Best Play Kitchens Reviewed & Rated for Quality
There has been a revolution when it comes to how seriously people have begun to take their food. It is important to find the stuff that is sourced properly and to explore as many interesting culinary adventures as possible. A good thing to do for any parent is to introduce their child to the world of cooking as early as they can. The easiest way to avoid having them cutting themselves on knives, or burning their hands on stovetops is to get them a tiny kitchen of their own. These play kitchens do a great job of showing your little one what it is like to get their hands dirty, while also allowing them to exercise the creative muscles that all kids have so much fun using. This is a list of ten different play kitchens that cater to a wide variety of ages, play styles, and budgets.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research
Lots of different things to play with
Lots of drawers for storage
Lots of room
10 Best Play Kitchens
1. KidKraft Uptown Espresso
Lots of different things to play with
Lots of drawers for storage
Lots of room
Little bit expensive
This is a play kitchen that oozes with modern style, and is a great choice for anyone trying to go for something more realistic for their child.
Decked Out Kitchen
The Uptown Espresso Kitchen has so many little design decisions that is hard to express on a single page. This kitchen has lots of little touches that will give your child lots of opportunities for creative play. There is fake ice in the ice machine, it comes with a cordless phone, so they can order in some delivery when they are busy, and it has all the accessories you would find in a real kitchen.
Great Build Quality
This kitchen is made of very high quality materials that make it feel lifelike, and also like a sturdy, real kitchen. There is a wooden roll for holding paper towel. There is also a chalkboard for writing down imaginary lists of groceries. There are also lots of drawers so you can easily fit all the accessories for the kitchen inside the actual kitchen. It cleans itself up.
Cost and Value
This play kitchen costs a little bit more than other play kitchens that you can find on the market, but this is a top of the line toy that your child will be able to play with for a long time. There is a lot of different things for them to interact with, and there's more than enough room for more than one person to play in, so they can even have help in the kitchen.
2. Step2 Lifestyle Custom
Lots of drawers
Comes with accessories for the playset
Good for younger folk
Stovetop makes realistic sounds
Have to buy your own food pieces
This is a great and interactive play kitchen for kids who are a little bit younger. It has tons of little features and additions that make this a good choice for anyone looking for a new toy for their kids.
This kitchen has lots of the accessories that you would find in a real kitchen, and will do a good job at being a substitute until your kids can help out in the real thing. It has a stove top that comes with a pot for boiling water, and a frying pan for sauteing. There is also some counter top space for doing some food preparation.
There are lots of extra features in the Step2 that will give your kids lots of opportunities to find new ways to play. The stove top activates with realistic boiling and frying sounds so that your kids can feel like they are actually cooking. There are also multiple places to pull out drawers, including a drawer for cutlery storage, and a recycling bin for clean up.
Cost and Value
The Step2 Kitchen Playset is a great choice for anyone looking for a play kitchen for smaller kids. It doesn't take up too much space, and has lots of little diversions that offer a variety of ways to play. It costs a little more than some other kitchens on the market, but this kitchen is great for all the extra pieces that come with it in the form of cutlery and plates. You will need to buy your food separately, or just let them imagine what they are cooking up.
3. Little Tikes Super Chef
Really good price
Room for storage
Good size for tucking away
Smaller than others on the list
The Super Chef Kitchen is the first entry from renowned seller of children's toys, Little Tikes. This kitchen has a little bit of everything so that kids will never get bored running their own kitchen.
Variety of Activities
The Super Chef Kitchen has lots of little pieces that make it a great place for your kid to always have something to do. It has lots of drawers for storage, and comes with all the pieces that you need to put in them. This kitchen comes with the works when it comes to playing with your play kitchen. There are plates, cups, cutlery, pans, and even a phone.
The Super Chef Kitchen has lots of little touches that make it a good choice for an interactive playset. The knobs on the microwave and oven are totally adjustable, which will help kids get in the zone when it comes to pretend cooking. There is also a towel rack, which is a good place to put a towel for the real clean up you will have to do sometimes.
Cost and Value
The Little Tikes Super Chef Kitchen is a very good deal for a full-fledged play kitchen. It comes with everything that you will need to make for a believable kitchen. It comes with all the tools to make some pretend food, as well. That, coupled with the interactive knobs and drawers, make this a great choice for anyone looking for something a little cheaper.
