My little preschooler was immediately drawn to Hape’s Cook ‘n Serve Kitchen and got right to work mixing and baking cupcakes for Mom, Grandma and me! Hape’s simplicity of design yet inclusion of many avenues of play–mixing the batter on the pull-out counter, cooking on the stovetop, baking in the oven, decorating the cupcakes and as mom reminded, washing the dishes–make this kitchen set a treasure of creative play opportunities. The only sound provided in this toy is the click of the burner’s knobs, so kids provide all the audio, encouraging language learning and storytelling which prepares kids for later reading and writing. Hape’s pretend food sets, sold separately pair beautifully with this kitchen so kids can prepare a salad, crack an egg for breakfast, bake cupcakes or brew a cup of coffee. The handle and wheels allowed our little cook to take her culinary talents on the road, from the kitchen to the playroom or beyond. Research shows that children engaged in pretend play often use higher forms of language than outside the play situation, as they take on pretend roles and imitate everyday experiences. What a fun way to learn!

Available at Hape. Click here