Best Play Kitchens for Kids to Fiddle with in 2017

Adults and kids alike may think that toys are just material things that entertain children and occupy them when their parents can’t pay their whole attention to them, but to tell you the truth, that’s not the only purpose toys serve. Toys, in all shapes, sizes, and kinds, influence a child’s education and development over the years.

If you try to reach down into your memory, you may remember a single toy that you loved so much as a kid and always played with. It might be a doll, a stuffed animal, or a remote-controlled helicopter. No matter what it was, it has been a part of your development as a small child. Children are first engaged in physical activity through their toys, and playing helps them develop their motor skills. Just by dressing a doll or controlling a toy helicopter, it improve their sense of touch and sight, and builds strong arms and legs. Toys also help boost a child’s creativity and emotional development by acting out a character or reenacting everyday situations through their dolls and stuffed animals, and imagining a fictional world.

One of the best kinds of toys that will not just entertain your child but also help them stimulate their mental skills is a play kitchen. It helps them recreate what they usually see their mom or dad doing in the kitchen. While it may seem easy to pick one out, there are a lot of things that you should take into consideration when shopping for a play kitchen. In this article, we listed down the 15 best play kitchens out there, together with a brief review for each.

1. Uptown Espresso Kitchen by KidKraft

Suitable for: Kids 3 to 15 years old

Uptown Espresso Kitchen is one of the most realistic looking play kitchens that you will ever see. Its size is big enough for a few kids to play with it, and it has a speckled countertop design that makes it look even more real, plus it features a fridge, a freezer, a microwave, an oven, and a dishwasher. All of its doors also open and close of real, and there is a storage space right above the “sink.” These all lend the feeling of working in a real kitchen, which is something that children will be able to truly appreciate. The fridge door has a chalkboard surface for when your kids want to write a reminder or do some doodling. While it’s the perfect size for a child to imitate cooking, it’s still compact enough to fit in any bedroom or playroom. Some parts, like the sink, are also easily removable for cleaning.

What We Like about This Product: It has realistic and interactive features to make the experience more enjoyable for the kid, is the perfect size for multiple children, easy to clean, and fits any bedroom or playroom.

2. Vintage Kitchen by KidKraft

Suitable for: Kids 3 to 7 years old

Vintage Kitchen is another interactive play kitchen by KidKraft. It has doors that open and close, and oven and stove knobs turn and click for a realistic playing experience. The faucet also swings to the side, and the sink handles rotate. It also comes with a cute cordless phone that comes off the hook for your child for pretend-answering calls. The storage also work as if in a real kitchen, and the “sink” is a removable plastic bowl that you can easily clean if your child experiments with it. It is big enough for a child to feel like they are truly doing stuff in the kitchen, but it’s small enough to fit in their bedroom or playroom. You can also bolt the play kitchen to the wall.

What We Like about This Product: It is an interactive and realistic play kitchen, complete with a swinging faucet, turning knobs, opening and closing doors, and a working storage. It has a sink that you can remove for easy cleanup. The whole thing can be bolted to a wall for a more steady playtime.

3. Little Bakers Kitchen by Step2

Suitable for: Kids 2 to 8 years old

Little Bakers Kitchen is a colorful play kitchen complete with an oven, a microwave, a refrigerator, a frying pan, a boiling pot, and a stove. What’s special about this is that the frying pan and boiling pot make electronic frying and boiling sounds with the burner, which makes playing with it not only realistic but exciting as well. Imagine being a little kid and being able to pretend effectively because of these sounds! It also has a doll seat attached on the side so your child can pretend that their children is hanging out in the kitchen with them. If you want a better experience for your child, you can purchase the matching cookware set, but it’s sold separately.

What We Like about This Product: It has a complete set of kitchen tools: oven, microwave, fridge, and stove. The pan and pot make frying and boiling sounds when placed on the front burner, which makes for amazing kitchen playtime.

​4. Lifestyle Fresh Accents Kitchen by Step2

Suitable for: Kids 2 to 6 years old

This play kitchen by Step2 doesn’t feature just a regular, solid wall – it has a pretend window, which is a great addition to stimulate your child’s imagination. Just like the previous item from Step2, Lifestyle Fresh Accents also has the frying pan and boiling pot producing frying and boiling water sounds when put on the stove’s front burner. It also features a coffee pot and coffee maker for a complete kitchen experience. The microwave, refrigerator, and oven all have a “stainless steel” finish to make it look just like the real stuff. The microwave even has an electronic key pad! Although it would have been better if the kitchen cabinets were spacious enough to be working storage areas, this is a good play kitchen for your kid.

What We Like about Its Product: It has a pretend window, electronic frying and boiling sounds, and complete kitchen appliances.