4. Melissa & Doug
Realistic look and design
Lots of little features
Room for stoarge
Can be bundled with accessories
Takes a while to put together
This play kitchen is a great choice due to how realistic this looks. This looks exactly like the kitchen most of us already have in their house, but sized for the kids.
No strangely placed coffee makers or drawers here. This is a lifelike recreation of a normal, if a little smaller, kitchen. It comes with a realistic looking microwave, fridge, oven, and dishwasher. It even has a working ice maker. All the drawers and accessories open up so you have lots of space to store everything after the kids are done with their play.
There are lots of clever touches with this play kitchen that make it a good choice for the most immersive play kitchen on the market. All the knobs on the appliances turn and click, so that your children can choose how they want to cook their pretend steak. It also has other great touches like a spinning microwave plate, and a tearable notepad for grocery lists.
Cost and Value
The Pretend Play Toy Kitchen is a great place to pretend that you are in the kitchen It has lots of great little features that make the illusion feel more believable. It also doesn't cost as much as many of the other, more realistic kitchens do. This set can be bought without the extra pieces, like plates and pans, or with those things bundled in for a little extra cost.
5. Teamson Contemporary
Pieces are separate from each other
Lots of interactive parts
Easy to move around
Paint smell lasts for a day or two after you get it
The Teamson entry on this list is a simple, but effective, take on the play kitchen. It uses a more natural set of materials to make a pleasing looking play kitchen.
The Teamson is designed without a back wall, which gives it a more natural looking design. It also makes it easier to place this in the middle of the room when it is time for play. It is made out of wooden materials, and is painted with non-toxic paint. The simple and open design of this play kitchen is great for letting your child's imagination run wild.
The Teamson kitchen has lots of little interactive bits that will keep your children entertained for many a lazy afternoon. The play kitchen comes with a stove that has a working gas knob, so your kid can choose to cook their food on high or low. It also has a big deep sink that has lots of room for cleaning up. There is also a fridge with an icemaker.
Cost and Value
The Teamson is the most expensive play kitchen on this list so far, but its pieces are made with love, and it has a very charming design and set up. Compared to other kitchens, it has lots of room for your child's imagination. The fridge and stove are separate from each other, so your child can move around how they want their new kitchen set up, as well.
Small size is useful
Lots of things to do in a small space
Lacks a few of the pieces other options have
This is a good choice if you are short on room, or just want your new playset to simple and colorful so that your child can be engaged, and use their creativity.
This play kitchen comes in a very bright red color that does a good job of looking welcoming and charming, so that your kids will always be excited to play with it. It is a bit smaller than many of the other play kitchen's on this list, but that can be useful for those who live in smaller places. It still has lots of things for your kid to interact with.
There are many interactive bits on this play kitchen that make it an exciting place for your child to play for an extended period of time. All the knobs that you see in the picture can be interacted with and make a pleasant clicking sounds. There are a few different drawers that act like a fridge and an oven so that your child has somewhere to store thing, and a place to cook them.
Cost and Value
The KidKraft Playset is a good choice for anyone who is looking for something a bit more manageable when it comes to space and cleanliness. This kitchen is also stylish enough that it will look good as part of your home as a decoration, and as a toy. It has lots of interactive pieces and options so your child will never be bored. It can also be bought at a very reasonable price.
7. Little Tikes Ultimate Cook
Fully decked out
Lots of accessories
Lots of space for pretend play
Less realistic style than other kitchens
The second entry from Little Tikes goes the extra mile in filling out your collection of toys with this decked out play kitchen.
The Ultimate Cook Kitchen does a good job of living up to its name. This play kitchen has enough features to keep your child entertained for days, and might even turn them into a real chef in the process. It has all the appliances you could hope for, including a microwave, oven, and refrigerator, and has lots of space for storage, too.
This play kitchen is great for being able to do lots of things, because it gives your kid lots of space to play around in. It has lots of counter space that goes out to both the left and the right, which gives your child lots of room for doing some imaginary food preparation. The stove also makes realistic noises so your child knows things are actually getting cooked.
