Your little chef will love this fun play food

Pretend Play

Your little chef will love these age-appropriate, engaging play food sets to learn about nutrition, food science and baking.

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Fun play food items for your little chef

Food and cooking skills are a necessary part of living that can and should be turned into a positive experience. Learning the building blocks of cooking can help inspire interest in healthy eating habits and assist kids in gaining self-esteem as well as deepening a sense of curiosity about what foods to eat. Making food a pleasant experience can encourage self-sufficient tendencies in the kitchen. Encouraging play through age-appropriate tasks and playsets that eventually build up to handling actual cookware can instill a sense of confidence in your little chef. 

Why are play food sets important?

Food sets, also known as pretend food items, can help children at varying levels and ages gain an interest in healthy eating habits and self-sufficient behavior. Kitchen play is especially ideal for younger children as it encourages and teaches them about the importance of cleaning up and communicating in a realistic setting. 

Play food sets vary in different styles and processes. For example, sets may replicate different physical kitchen items, like the stove and fridge. It’s important to understand the different sets available and to match the playsets as closely as possible to the capability level of the child. Keep in mind that some sets for older children may require adult supervision, especially when actual cooking processes are involved. 

Best play food sets for toddlers

Toddlers can learn motor skills and communication from scaled and age-appropriate versions of play food toys. Sets for toddlers require objects that are slightly larger to actively prevent accidental ingestion. The items should also be free from toxic chemicals given that toddlers are prone to placing most objects in their mouths. Toddlers can still greatly benefit from playing with pretend food by learning words that relate to food objects through fun activities.

Learning Resources New Sprouts Bake It!

Learning Resources New Sprouts Bake It!

The set is designed for children over the age of two and includes over 15 baking pieces. It includes items such as four cupcakes and a measuring cup. This set is plastic and can be wiped clean for easy maintenance.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Servin’ Up Fun Food Truck

Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Servin’ Up Fun Food Truck

This food truck set includes more than 20 items and is ideal for toddlers. The toy includes fun music and even a food prep area. The product requires three AA batteries.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Little Tikes First Fridge

Little Tikes First Fridge

This plastic play fridge encourages kids to become familiar with the processes of cooking and storing food. The set includes 11 items that can be spot cleaned. The fridge even makes sounds that replicate an actual ice dispenser to more closely mimic reality.

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Best play food sets for children ages 3 and up

Fisher-Price Play Food Set

Fisher-Price Play Food Set

The set weighs a total of two pounds and comes with 33 pieces. Items are plastic and water-resistant, so you can handwash as needed. 

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Melissa and Doug Kids Baking Play Set with Bowls

Melissa and Doug Kids Baking Play Set with Bowls

The toy is as ideal for 3-year-olds as it is for 8-year-olds. The set comes with 20 pieces, such as a baking sheet and mixing bowl. The items are made with BPA-free plastic and are dishwasher-safe to keep children safe and clean. 

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Learning Resources Play & Pretend Pro Chef Set

Learning Resources Play & Pretend Pro Chef Set

This 13-piece set is recommended for children over the age of 3. It includes kitchen items like a saucepan and skillet. You can clean the products with wipes or a damp cloth. Easy cleaning makes this item ideal for maintaining an elevated level of hygiene.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Melissa and Doug Kitchen Accessory Set

Melissa and Doug Kitchen Accessory Set

This wooden set is recommended for ages 3 to 7. It includes eight pieces, two of which are an oven mitt and frying pan. The set focuses on a pretend stove and it is ideal for practicing proper stove safety.

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s 

Best food and cooking playsets for children 

Teamson Little Chef Boston Modern Play Kitchen

Teamson Little Chef Boston Modern Play Kitchen

This set has nine pieces, including a stove and a phone. The pretend kitchen requires assembly and also comes with a warranty. You can easily wipe down this set. It’s made from wood and fiberboard and due to the nature of the items it’s not suggested for children younger than 3 years old. 

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

 

KidKraft Metal Accessories Set

KidKraft Metal Accessories Set

The set has 11 pieces and is kid-sized to accommodate and better facilitate a more realistic play cooking experience. This set includes healthy play items, such as vegetables, to encourage healthy eating habits and capable cooking experiences.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Best playset for older kids with adult supervision

Handstand Kitchen Deluxe Bake Shoppe Set

Handstand Kitchen Deluxe Bake Shoppe Set

This set with 25 multi-colored pieces includes one spatula and several recipe cards that you can use to whip up a fun treat. Yes, you actually bake with this engaging set, so adult supervision is advised.

Sold by Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Macy’s

What is food science?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, food scientists explore food processing and the possible ways to improve the overall standard of safety for food production. This specific position in the United States of America is currently growing at a more expedited pace than other jobs.

Food science uses the principles of science to explore and create food. It includes different areas of study so it’s ideal for exposing children to nutrition and chemistry from an early age.

Best play food sets for children also interested in food science

Discovery Mindblown Toy Experiment Kit Food Science Lab

Discovery Mindblown Toy Experiment Kit Food Science Lab

This set includes 22 tools, such as three test tubes and three pastry cutters. There are 19 experiments included that are designed to spark interest in food science and chemistry in those who are 8-years-old and older.

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

 

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Camille Cabrera writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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