It’s never too soon to get the little ones interested in food and show them how their favourite dishes are prepared. It obviously can be done by having them pitch in the preparation of a meal, but one should not underestimate the power of play. Colorful toys and a bit of make believe can concoct some wonderful childhood culinary memories. It’s easy as pie!
Over the holiday, we offered Zoe, my partner’s playful three year old niece the Make & Serve Apple Pie Play Food by Melissa and Doug. The food, i.e. the apple slices, the bottom and top crusts as well as the oven mitt, pie plate, knife and pie server are bright and colorful and they aren’t too far off from the real deal. The hook and loop (a.k.a. Velcro) strips on the food adds to the realism of the toy. Children can chop up the pie filling and then slice and proudly serve their wooden dessert.
The gift was a hit with both kids and grown ups! “Apple pie! Apple pie!” Zoe blurted out with excitement as she and her cousin prepared their first of many pies during the day. All could notice that Zoe paid close attention to her mother, a professional baker, in the kitchen. The three year old would mimic her mother’s actions in the kitchen.
One can hope that simple wooden toys like these can eventually take children’s culinary creativity from the playroom to the kitchen.