Cooking Toys are all the rave
I just got back from the Housewares Show in Chicago. You may wonder what does that trade show have to do with toys?
Well, cooking toys have been around for a long time and proven to hold kids interest year after year. Starting from the moment toddlers bang wooden spoons and pots and pans, they recognize tools used in the kitchen that create yummy things they taste all day long. Manufacturers have provided hours of play with plastic kitchen sets, wooden vegetables, velcro (R) peel-able fruits and china tea sets.
Back in the day, toy stoves used actual bunson-type burners, then there was the EZ Bake Ovens with the light bulb. That changed to the new modern version of microwave cooking with kids (kids should not use the
actual microwave) Next came candy and other sugary-goodie making sets and now there is the FOOD NETWORK!
This show has created a following of child chef-enthusiasts who want to help cook, bake and plate new creations instead of having the same-old same-old dinner on the table. Even preschoolers are asking to be "cookers" in the kitchen. The general idea of "play cooking" with school age children has grown from pretend play to actual cooking and it’s not going backwards.
When kids see Paula Deen, Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and Masaharu Morimoto making fancy food that they may not recognize at home, kids want to show mom and dad what they learned. For parents, this is an excellent teaching moment about healthy nutrition and good food shopping habits. But for kids, this creates a new kind of playtime.
Everything from salad spinners to measuring cups promote motor skills, thinking and social interaction.
The cooking toy category seems to have grown to include licensed toys from popular cookbooks, reviving classic brands and introducing new ideas. We have been testing this category here at Toy Tips and find focus group after focus group, kids go back to them.
We are excited to test and review all the newcomers this year and will be reporting on them in our magazine and on toytips.com
Question of the Week, what toy company made the original toy 7-UP Dispenser which happened to be my favorite toy the year when I was 7!
Email me your answer and peek back next week to see got it right.
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