Cost and Value
The Ultimate Cook Kitchen is a fully decked out playset that will give your child hours of interesting scenarios for play. There are enough appliances that there will be something new to discover all the time. The price of this set is also very reasonable for what you get, which includes all the extra pieces of cutlery, plates, cups, and frying pans.
8. Naomi Home
Lots of storage space
Good price for build
High quality pieces
Clicking knobs and working chalkboard
Not very detailed interiors on storage
The entry from Naomi Home is a great choice for anyone who wants somewhere to be able to put all their child's things. This one has lots of storage space.
Lots of Storage
The Naomi Home comes with many places to put all your things so that this play kitchen can almost double as a storage chest. There is lots of room for you to put all your kitchen toys, while also tons more room for anything else that you can think of. All the surfaces of this play kitchen open up so that they can be used for storage.
The Naomi Home has really dedicated craftmanship that goes along very well with the nice look of this play kitchen. The knobs on the stove turn and click. They do a very good job of looking just like the real thing. It also has four elements on the stove so your child can make quite the elaborate meal, if they need to.
Cost and Value
The Naomi Home comes at a very reasonable price when you consider the amount of work that has been put into its design. It is made of a lot of thoughtful pieces, and the details in its minutiae are very impressive to look at. This is a good choice if you are looking for something that comes with a lot of storage, and also like the realistic looking kitchens a bit more than the rounded, plastic ones.
9. Step2 Fun
Great price for value
Good size for multiple children
Lots of interactive pieces
Good amount of storage
Style might be a little too garish for some
This is another entry from Step2 on this list of play kitchens. This one is a little more cartoony, and has lots of little features for your children to enjoy.
Packed With Entertainment
The Step2 Fun With Friends is decked out with lots of things to do. It has the basics, such as an oven, a fridge, and a microwave, but there are lots of other pieces to enjoy, too. Interesting additions to that formula are things like a place to put some dog food and water, both real and imaginary, so that there is even more options for fun.
The Fun With Friends has many other great things going for it that make it a good choice for anyone looking for a play kitchen. There are some convenient bins that can be stored under the sink that are perfect for fitting all the toys when it is time to clean up. The stove is also designed to make realistic cooking sounds when there are pans put on it.
Cost and Value
This entry from Step2 is a good choice for lots of people. It has a great, welcoming, look that will entice your kids to play with it again and again. There are tons of knobs and drawers for extended periods of play, too. Best of all, it comes at a really great price for how much you get with it. It comes with everything, except the food that your kids will be cooking up.
10. Little Tikes Splish Splash
Easy to move around
Good amount of storage space
Comes with accessories
Too small for a dedicated play kitchen
This is another entry from Little Tikes, but they just have lots of great products to go around. This one is different than the others on this list, because it is very portable, and toddler friendly.
This play kitchen is designed so that it is easily portable, and can be played with by anyone. It is just a small tray that has a two piece stove, and a sink for washing up. This makes this a good play kitchen for when you are bringing your child somewhere and need to give them something to distract them on the ride, or for when you get to your destination.
The Splish Splash has lots of clever features that make it easy to use, and to clean up. It is made completely out of plastic, and doesn't have nay hard to reach places. This means that is easy to clean up. It also has a sealable portion in the bottom of the sink that allows you to put away all your accessories after you are done with them.
Cost and Value
The Splish Splash costs quite a bit less than the other entries on this list, but it is also designed for a much more specific purpose. This is the play kitchen that you should buy if you want something for your kids to do that you can move around the house with you. For the smaller size of this set, it has lots of things to do.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Ease of Use
A play kitchen should have a good variety of things for your child to do, and they should not require much help to do them. These play kitchens are designed so you can let your child run free. This will let their creativity do the same. You want a play kitchen that can do lots of things very easily. All the pieces should be easy for your child to be easy to access, and also easy to use. This means that it should be intuitive. When your child is working on their latest culinary masterpiece, they should be able to tell what all the different pieces of the kitchen are for, and how they should be used. This will allow them to express themselves without becoming too frustrated. The pieces should look life-like, or at least close enough to the real thing that your child can do it just like mommy or daddy does it. The fridges and oven should be labeled, or at least lifelike. There should be some counters for space, as well. The higher the rating in this category, the more the kitchen will make it easy for your child to imagine that it is their very own kitchen.
