“Ma! Eat!.” are words that I still hear on a daily basis around our house. Sicily loves being a chef and cooking us dinner in her kitchen.
Well pretend dinner. As much as I want her to help me in the kitchen those moments are very few.
You see, when Sicily was a year old, we baked some brownies. Being the messy cook I am, I wasn’t paying attention when I turned on the mixed.
My hand slipped. Full speed mixer…flour flying everywhere…Sicily running from kitchen yelling “Mess! No Mess, Ma!”
I think I pretty much scared her for life.
But she does enjoy playing kitchen and being a mommy. During our All About Me theme we spent some time learning about nutrition. One of the activities we did was a store and restaurant dramatic play area.
I used our toy shelf to create a little store. I added healthy and non-healthy food to the shelves. This way we could have a conversation about healthy foods. Which went something like this…
Mommy: “I would like to buy something healthy for dinner. I need some energy. What do you suggest?”
Mommy: “Hmm. Cookies do sound yummy. But I don’t think they will give me a lot of energy. Any other ideas?”
Sicily: “Ma want cookie.” as she slammed the cookie into my face.
I’m not sure the healthy food thing stuck with her.
On the other side of the room, I set up a restaurant with her table and kitchen set. She loves getting a notepad now and taking orders. “Wadda want?” is all we hear every night.
Sicily loved this play set up. And I kept it up for a few weeks because she was enjoying it so much. Her kitchen set stays out all the time, so she still plays kitchen. Lately, she has been making hot dogs for Minnie and Mickey.
Dramatic play set ups like this store and restaurant help build the imagination and an understanding of how the world works. Believe it or not pretend play is a huge benefit factor when it comes to pre-reading skills. Being able to create your own stories using your imagination is a huge help when it comes time to comprehend stories.