This shop about the Target Toy Emporium has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias
Just when I thought I couldn’t love Target anymore, they’ve introduced their new Toy Emporium. Be still my toy-lovin’ heart.
What’s the Target Toy Emporium? Only the BEST place to get all the toys I’ve had to search for since my kids were born, all in one place! You may have noticed some new brands trickling in to your local Target’s toy aisle, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. The new Target Toy Emporium is an online destination where the toy selection is specifically designed to help children explore, discover, imagine, create, build and get active as they grow and meet different developmental milestones.
Brands you’ll find there aren’t the ones you might expect from a mainstream store like Target. KidKraft, Tegu, KiwiCrate, Wonderology are among them, but there are many more. If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that my kids are huge (HUGE!) fans of our Hape wooden kitchen, and I was over the moon to find that #TargetToys now carries Hape toys both in-store and in the Toy Emporium!
Last week, we were looking for some new toys to send to my parents’ house since their toy closet is a bit played out. I knew I wanted to get something that would really keep both of my kids–at different ages and different genders–entertained with open-ended, imaginative play. No video games, nothing that would take up too much space.
As soon as my kids saw the Hape Wooden Kitchen at Target, which is a smaller, more portable one than what we have at home, I knew that was the ticket. They never, ever get tired of playing kitchen, especially together!
Another favorite, Melissa & Doug, rounded out our shopping trip with some play food. Classic, dependable, and always fun (especially for a foodie mom who has spent her life marketing groceries!) 🙂
Kudos to Melissa & Doug for including fun nutrition facts. Label reading is a good habit to start young!
Play kitchens have got to be my favorite toy of all time, mainly because I think they provide the most learning opportunities for the widest range of ages. The fact that I was able to buy Hape and Melissa & Doug (and use my Target Red Card AND Cartwheel to get a discount!) was just a super awesome bonus on top of a bonus. Have I mentioned that I heart Target!?)
What do kids learn by playing with a toy kitchen?
- grouping like items
- math (addition, subtraction, fractions)
- a positive relationship with food
- an awareness of the cooking process
Since my son is starting to read and write as well as help in the kitchen, I decided to take our kitchen play one step further and start teaching him how recipes work with a printable template that allows him to make up and illustrate his own recipes when he’s not helping me in the real kitchen with mine. Once I printed out my recipe card template for him to use, I realized that it added a whole new level of learning!
His first recipe? Fruit Potato Chicken Salad! Um…yum?
Recipes teach kids about:
- food groups
- following directions
- critical thinking
- problem solving
- planning ahead
- exploration of how foods work together
(…and I’d be willing to bet I missed a few things on that list.)
I’m including my simple printable recipe cards to help your little one discover their inner chef, too!
Each card will includes a place for your child to:
- Name their own recipe.
- List the ingredients they want to include.
- List the instructions on how to prepare their recipe.
- Determine how many servings their recipe will make.
- Figure out which food groups are included.
- Draw a picture of the finished recipe they’ve imagined.
Click here for free printable recipe cards to get started!
Take your activity even further with a few more thought-provoking questions to challenge your older kids:
- If you had to add one more ingredient to your recipe, what would it be?
- How could you include one more food group?
- How could you change your recipe to make it serve twice as many people?
If Target was targeting consumers like me with their new Toy Emporium, I’d say they hit that goal right in the big red bullseye! It’s a whole new selection of the quality toys I trust for my kids, at the value I expect from Target, just in time for the holidays. Win!
Did you play with kitchen toys as a child? Do you think it affected how you view food and the kitchen as an adult?