Best Play Kitchens for Kids to Fiddle with in 2018
Are you thinking of getting your kid a play kitchen? These toys are a never-ending source of entertainment. I’ve seen my kids flock around the play kitchen as soon as we arrived at a friend’s house, so they can provide a popularity boost too.
Kids start engaging in pretend play when they are about 18 to 24 months old. This is an incredibly significant developmental milestone and parents need to encourage it. For the next couple of years, playing pretend is one of the most important things your kid will do.
A play kitchen contains real furniture and a number of impressive toy appliances. It’s usually up to you to fill the kitchen with pots and pans, as well as with toy or real food. The best kitchen playsets can entertain any kid from toddlers to school-aged children, both boys and girls.
My Favorite Play Kitchen Sets that Your Child is Going to Love
Since this toy is an investment, you want to make sure to get something your kid will love. You should definitely take some time to decide which play kitchen will be the right choice for your home. I’ve made a list of great options that could help you get started.
Table of Contents
- My Favorite Play Kitchen Sets that Your Child is Going to Love
- 1. Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef’s Pretend Play Toy
- 2. KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen
- 3. Step2 Lifestyle Fresh Accents Kitchen
- 4. Hape Wood Kids Play Kitchen
- 5. Little Tikes Sizzle and Serve Grill and Grillin' Goodies Bundle
- 6. Peppa Pig Giggle & Bake Kitchen
- 7. Step2 Heart of The Home Kitchen Playset
- 8. Teamson Kids - Little Chef Wooden Toy Play Kitchen with Accessories
- Why Do Kids Enjoy Play Kitchens?
- What Makes a Play Kitchen Beneficial for Your Child?
- Three Questions to Ask Before Buying a Kitchen Playset
1. Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef’s Pretend Play Toy
This kitchen is one of my top choices because it’s compact, but packed with fun, and it also looks quite realistic. It comes in delicate pink or charcoal black.
Above the toy fridge, there is an ice cube dispenser. Although it doesn’t have the ability to freeze water, it does dispense “ice cubes”. These are realistic looking little plastic cubes that are included in the package.
There is an oven with dials that turn, as well as a microwave with a turning plate. I like that there’s some free space underneath the sink, so your kid can store larger toys. The doors on this playset all open and close, and there’s plenty of space to put away toy food or even real food.
This playset is definitely large enough to use when your kid has friends over. Once you’ve assembled it, it will be 3.5 feet wide and almost as tall. The manufacturer recommends this toy for kids aged three and up, but I am sure that older children will enjoy it too.
Another thing I like about this playset is that it’s guaranteed to last a couple of years, and it’s a great choice if you have more than one child. In my experience, Melissa & Doug toys are very well-designed and made of high-quality materials.
I try to go for wooden toys whenever possible, so this playset is a really appealing choice.
What's Great About It: I love the attention to detail because it will provide your kids with a lot of different options. There’s a checklist they can leaf through if they’re planning an imaginary trip to the grocery store. You can also expect your kid to offer you ice cubes several times a day.
2. KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen
Does your child love multitasking? This kitchen playset has an ultramodern look that will help them feel very busy and grown-up.
There is a cordless toy phone included. My kids love pretending to order take-out, and yours might love that game too. The phone could be an important part of a restaurant role playing game as well.
But my favorite feature here might be the dishwasher, which is still a rare feature in kitchen playsets. It’s under the sink, and your kid will love filling it up with dishes. There’s even a towel holder on the side of this kitchen under the oval counter space, so your kid can pretend to wash and clean dishes.
Pretty soon, they’ll be ready to help you do the same in your kitchen!
There are pegs they can use for hanging pots and cups from the wall. Additionally, there is a microwave, with a turning plate that can spin. Your kid can use the stove top and oven as well.
Every dial on this toy can really turn, and the oven door opens and closes. There is even an oven drawer that slides in and out. In addition to the fridge and freezer, there is an ice dispenser with different options.
Your little one can also enjoy writing or drawing on the chalkboard, which is fixed to the freezer. This is another feature that could come in handy if your kid decides to do a restaurant roleplay. For example, they could draw the menu that they are planning, or award themselves some Michelin stars.
This set is wide enough to entertain a few kids at the same time. Between the appliances, shelves, and extended counter space, your kid can use this kitchen to store all of their pots and food toys.
What's Great About It: KidKraft is a leading expert when it comes to making kitchen playsets, and this one is a particularly well-loved example of their quality products. It can entertain older kids as well as younger ones. Plus, it looks really impressive and won’t look out of place in the corner of any modern kitchen or playroom.
3. Step2 Lifestyle Fresh Accents Kitchen
This kitchen playset is affordable and sturdy. Best of all, it comes with thirty accessories. If your kid doesn’t have their own collection of kitchen toys yet, this set is a great place to start.
The main pieces of this playset are the sink and the stovetop. The stove makes boiling noises when it’s activated, which is why this toy requires four AA batteries.
There is also a fridge, a microwave, and an oven, featuring prints of delicious meals that will inspire your kid to come up with some meal ideas. Additionally, your son or daughter will love using the coffee maker, complete with a coffee pot.
