Dramatic Play – Kid’s Kitchen Play Ideas

Dramatic play – kid’s kitchen sets in preschools and day care centers promote pretend play in young children. It is important to have pretend play props available for young children to participate in spontaneous pretend play. Setting up a kitchen area, along with other props, such as aprons and cooking supplies encourages creative thinking and interaction with peers. Children learn how to cope with the world around them by imitating their parents and other adults in their lives. You can set the stage for dramatic play with a kid’s kitchen set, encouraging pretend play. Below are some benefits to dramatic play and some play ideas to help get you students involved.

Role Playing Benefits

True Modern Play Kitchen Set by Jonti-Craft

When preschool kids pretend to cook or wash dishes at the kitchen set, they are role-playing. Dramatic role-play not only helps children learn life experiences but it also develops their creativity. Maybe they will enjoy developing their own dinner recipes and unique dish washing style.

Most pretend play engages kids in creative scenarios dealing with caregivers, teachers, parents, siblings and friends. Kids incorporate these people into their pretend play, developing real-life situations. During dramatic play, kids develop problem-solving skills and learn about sharing and cooperation.

Having to share the pots and pans, dishes and other kitchen set accessories teach kids the social skills they need in school, at the park or at home. Putting a toy milk jug back into their play kitchen teaches responsibility and is good practice for learning object placement skills.

  • Try This: Ask children to set the table with play plates and utensils and have each take turns serving a course to classmates. This is a great time to develop table manners and patience with others.

Offering Kids Opportunities to Play with Others

Sandwich Shop idea from Growing in Pre K
Sandwich Shop idea from Growing in Pre K


Dramatic play areas with play materials like tables and chairs, dinner plates, cups and play food offers kids the opportunity to play with classmates. They learn to communicate with each other, building language skills and exploring creative ideas. They also develop decision-making skills when they interact with each other and enhance their understanding of other lifestyles, expanding their view of the world.

  • Try This: Have your students decide on a food shop they would like to “open”, such as a pizza parlor. Have them work to write out their menu with prices and figure out what ingredients they need. The students can use construction paper or felt to cut out their pizza toppings. Allow half of your students to be paying customers and the other half to fill orders and make change in the checkout line, and then reverse rolls.

Develops Problem Solving Skills

Open Front Kid's Dramatic Play Kitchen Set by Jonti-Craft

When children participate in dramatic play, they learn to work together to solve conflicts and learn how to stand up for themselves. Even preschool kids can learn to compromise in pretend play. This is why dramatic play is so important for young children.

  • Try This: Offer kids a paper grocery bag  full of play foods and ask them to work together to sort and put away the foods in their appropriate places. Allow them to determine as a group where each type of food should be stored. Dry goods bread and cereal can be placed in the play cupboard and “cold” items such as cheese and meats can be put away in the play refrigerator.

There are many dramatic play kid’s kitchen set on the market to suit your childcare center or preschool. Commercial grade brands include Jonti-Craft, ECR4Kids, Wood Designs, Tot-Mate and Whitney Brothers. These brands offer play kitchen designs built to withstand heavy use and feature construction with safe rounded corners and materials that are durable and easily cleaned. Some kitchen designs are more elaborate than others and feature moving knobs and doors. Others are simple, open front play kitchen appliances that allow for creative interpretation by young chefs.

For more information about kitchen sets for the dramatic play area of your daycare or preschool, contact us and we’ll be happy to help you.

One thought on “Dramatic Play – Kid’s Kitchen Play Ideas

  1. Most of these pans and pots had been bought for my Four year old and Two
    year-old grand-daughters. They really like them. There are some
    grazes in the fresh paint but that’s because
    of way of damage in 2 yrs. It’s been a fantastic addition to the woman’s imaginary play as well.

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