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  • Writer's pictureLittle Daisies

I’m a Chef! - Let’s play together!

Pretend play helps to enhance language, cognitive, emotional, and social skills. It allows children to practice their symbolic play and imaginative play.

What sort of learning occurs in pretend play?

There are many skills involved in pretend play, including imitation with toys, turn-taking, role-playing, and even language and eye contact. There are also many different types of pretend play, including simple pretend actions (e.g. drinking, eating, brushing hair, etc.), dress-up characters or role-playing, and experiences (e.g. school, supermarket, doctor, etc.).

Pretending to be a character and recreating a scene at a restaurant is always an interesting and fun one for the kids. It's easy to set up and get started!

Setting up this activity:

  • Plan out who will play which role (Chef, waiter, customer) - it's fun if the waiter can play the chef role too.

  • Set out all the toy food and kitchen items (e.g. stove, plates, form, etc.).

  • (Optional) Print out this menu to order your food. The waiter/chef can use it as a prompt to recall what to cook

Restaurant menu

Now begin playing!

We have provided some sample scripts with each step below, but remember to change it up! Teach your child different lines and actions he/she can perform by verbally prompting or modeling it at each step.

1. Show the menu to the customer

  • Scripts for the waiter: "What would you like to have?" "We have pizza, apples, burgers..."

2. Order food

  • Scripts for customer: "I am very hungry, I would like to have...", "Can I have french fries please?"

  • Scripts for waiter: "Sure, coming right up", "Sorry we don't have it"

  • Practice whole body listening (eye contact, body facing others).

3. (If you printed the menu) Note down the order

  • This could help your child remember what was ordered, especially if you are ordering multiple items.

  • Tip: Laminate the menu or place it in a clear folder, draw on it with washable markers, and you can reuse it as many times as you want!

4. Cook

  • Perform actions such as washing, cutting, pouring, stirring, flipping, mixing, adding seasoning/sauces, etc.

5. Serve

  • Place all the food on a plate or tray and serve.

  • Scripts for waiter: "Enjoy!" "Here you go", "It's ready"

  • Scripts for customer: "This is delicious", "Thank you"

Have fun!

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