​5. Uptown Natural Kitchen by KidKraft

Suitable for: Kids 3 to 15 years old

Uptown Natural Kitchen is another one of KidKraft’s realistic and interactive play kitchens. It is in a decent size that will make it possible for more children to play with, and it has a modern design that imitates what most kitchens nowadays look like. It comes with complete kitchen appliances (refrigerator, freezer, microwave, oven, and dishwasher), and all of its doors open and close. Behind these doors are storages spacious enough to fit objects for a more realistic kitchen experience. It also has a cordless phone, a paper towel holder, and a chalkboard surface on the fridge’s door for your child to doodle on.

What We Like about This Product: Realistic and interactive play kitchen with complete kitchen appliances and cookware. Its cabinet and oven are spacious enough to hold objects in them, and is incredibly detailed.

​6. Grand Walk-in Kitchen and Grill by Step2

Suitable for: Kids 2 to 8 years old

Another play kitchen from Step2, this is a walk-in kitchen that mirrors an entire kitchen, and can be used by up to three children. It is a 103-piece accessory set that makes up the play kitchen, and features realistic looking electronic appliances: a grill, stovetop, and a phone. By the sink are the faucet and the fridge, both have stainless steel finish for a genuine looking kitchen. It has a microwave with an electronic keypad and a kitchen cabinet that opens and closes. The attached dining area completes the experience.

What We Like about This Product: It’s a walk-in play kitchen with details good enough for a child. Stainless steel finish for some of the kitchen appliances and attached dining area.

7. Get Out n’ Grill Kitchen Set by Little Tikes

Suitable for: Kids 2 to 5 years old

This one is one of our more compact options. While it only features a toy stove and a cabinet beneath, it packs a punch because of its cute yet realistic design. It has a dual-level grill and side burner and side sink, with grill knobs that make sounds to help with role play. It also comes with a spatula and tongs, hotdog and burger buns, and a ketchup bottle. The smaller size makes it perfect for both indoor and outdoor use.

What We Like about This Product: It is a compact play kitchen complete with a stove, grill, sink, and cabinet. The knobs make a sound for an effective role play. It comes with a set of utensils and play food.

​8. Number Lovin’ Oven by LeapFrog

Suitable for: Kids 2 to 5 years old

Number Lovin’ Oven is the option for those of you with kids who want to bring their toys everywhere they go, or are always traveling. This toy set is the size of an oven, and is made to emulate an oven. It is an interactive oven that fits everything that is included in its set: 4 pizza slices, 3 pieces of bread, 2 cupcakes, 1 fried egg, 1 skillet, 1 patula, baking tray, and 2 plates. Your child can cut these foods into several equal pieces, helping them learn math in the process. The oven sings as well, teaching your kid counting, vocabulary, and sharing skills. The number slider moves to the side for exploring numbers, time, and temperature. It doesn’t just let your child pretend to work in the kitchen and cook, it also teaches them useful skills in a fun, enjoyable way! It is a fun and interactive way for your child to learn.

What We Like about This Product: Compact and easy to travel with, yet fits everything inside. It comes with toy foods that can be “cut” into equal pieces to teach the kids math.The oven sings and talks, with 30+ pre-recorded phrases and songs.

​9. Ultimate Cook Kitchen by Little Tikes

Suitable for: Kids 2 to 10 years old

Ultimate Cook Kitchen features an extended counter space to allow your kid to do more things. All the doors for the oven, the microwave, and the mini fridge underneath the sink open and close. This is also one of the play kitchens that have cabinets with useful storage space. The stove knobs produce a clicking sound and the stovetop and sink produce cooking sounds for an authentic feeling role play. It also has a cappuccino maker and a wireless phone for a modern feel. We would personally love to play with this.

What We Like about This Product: It has an extensive counter space, opening and closing doors for the oven, fridge, and cabinets. The appliance produce corresponding electronic sounds for an authentic feel.

​10. Heart of the Home Kitchen Set by Step2

Suitable for: Kids 2 to 8 years old

If you want a realistic yet colorful design for a play kitchen, this is what you are looking for. Although it doesn’t try too hard to copy a real kitchen, it still looks realistic enough and interactive for children. It even has a recycling bin and reusable grocery bag to promote recycling and caring for mother nature! It’s complete with kitchen utensils, a set of condiments, a kitchen towel, a kitchen cabinet with spacious room, more storage baskets, coffee maker, and appliances like the stove, oven, microwave, fridge, and sink. It also has a white board on the refrigerator door for your child to write or draw on. The “window” on the kitchen wall is also present in this play set.

What We Like about This Product: It comes with a complete set of kitchenware, bottles of condiments, and other kitchen details that make it realistic and lifelike. It has a recycling bin and reusable grocery bag to teach your kid how to be responsible at a young age.

​11. Imaginarium All in One Wooden Kitchen by KidKraft

Suitable for: Kids 3 to 8 years old

Imaginarium Wooden Kitchen is made of high quality wood, which makes it realistic and pretty enough for your kid to truly enjoy. Don’t be fooled by its colorful appearance, because it is complete with kitchen details and appliances like a wooden refrigerator, a freezer, a microwave, an oven, and a four-burner stove. It also has a backboard that comes in a checkered tile pattern, lending a vintage feel to the play kitchen. It also comes with a phone and a wall clock. While this is a beautiful set, it is quite difficult to put together. But the hard work is worth it once you see how much your child loves it.

