a grocery list. My toddler decided that she was going to draw "an elephant running away from a bumblebee", but I'm sure yours will come up with something more practical 😉
I can't tell you how long we played with the Step2 Great Gourmet Kitchen Set today-it was so much fun watching my daughter's imagination as she cooked, made coffee, and washed dishes. Even our seven-month-old got in on the action and tried to drink out of the cups. This set is for ages 2+ but while I was supervising today both of our kids enjoyed it.
I know that we will get many years of use out of this kitchen set. There are so many open-ended features that will encourage creative play and I'm excited to see our daughter use it with her friends. I'm also looking forward to hearing more of her menu ideas as she 'cooks' for me in the coming months!
Do your kids have a kitchen set?
What's their favorite meal to make for you?
Let me know in the comments!
Disclaimer: I (Amber) received the Step2 Great Gourmet Kitchen Set in Neutral free of charge to facilitate an honest review. All opinions are my own. Viva Veltoro participates in the sponsored Step2 Ambassador program.