5 Wholesome Benefits of Pretend Play Food That Might Surprise You!

I spend the bulk of my time at Growing Tree Toys researching and writing about the new products that we put on our website. Like those descriptions of each toy that you see all the product pages. Some of the toys pique my curiosity and I want to learn more.

Sushi Slicing Box Play Set

Recently it happened with the Sushi Slicing Box Play Set from Melissa and Doug. I started reading up on play food and was surprised to discover just how many different developmental benefits pretend play food toys offer kids. I’ve boiled down my findings into 5 wholesome benefits for you to devour! Bon appétit!

1. Self Confidence
When toddlers and preschoolers play with pretend food, they are in charge of their own imaginary worlds. Through their play, they can make sense of emotions and complex situations that they can’t yet express through language. It’s comforting for children to use familiar objects, like food, as they explore any insecurity related to the impermanence of family or care. Because playing with pretend play food imitates real life, it allows kids to get comfortable with a fundamental life skill, further building their self confidence and happiness.

Sushi Slicing Box Play Set

2. Social Skills
Pretend play food is a perfect starting point for group play, because all kids are familiar with food. When toddlers play together with pretend play food, they have to interact and share toys. They also begin to have conversations and build bonds around common interests, such as what foods they each like and dislike.

3. Motor Skills
There are so many ways to use play food and all of them help kids refine their motor skills. Putting play food into pots, arranging it in a display for a pretend sale, slicing it or assembling pretend pizzas will all help children use to practice motor control and dexterity. In my opinion the two best play food sets for developing motor skills are the Cutting Fruit Crate Set and the Sandwich Making Set, both from Melissa and Doug.

4. Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Kids can learn habits through play. When they’re provided with play food that promotes healthy eating habits, like the Wooden Stir Fry Slicing Set, they learn to love and appreciate the foods that are good for their bodies!

Sushi Slicing Box Play Set

5. Symbolic Thinking
The great thing about pretend play is that you don’t need a toy for absolutely every component of the game. It’s extremely beneficial for kids to use their imaginations to turn different objects into parts of their play. Cooking play food under the couch cushions is thinking symbolically. Children that can use their imaginations in this way, transforming objects with their imaginations, are taking an important step toward learning written language and math. In written language, letters represent sounds and in math, numbers represent amounts. Very cool!

This has been a Growing Tree Toys “Toys in the Real World” post. If you enjoyed “5 Wholesome Benefits of Pretend Play Food That Might Surprise You,” you might also enjoy “The Developmental Benefits of Sleepovers” or the “Metal Grocery Cart Staff Review.”

One Response to 5 Wholesome Benefits of Pretend Play Food That Might Surprise You!

  1. Bobbie (OneScrappyMom) June 1, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    I LOVE play food and the interaction the kids have with it! So adorable to watch them cook and play!!

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