What We Like about This Product: It is completely made of high quality wood, is complete with kitchen utensils, appliances, and small details that make it authentic looking and feeling. It’s a beautiful play kitchen set.

12. Cook ‘n Store Kitchen by Little Tikes

Suitable for: Kids at least 18 months old

If you want a play kitchen that doesn’t need to be assembled before your child can enjoy it, Cook ‘n Store Kitchen is perfect for you. It is small enough but is also a good size for two kids to play with, and it’s complete with an oven and stovetop with knobs that make a clicking sound for an authentic feeling kitchen experience. It also features a spinning storage area under the sink. And if you think it can’t get smaller than it already is, you’ll be surprised to know that it can be folded up to a smaller size for easy travel and storage. Although this is a pretty good play kitchen, it wouldn’t hurt to have actual buttons instead of the stickers that it has.

What We Like about This Product: Compact in size and doesn’t require assembly. It’s complete with kitchen appliances and its knobs make a clicking sound for a better role play. It has a spinning storage. It can also be folded up into an even smaller size for storage.

​13. Deluxe Custom Kitchen by American Plastic Toys

Suitable for: Kids 3 to 15 years old

This Custom Kitchen, which comes in a beautiful pink color, is complete with 22 pla accessories, including a sink, a stove, a microwave, an oven, a mini refrigerator, storage cabinets, kitchen utensils and cookware. It has realistic looking burners the produce light and sounds to make it look like your child is actually cooking on the stove, and has additional sizzling and bubbling sounds as if frying and boiling. You have even more storage space with the “wicker” baskets that come with the set.

What We Like about This Product: It’s complete with kitchen appliances and utensils, and produces frying and boiling sounds for a realistic feeling kitchen play time.

​14. Retro Kitchen and Refrigerator by KidKraft

Suitable for: Kids at least 3 years old

KidKraft has another offering in this list, which is a separate refrigerator and kitchen set the comes in cool colors. As usual, all doors open and close, and all knobs on the dishwasher, sink, and the oven turn for an interactive role play. The storage areas have enough room for things that you want to store in there, like kitchen utensils. And since the refrigerator is separate from the kitchen counter unlike other play kitchens, your child can set it up the way they want to. The sink is easily removable for cleanup in case things get messy.

What We Like about This Product: All doors open and close for real, and all knobs turn. It’s complete with the usual kitchen appliances you see in a real kitchen. Its storage areas can be used as actual storage, and it comes with kitchen utensils.

​15. Cozy Kitchen by Step2

Suitable for: Kids 2 to 6 years old

Cozy Kitchen is indeed a cozy looking mini kitchen that comes with a refrigerator, an oven, storage cabinets, a sink, and stove, a coffee maker, and some kitchen utensils. It is rather small and can fit anywhere in your house that your child would like to play in. The stove top has a realistic looking design, and the oven and fridge provide enough room for storage for toys and other stuff. And yes, all these doors open and close. The faucet is movable, and has a contemporary design to mirror the modern design most kitchens nowadays have. While it may not come with buttons and fixtures, its stickers provide enough detail for a younger kids who love to play in the kitchen.

What We Like about This Product: Complete kitchen appliances and enough storage space in the oven and the refrigerator. Doors open and close for real. It is compact and can be placed anywhere in the house.

Our Criteria for Picking the Best Play Kitchens

Play kitchens are not exactly cheap. They also take up space and usually require a long time just for assembly. For these reasons, you need to be smart in picking out the best play kitchen that you will give to your child (or any child in your family). Here are the criteria and shopping guide we followed that narrowed our options down to just the 15 we featured in this article.

Accept the fact that play kitchens are not cheap

A brand new, high quality play kitchen will never cost $20 or less. It is an investment toy, so it’s better to accept that when you’re looking for a play kitchen, you should be ready to shell out more.

Check the size

Always read the sizes and proportion of the play kitchen and then compare it to the space in your house where it will be placed, especially if you are buying online. Product photos tend to make things look smaller or bigger than they actually are. Knowing the exact measurements of the play kitchen will help you determine what’s best for the child you’re purchasing it for.

It should be compact

Play kitchens are generally bulky and will take up space, because they are imitating real-life kitchens. However, that doesn’t mean that the play kitchen you’re buying should fill up an entire room. Choose something that is just the right size for a toddler/kid and should fit in the corner of an average-sized room.

Toy versions of basic appliances should be complete

These are the stove, sink, microwave, oven, refrigerator, and a cabinet. Without these things in the play kitchen, it won’t feel as realistic or interactive as it could be. A complete set of appliances and, if possible, utensils, will complete the experience for your child.

    Sandra Cobain
     

    Mum of two. Child psychologist. Ardent admirer of art, crafts and cooking. She is the head of content for BestForTheKids. When she's not busy crafting posts & researching about compelling content ideas, she can be spotted playing outdoors with her two adorable children.

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