Today is the actual birthday. My daughter is four. And there were presents. Some came from guests at our party on Sunday, some from family, one even from a former co-worker. The wonderful thing was that they all fell nicely within the parameters of what my wife and I are trying to create for an environment that fosters creativity and avoids reinforcing gender and other stereotypes. It was such a relief to not be put in the place of being a gatekeeper. (No Ghostbusters jokes here!).
Art supplies, books, magnetic letters, and many other things made the evening special, so special that my daughter is still singing to herself almost an hour after being put to bed. Luckily, so far, this has not woken or annoyed her brother to the point of him yelling. We’ll see.
My wife’s father sent us a play kitchen set that we had put on our wish list. We keep an Amazon wishlist for family (and friends if they ask) to help guide choices. As a friend said, “People will buy presents anyway even if you ask them not to, so you might as well make a list.” And this kitchen is great, and my daughter’s grandfather very generously made it happen.
It is made of wood and is gender neutral. My son loves fiddling with it already. It has a fridge, clothes washer and dryer, stove, oven, sink, microwave, clock, phone, and storage shelving. It did come with a hanging chalk board that people wrote did not work very well. I am going to mount a small magnetic dry erase board where it would have gone.
The user reviews mentioned how difficult and time consuming putting this kitchen together was. Had I done it alone, it would have taken some time, but it was very straight forward. Besides thinking there was a missing piece when there wasn’t everything went well. Even better than that, my daughter helped me put it together. She was very excited to use the real tools required to assemble this toy, and now she is even more invested in it because she had a hand in putting it together. The two little tools that came with the kit promptly went in her play tool box and nestled amongst the plastic representations of the other tools we used. I am very glad that I recently purchased a new drill and driver set that is light enough for her to use and has settings that prevent tearing out compressed wood products. I love this product line from Bosch, and so does my daughter!
I look forward to many years of use with this awesome kitchen set. Thanks Saba.