This month’s toy of the month is this wooden high tea set from Aldi Ireland for 24:99 euro. This beautifully crafted set allows for some wonderful pretend play opportunities. Every area of development – motor, cognitive, communication and social/emotional – can be developed through engaging in pretend play.
Firstly, children will practice controlling the small muscles of their wrists, hands and fingers by interacting with the individual pieces in this set. This set has a variety of different fine motor elements such as cutting the fruit with a knife, placing candles into slots on the cake and connecting wooden ice cream cones.
Secondly , thinking through problems while engaging in pretend play can be a good exercise for developing cognitive skills. Looking for a cup for each teddy to have their tea in is a math skill, as is matching a piece of cake to each. Playing with the cut up fruit and finding the correct order and connection for each piece also targets your little ones problem solving and visual perceptual skills.
Thirdly, the set allows for some great opportunities for develpoment of communication skills . Labelling parts, giving and receiving instructions and listening to others in play.
Finally, playing pretend with other children or adults helps a child develop their social skills. This set provides children with the opportunity to build relationships and work out strategies for such issues as sharing, taking turns with others, caring for others , providing help to others and accepting help.
We also love the idea of being able to bring this set out doors into the garden for a picnic. This allows for more sensory exploration, with children exploring the feel of grass and hearing and smelling different elments in nature. (Our Penny the Golden didn’t want to miss out on the fun either)