Our latest #Playpatrol review is of the ‘Young Chef’s Baking Set’ from Bigjigs, costing £11.99. This arrived in our house the week before Willow’s birthday, and as much as I wanted to rush it straight over to her I did feel that it would be a perfect extra present for her. As it turned out, I hid it at the back of the wardrobe and temporarily ‘lost’ it – so I only just gave it to her. She’s now 3, and just in Bigjig’s recommended age range of 3+ (not that we pay much attention to recommendations)
The sweetest thing about giving her anything from Bigjigs is that she gets immediately excited. She squeals ‘Bigjigs’ and runs around wanting to open the box straight away.
Despite the fact she had only just ‘helped’ me do some baking in the kitchen the previous week, I did find it quite surprising that she saw the baking set and associated it with Play-Doh. Whether or not this was the intended use I’m not sure, but it does lend itself well to either real baking or pretend baking – with one tiny exception.
My only bugbear is the rolling pin – For some reason it sticks to the Play-Doh and is therefore impossible to roll. Instead of a nice flat pile of blue squidgy stuff, we are left trying to pick bits off the wood. Maybe it’s the texture, or maybe it’s just the weight. I’m really not sure, but I don’t fancy it’s chances at rolling anything. The other tiny annoyance is that the handles aren’t fixed very well. For little hands it’s not such an issue, but when I’m invariably enlisted to give Willow a hand, I worry that I’m going to break her new toy. I personally would prefer this to be one solid piece – even if it meant doing away with shaped handles.
With that aside, this is a really, really sweet set. Everything is is perfect proportion and feels just like a real baking set – just shrunk down.
Willow particularly loves popping tiny bits of Play-Doh into the paper cases and pretending she is making fruit flavoured cakes. She even knows to use the oven glove when getting the baking tray out of the pretend over – because it’s going to be hot. Today I actually left the miniature oven glove on the table, and she got quite upset, crying ‘Mummy! Where’s my oven glove. The cakes are ready!’ There was a definite hint of panic in her voice, as if the cakes might be ruined.
She then wanted me to take a photo of her glove, which is just Willow’s way of saying ‘I really love this’.
Although we’ve still only tested this set with Play-Doh, I definitely think it is one of Willow’s new favourite’s. This is largely down to the fact that she is a real little foodie, and absolutely loves food – both eating it and watching/helping me prepare it.
The only part of the set that she hasn’t shown a great deal of interest in is the measuring spoons, but this is more down to the fact that it’s pretty hard to measure Play-Doh in that way. If we were to attempt some real baking, I’m fairly sure those spoons would get used too. The little metal bowl is brilliant and feels like it could survive a few knocks – the same goes for the baking tray.
Overall, the Bigjigs baking set is a cute little set that is perfect for introducing little ones to baking. I do think there a few little tweaks that could be made, but for the price I certainly wouldn’t be put off buying this. I really think it’s important to get kids talking about food and learning how stuff is made, so this kind of toy is right up our street.
Fruit cakes anyone?