Raising a child on the edge of Chinatown, I assembled his play kitchen with an Asian flair. Miniature bamboo steamers steam up felt edamame and shitake mushrooms. Tiny bamboo sushi trays display rubber sushi erasers. And little ceramic tea pots serve hot tea in saki cups. Years of Guest Checks show the evolution of handwriting, spelling, even a growing number sense (there was a time when a pot of tea cost $10,000).
The ‘play kitchen’ is a wonderful place for children to immerse themselves - interacting with one another and adults as they imitate the world around them. Experts have known that ‘pretend play’ among children age 2- 6 or 7 is hugely beneficial to their development. Studies credit it with the development of language, cognitive flexibility, problem solving, even empathy. "Sorry, we are all out of tea!"