Whether you’re making cakes, cookies, or stir-fried vegetables, your kids are always watching and observing how you do it. They may be intrigued by the process and even offer to help or cook something for you. However, a kitchen is not a play area, and children should not be allowed to use kitchen items without adult supervision.
But how do you satiate their interest in cooking? Simple, just get them a play kitchen. In this MomJunction post, we give you a complete guide to kids’ play kitchen and share a list of 11 best play kitchen sets for children.
What Is A Play Kitchen?
A play kitchen is a toy resembling a miniature version of the kitchen work area. The kids play kitchen will have features like a shelf, stove, burners, sink, and even an oven. Most play kitchens are tall enough for a four or five-year-old child to play conveniently.
A kids’ play kitchen can come with several removable accessories so that children can play with them separately. For instance, there will be plastic vegetable toys, utensils, and even a cordless phone that make the play experience more engrossing for the child. You must check for such accessories and other features when picking a play kitchen for your little one.
How To Choose A Kids Play Kitchen?
Check the following points before choosing a play kitchen set for your kid.
- Type of material: Most play kitchens are made from plastic, but some could be made from wooden particle board. Plastic can be durable and long-lasting but wooden play kitchens look better and more realistic, and environment friendly too.
- Ease of assembly: The play kitchen does not come assembled. You will have to fix it before the child can play with it. So check the number of parts there are and if you have the tools to put them all together properly. If the manufacturer provides tools for assembly, then it is a bonus.
- Accessories and other supplied toys: If your child prefers realistic play, then look for a play kitchen complete with a stove with cooking sounds and a set of toy vegetables. The more the accessories, the better the play experience for the child.
In the section below, we present a list of the best kids play kitchen sets that you may consider for your little one.
11 Best Kids Play Kitchens
1. Melissa & Doug Play Kitchen
Melissa & Doug make this play kitchen with an elaborate and detailed design for the best kitchen simulation.
- You get the choice to buy the play kitchen with or without the accessories.
- It has a large cabinet and shelves at the lower side of the play kitchen, which provides plenty of space to store toys and other play kitchen accessories.
- The knobs of this play kitchen rotate like the real ones and also make clicking sounds.
- The ice cube dispenser is functional and dispenses two plastic toy ice cubes on the press of a button.
- The wooden particle board construction gives the play kitchen an incredible amount of detail.
- A few parents noted that the moving parts of the play kitchen tend to break or fail after some months of use.
- The colors used are a bit dull.
2. Step2 Little Bakers Kitchen Playset
It is a small play kitchen set with several exciting electronic features to keep the child entertained.
- The play kitchen is compact and takes little space. The plastic construction of the toy also makes it lightweight.
- The burner of the toy stove is designed such that the toy starts making cooking sounds the moment you cover the lid of the frying pan or the boiling pot.
- The play kitchen comes with an accessory set of 30 pieces.
- There are no holes for the screws, which means you have to drill it yourself.
- Some users were delivered a package with missing parts or screws.
3. Step2 Best Chef’s Toy Kitchen
This play kitchen from Step2 has simple plastic construction, which makes it lightweight and durable.
- The manufacturer ships the play kitchen with a 25-piece kitchen accessory set, which includes spatulas, coffee jug, sprinklers, and a small recycle bin.
- Turning on the kitchen burner activates the lights and cooking sounds feature.
- There is a built-in window above the burner, which replicates a regular kitchen’s architecture.
- There are hooks on the toy kitchen shelf where you can hang the utensils.
- There are no pre-drilled holes for the screws, and parents need to drill the holes themselves.
- Some buyers did not receive the instruction manual, and the stickers that go over the toy were also missing.
4. Step2 Grand Walk-in Play Kitchen and Grill
It is an adorable play kitchen set with a step-through design, which gives the child the feel of being in a real kitchen.
- There are shelves on three sides of the kitchen, with each shelf as a kitchen appliance. It also has a roof to make the kitchen simulation complete.
- The grill and stove make cooking sounds and give out light effects to simulate cooking.
- The kitchen area is large enough for two toddlers to stand and play together. There is also an attached dining area in the kitchen.
- The manufacturer ships the play kitchen with a 103-piece accessory set.
- Parents need to drill holes into the parts before screwing them together.
- Several users received a package with missing parts or accessories.
5. Hape Wooden Play Kitchen
This wonderfully crafted wooden play kitchen will impress parents and also the child.
