Wooden tea sets are fun, and they are great for development as well.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein
Most adults will remember playing with a tea set as a child. Whether it was a toy one, or a real one borrowed from the cupboard. You might have sat around a table with your toys pouring pretend cups of tea and drinking them with your pinky raised just like grandma, or you may have been more likely to be discovered mixing potions in the garden.
Likewise most children today will have played with a tea set at some point, and even if they don’t have one at home they are likely to have access to one at a friends house, toddler group, nursery or preschool.
So what is it about tea sets that makes them such a great role play toy?
What are role-play toys?
Role play toys are toys that get children to pretend to be someone else or pretend to be in a specific situation. Typical examples include toy kitchens, play food and tea sets, doctors sets, and tool kits.
The benefits of role play
The benefits of role-playing are wide-ranging.
- Pretend play encourages children to use their imagination and creativity which allows them to naturally develop their cognitive abilities. Role-playing allows children to develop the abilities to make decisions for themselves as well as developing their ability to use their imaginations.
- Role play is also a great way of encouraging social and emotional development. When children pretend to be someone else they put themselves in their shoes and develop empathy for how others may be feeling.
- Role playing helps children develop their language and communication skills. Play is the best way for children to practice new words and phrases they have heard and they mimic language they hear around them.
- Kids develop problem-solving skills when they role-play. Playing at being a chef, a doctor, a dinner lady, a shopkeeper, a fireman or anything else they fancy will inevitably require some creative thinking and problem-solving. They have to decide who they are going to be, what the rules are, and how they deal with obstacles as they arise. Using a banana as a telephone to take orders. That’s problem-solving in action.
Why tea sets are great for role play
Tea sets make great role play toys as they can be played with in lots of different ways.
Children can bring you endless cups of tea or coffee, they can throw a tea party for their toys or they can pretend they work in a cafe. Each of these scenarios will require them to take on a slightly different role, get them using different language, and mean they have to set up for the game and problem solve in different ways.
Tea sets are also great as they get children to practise both fine and gross motor skills so they are good for physical as well as mental development. It can be quite difficult for little ones to balance a cup on a tray, even if the tea inside it is not real.