I know a lot of adults who don’t like to cook, but I’ve never met a child who doesn’t enjoy playing with a toy kitchen — or one who doesn’t want to help chop vegetables for dinner. Other versions of practical play: A cousin, at the age of just 4 or 5, asked for only one thing for Christmas — a snow brush. And on a beach trip last year, I witnessed a duo of 2-year-olds squealing with joy at the idea of sweeping the floor.
Behavioral sciences writer Bruce Bower explores some science related to my observations. “Kids like to do real things because they want a role in the real world,” psychologist Angeline Lillard told Bower. Though toy stores may burst with futuristic robots, magical dolls and all things fantastical, research suggests