School Age Program

January 2023

A big theme we observed in the children this month has been restaurants. We have lots of kitchen sets, dishes, food, and serving trays/boxes for children to set up their own restaurants with. Over the past month, children took turns in setting up their own restaurants, preparing, boxing, presenting and serving food to their other classmates. To prepare, each child created their own kitchen workspace. Then, they hired their helpers, aka “servers” and “food preparers.” First, the servers went to all the customers and asked them what they’d like to order. After taking orders, the chef’s got straight to work with the help of their food preparers. After the food was prepared and boxed, the servers went to serve everyone their meals. They all sat down at tables together, discussing and rating their meals. They provided the chef with feedback on what they enjoyed/what should be improved for next time. With playing restaurant, children can have fun trying out different positions and situations by using kitchen sets and pretend food. Children can envision themselves in many roles by acting out restaurant scenarios as the head chef, a waiter, a kitchen porter, or a customer. Children's development benefits from kitchen role play as well. Running a restaurant involves an active imagination. Children don’t have to play the same way every time – they can mix it up as much as they like. Sorting out the order of tasks and handing out the roles is a great way of giving children a sense of control over the play and making sure each child’s needs are met. Playing with a role-play kitchen offers a chance to develop important skills. No matter what role children take on when they play, they’re learning to take turns, wait their turn, and play with others. Playing with kitchen toys is a versatile game that can be used in multiple ways. When children use it as a stage for an imaginary restaurant show or try out different roles, they learn valuable lessons that they’ll carry with them as they grow up. Playing restaurant can help children learn how to play together and get along with each other. If children are cooking together, they need to work together, and that is teaching children the importance of cooperation. With all of these benefits, there’s definitely no reason not to play restaurant in the future!

Reena BEd, BMath, Bsc Tatyana Popovik