- The compact kitchen has an oven and a stove on top of it. The entire play kitchen, along with all the accessories, is made from wood.
- The food-shaped accessories are vegetables, pizza, poached egg, mushroom, cheese, and bread – all made from wood! The wooden vegetables are also sliced so that the child can pretend cutting vegetables using the wooden knife.
- All tools and hardware required to assemble the play kitchen come within the box.
- Parents felt that the wood seemed to be left unprocessed and required buffing for a smooth finish.
- Some parents found the size of the kitchen to be small for the price paid.
6. Little Tikes Cook N Grow Play Kitchen
This play kitchen from Little Tikes is highly configurable and allows you to change the setup as the child grows older.
- There are two stages of the play kitchen. Each stage sets the kitchen shelf’s height to different levels – one is suitable for toddlers while the other is ideal for young school-going children.
- There are no extra parts or tools needed to set the two stages. The parts of the play kitchen are designed to fit into two different styles.
- All doors in the play kitchen are functional and can be opened to reveal the interesting attributes inside. The toy also makes electronic cooking sounds.
- Some buyers of the toy found the quality of the plastic and its finishing to be poor.
7. KidKraft Grand Gourmet Corner Kitchen
It is an ideal play kitchen for small spaces, thanks to the unique design of the toy.
- The two shelves of the play kitchen meet at a right angle. It lets you fit the toy at the corner of a room, which means it occupies less space.
- All knobs rotate just as the real knobs do. It makes playtime more fun for the child.
- There is a chalkboard attached to the freezer’s door. The child can draw and write on the chalkboard.
- You get a set of a metal spatula, pan, and cooking vessel with the toy. Hooks on the play kitchen allow the child to hang and store these accessories.
- Some customers reported receiving damaged pieces. A few users reported the assembly screws lining up incorrectly.
8. KidKraft Vintage Kitchen
This play kitchen from KidKraft has a classic look that goes with the home décor well.
- The play kitchen comes with exciting features like a cordless phone, an oven with a tray inside, and even a microwave oven with a turntable that rotates 360°.
- Most items like the refrigerator, microwave, freezer, and oven have doors that can be opened and latched. It almost works like real equipment.
- There is storage space below the sink where the child can store their toys. The sink is removable for easy cleaning.
- There are no accessories supplied with the kitchen. You will have to buy plastic vegetables separately.
- Several parents felt that the kitchen had too many pieces that made it a bit cumbersome to fit it all together.
9. Teamson Kids Little Chef Play Kitchen
The play kitchen from Teamson is made from a wooden particle board, which renders it a neat look.
- The play kitchen has a compact shape but packs almost every major feature expected from a play kitchen including a cabinet and storage shelves.
- The paint on the wooden boards is free from lead.
- The oven knobs make real knob sounds when turned. The play kitchen comes with accessories like a spatula and three plastic shakers to simulate real cooking.
- Some buyers disliked the finishing of the wood and felt the quality of the paint was poor.
10. Teamson Kids Berlin Modern Kids Play Kitchen
This play kitchen from Teamson Kids is stylish and has quite a realistic look to it.
- The play kitchen is complete with all the features you expect, namely two burners, a sink, oven, and even a dishwasher. The center of the shelf has a chopping board made from real wood.
- The knobs for the burner make clicking sounds just like the real ones do.
- The background has tile-like patterns resembling a real kitchen wall.
- A few parents did not like the finishing of the product and felt that it could have been better.
11. Little Tikes Super Chef Kitchen
If you are looking for a compact kids play kitchen, then this should be your choice.
- The kitchen is small but comes with a lot of features like a burner, oven, a water dispenser, and a coffee maker.
- The burner makes cooking sounds each time it is turned on.
- The doors of the refrigerator and the oven open to give it a realistic look. There are cabinets with space inside for storage of toys.
- The manufacturer ships it with several accessories – plates, cups, frying pan, and even a coffee pot.
- Parents did not find the quality of the plastic to be good. The fitting of the toy was also found to be flimsy.
Play kitchens simulate a kitchen and can be used by the parents to teach a few essential kitchen and dining table etiquette such as placing a utensil in the sink after use or segregating waste for recycling and composting. As the child grows older, they are more likely to understand the various rules of the kitchen thanks to the role-playing they did as a little chef in their play kitchen.
Did you get a play kitchen for your child? Do share your experience with us in the comment section below.
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