The accessories are definitely my favorite part of this playset. There are kid-sized bowls, pots, and utensils, as well as a selection of delicious and healthy food toys. Accessories may vary, but you usually get a portable phone to go along with this toy.
I like that the two cupboards are all large enough to store a bunch of different accessories. However, I think that some more counter space could have been a good addition to this toy. As it is, it may be a little cramped if your child is playing with more than two friends.
But there’s an upside to consider: this toy doesn’t take up too much room. You can set it up anywhere you like without worrying that it will be in the way.
This playset is recommended for kids aged two to six. It’s a perfect choice for a toddler who is still developing a love for cooking games. The hissing noises are going to be a huge hit, and your young child will love playing with the microwave timer as well.
What's Great About It: The accessories will delight your kid, and they’ll be ready to play as soon as you assemble it. And that’s another good thing about this playset: assembly shouldn’t take longer than ten minutes.
4. Hape Wood Kids Play Kitchen
Here’s another great option that comes with accessories. You can get this beautiful wooden toy in an elegant pastel purple. Everything about it is well-made, perfect for little children.
The accessories include pots, pans, salt and pepper shakers, and various utensils. You’ll have to find food toys separately though. I recommend looking for a collection of wooden toys, as it would complete the restrained look of this set.
Most kitchen playsets contain a fridge, but the Hape Wood Play Kitchen doesn’t. However, there’s a lovely flat stove top and an oven that really opens and closes. There are shelves beneath the sink as well.
I like the wide shelf space in particular. Your kid will love sliding every spatula into place.
Even though it might be too small to store all of your kid’s food-related toys, I like that this set makes use of space very cleverly. It’s a good choice for smaller homes, and it can fit snugly in any corner.
I also really like that everything about this toy is environmentally friendly. There are no plastic pieces and everything is made of durable premium wood.
What's Great About It: Hape made sure to only use non-toxic materials, so this playset is a great choice if your toddler still likes to put toys in their mouth.
5. Little Tikes Sizzle and Serve Grill and Grillin' Goodies Bundle
This option is a little different. Even if your kid isn’t particularly interested in the process of cooking, they may rather prefer the thought of barbeques. After all, barbecuing is a family activity, and it usually feels like a special occasion.
I love this play grill for several reasons. It’s easy to set up and it even has wheels, so your kid can move it around. This way, it can be a great toy for outdoor play.
I definitely recommend buying the so-called Goodies Bundle. This is a set of twenty accessories, including hamburger buns and patties, as well as toy condiments and various grilling utensils. Your kid will feel like a real barbeque expert when they use this toy.
It’s just the right size for a toddler, and it’s sturdy enough to use safely.
What's Great About It: I love that the grill has a lid, so you can snap it shut and safely store all of the accessories. Unlike most kitchen playsets, this is definitely a toy that will get moved around a lot. You can set it up in the living room on rainy days and bring back some precious summer memories.
6. Peppa Pig Giggle & Bake Kitchen
Is your little one a huge fan of Peppa Pig? If so, they’ll absolutely love this Peppa-themed kitchen playset. This toy is a great choice for two-year-olds, as it has a number of extra features.
It requires batteries, and it makes cute sound effects related to cooking. Your kid will love making tea to the sound of the realistic whistling of a tea kettle. The faucet makes water sounds too.
In addition to the sink and kettle, there is an oven and a little fridge that opens and closes. Unfortunately, the oven can’t be opened, but your kid can play with the plastic dials.
There are eighteen accessories included in this kitchen playset. This includes an oven mitt, toy cookies, and various pots and pans. Most importantly, there is a Peppa Pig chef hat with sweet little pig ears on the front.
In addition to the many entertaining options, this playset comes with its own backdrop. There’s a window with some lovely curtains as well as a toy clock. Naturally, Peppa Pig is in the background, wearing a chef’s hat of her own, and cooking alongside your kid.
All in all, this is a great toy for toddlers, and it’s designed with a lot of attention to detail. I particularly like the friendly stickers on the toy fridge.
What's Great About It: Peppa Pig is well-loved for some very good reasons. It’s a sweet and educational story, made with a lot of love and respect for children. Even when your kid outgrows this playset, the oven mitts and hat will bring back some very fond memories.
7. Step2 Heart of The Home Kitchen Playset
Here is an impressively detail-packed kitchen playset for children of all ages.
If your son or daughter loves playing with stuffed animals, this playset is the perfect choice for them. There are two feeding bowls and a little bed, perfect for your kid’s favorite toy dog or cat.
I like the huge selection of kitchen appliances included in this set. Because this toy runs on batteries, the stove can light up and make cooking feel like an adventure. The translucent cupboard doors are also a great idea.
There are 41 different accessories, including some food pieces. I’m particularly impressed by the spice rack. For some reason, many playset manufacturers forget to include one.
To make it really feel like the ‘heart of the home’, this toy comes with a picture frame. It’s perfect for sliding in a family photo. On the other hand, your kid may prefer to use it to display a drawing they are particularly proud of.
Little artists get another great option with this playset: a dry-erase grocery list. They can grab a marker and design the day’s menu or sign their name.
