Toy kitchens are great places to have your children get familiar with kitchen tools, explore their interest in cooking in a safe manner, and create fantastic stories that they can act in. Your children might want you to join in on the fun. However, you might not know exactly how to involve yourself in the world that they've created. This can make it difficult for you to spend long amounts of time playing with your children in a toy kitchen. Here are some games that you can introduce if you are having a hard time inserting yourself in their world to help make you feel more comfortable.
This is a great game because it lets you teach your children about more types of foods and can end with everyone laughing hysterically. To play kitchen, first have your children make menus. You can either make menus based on the plastic food that you already have, or you can draw the ingredients on paper and add them to the kitchen's supply. Have your children go online with you and browse recipe sites for meals that they find interesting to look at. Then, have your children draw the food on the menu. Either have them label the menu with the name of the dishes or do it yourself.
Then, get a table set up for yourself and start ordering. Make your orders reasonable at first but then start to escalate to more demanding orders. Send your food back because you're "not satisfied." Ask for different drinks a bunch of times. Complain that there is hair in your soup. If you slowly escalate the madness, your children will find themselves tearing around the play kitchen and laughing. This is a great way to be a part of your children's world.
Consider laminating the menus that you make and the paper play ingredients that you have created.
A variation of this game is to make recipe cards that have three or four items each. Then, have your children practice reading the ingredients and putting them together before they take the food out to you.
2. Directed Food Fight
Your children might really want to have a food fight, but you don't want to indulge them because you don't want to deal with the mess. Take plastic cups and put them all over the play kitchen. Then, sit a few feet away from the play kitchen with your kids. Have a scoreboard and start throwing plastic food at the toy kitchen in an organized fashion. Give your kids points for every cup that they knock down. This is a great way to help your children release some of their desire to have a food fight.
For more information, talk to a company that specializes in wooden play kitchens, since wooden play kitchens will be able to hold up better if you choose to go with the second game idea.