What's Great About It: This toy really does have everything your child could possibly want. I think the pet bowls are a particularly nice touch. After all, your kid can develop their sense of responsibility by pretending to regularly feed some pets.
8. Teamson Kids - Little Chef Wooden Toy Play Kitchen with Accessories
If you want a natural-looking kitchen playset, this one could be the best choice for you. I really like the wood grain design, because it has a high chance of matching your furniture. There is also an appealing retro option in blue and yellow.
I love that this playset comes with a bunch of high-quality wooden accessories. Your kid will get a cordless toy phone, various utensils, and a rolling pin. Toy food is included too, mainly fruits and vegetables, so you can teach your little one about healthy eating.
The fridge, microwave, and oven can all open and close. There are real little drawers as well, perfect for storing spices. Every part of this toy is easy and safe to operate.
Your kid can turn dials on the oven and press various buttons. Additionally, they’ll love the toy clock on the top of this toy. Most kids can’t read analog clocks until around the age of seven, but they still like pretending to tell the time.
I also really like that the sink on this toy is detachable. Whatever kind of game your kid is playing, there is always some chance they’ll make a mess. You can take this sink out to wash it more easily.
What's Great About It: Teamson is very careful about using eco-friendly and kid-friendly materials. There are no small pieces in the accessories, and all the paint is guaranteed to be lead-free.
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Why Do Kids Enjoy Play Kitchens?
In most cases, pretend play fuses elements of fantasy and reality. In other words, your child will find inspiration in stories and cartoons, but they will also base their games on their everyday routine.
Meals are an important part of your child’s day. Most kids learn some mealtime manners around the age of three. They might already have some input on what they eat at that age, even though you’re still in charge of making sure they’re eating healthy foods.
So, it’s no surprise that eating and meal preparation feature heavily in your kid’s pretend games. This is true at every age from two to ten. However, these games take on different forms as your kid matures.
• Ages 2-3
Toddlers really enjoy making noise with pots, pans, and cupboard doors. You may find your kid stacking cooking utensils into towers. They probably can’t follow a complex narrative yet, but they like roleplaying nonetheless.
• Ages 4-5
Preschoolers generally play more sophisticated cooking-related games. They love testing their memory by taking meal orders or putting together five-course feasts.
At this age, many kids become fascinated by clocks and timers. One of the main reasons that they love using toy microwaves and ovens is that they can hurry to take the meal out when it’s done.
• Ages 6-7
Once your kid is in elementary school, the main allure of cooking games is probably the social element. Setting the table can be a fun experience too, especially if they have toys they can admonish to have better manners. At this age, kids love roleplaying as their parents.
Realistic-looking playsets are a good choice at this age, especially if they’re wide enough to share with a friend.
• Age 8 and Beyond
At this age, having a special corner is particularly important to your kid, because they are starting to develop a need for personal space and privacy. There is still a lot of fun to be had with cooking supplies. Restaurant roleplays are a particularly popular choice.
What Makes a Play Kitchen Beneficial for Your Child?
Here are just some of the ways that having a play kitchen can be good for your kid:
- Having Their Own Furniture Improves Confidence
Your kid can make decisions autonomously, and they’ll love the feeling of having their own space.
- It Also Teaches Them Responsibility and Order
My advice is to let your kid be in charge of keeping their kitchen playset orderly. They’ll soon get used to having to clear away clutter before they can start playing. In doing so, putting their toys away will become a routine.
- A Play Kitchen Can Be the Key to a Good Playdate
Successful playdates can be a challenge, but it’s very important for your kid’s social development. Play kitchens are the perfect ice breaker, and they can save you from having to come up with new types of entertainment every time your kid has friends over.
- It’s Never Too Early to Develop a Love of Cooking
You may want to supply some real food which your kid can use in addition to play food. I suggest going for fruit or dry spaghetti. You could also suggest a few pieces of your kid’s favorite snack.
Kitchen playsets can provide you with the perfect opportunity to discuss healthy nutrition with your child. You can also instruct them how to make simple recipes. If you participate in their games from time to time, your kid’s transition from the play kitchen to real cooking will be easy and fun.
Three Questions to Ask Before Buying a Kitchen Playset
What Is It Made of?
Some pieces combine wood, metal, and plastic, while others are made from all-natural materials. Whatever option you decide to go for, make sure to choose lasting and high-quality materials. Also, make sure the surfaces will be easy to clean.
What Accessories Does It Have?
When you’re comparing prices, don’t forget to check whether accessories are included. Getting food toys and utensils can be an additional investment.
Where Will You Put It?
Kitchen playsets come in different shapes and sizes. If you have to fit the playset into a corner, you could get an L-shaped design.
You probably want to avoid the playset clashing too much with your furniture. Many designs are minimalist and wouldn’t be too distracting wherever you put them. Others are very colorful and might look out of place in a perfectly coordinated living room.
A Final Word
Even after you’ve done the research, your choice of a play kitchen is going to come down to taste. Remember that a kid’s taste changes quickly, but you probably won’t be buying more than one play kitchen. Hence, you should rely on your own taste more than any other considerations.
The perfect kitchen playset will delight your kid, and also make a beautiful addition to your home.