A great thing about buying your kid a play kitchen is that it can also easily double as a place for storage of toys and other things. This means that long after your play kitchen has lost the interest of your child, you can still use many of them as a place to store toys and other useful goodies. These play kitchens all have a great deal of space that makes it easy for you to clean up and store everything after you are done with the kitchen. All the drawers and appliances open up so that there is some extra space in there to put all kinds of toys. The more drawers, the better, when it comes to play kitchens. Children also love the surprise of what could be behind a door, so why not have as many of those in your play kitchen, as possible. The higher the rating in this category, the more places you will find to store your food items and other toys. This is also a fun way to help your child learn the value of cleaning up. Nobody likes doing it, but cleaning up is one of the most important parts about cooking. That makes a play kitchen a good place to teach a child responsibility for their own messes.
The power of imagination and the ability to open doors will get your child a long way to having a great time in their new play kitchen, but there are tons of other little touches that the makers of these play kitchens have thought of to help keep your child engaged in other ways. The more novel ideas for interaction between your child and their kitchen set will add some variety to the ways that they can play. There are some extra little features that many of these play kitchens have that are very fun to play with. This includes something like a pretend phone for your child to play with. Children love playing along to the animated phone calls that their parents have, so it is a no brainer to provide an outlet for them to have their own important conversations. There are also lots of moving and clicking knobs that you can find on these playsets. They will help your child have fun with the amount of input they can have when it comes to cooking their pretend food. Some play kitchens even include noises and lights that go along with the stove top, which will add a great dimension of realism to the act of cooking.
The size of your play kitchen matters for a lot of reasons. It might be important because you have more than one kid. There's nothing worse than trying to get two of your children to share a very small space that they can't even fit into. It is important to check the size of each of these kitchens so that there is enough room for your child to comfortably do everything that you need to. There is also something to consider on the other side of this interaction. It is important that your play kitchen can fit inside of your home. Some play kitchens can get quite large, and they will take up a good deal of space if you live in a smaller space like an apartment. A high rating in this category will allow you to be able to fit your kitchen anywhere, without sacrificing the ability for your child to comfortably access all of its features. It takes a little bit of ingenuity to find that balance, but all the kitchens on this list do a fine job.
The more complete the set of your kitchen, the more that your child will have to do with themselves while they play with their kitchen. There are appliances to account for. Most of the kitchen on this list will at least have a stove for putting pans and pots on, a fridge for keeping their food before it is cooked, a microwave for warming things up, a sink for cleaning up afterwards and an oven for baking. This is a good start, but many of these play kitchens go above and beyond so that there is always a new thing for your child to discover during each new play session. There are extra things to think about like the cappuccino makers that many of these play kitchens have added on. Why have your child only be a cook, when they could play at being a barista? There is also a play kitchen on this list that comes with a place to feed a dog. There are also things like drawers, and some extra counter space to work with, that will give your child more room to exercise their imagination.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Play Kitchens are excellent tools to help develop your child's "pretend play" skills. These are important because studies show that children who actively participate in pretend play display higher cognitive and language abilities than their peers who don't.
Other Factors to Consider
There are two major styles of play kitchen on this list, and also in general. They can be generally categorized as play kitchens that are styled to be a little more realistic, and then the kitchens that have a more rounded, and cartoony, look to them. By looking at the photos for each pf the play kitchens above, it is quite easy to see which of these kitchens belong to which style. The style that is more useful for your child depends a lot on your own feeling, and your child's age. The advantage to the more colorful play kitchens is that they are much more eye-catching than the modern designs that are often seen among these kitchens. It will attract your child to the play kitchen, and they will keep coming back. The more realistic kitchens have their place too, however. Those kitchens look much more like a real kitchen, and will help teach your child how to use these elements of a normal kitchen. Many people want to teach their child how to cook one day, and this is a great place to get them ready for that next step.
The play kitchens on this list have a wide variety of prices among them. The big differences between the kitchens on this list is their size, and the materials that go into them. Many of the smaller kitchen will cost less, for obvious reasons. The less obvious reason for the price discrepancy is that many of these kitchens are hand-made, or hand-painted. Some of these toys are designed by folk who just like making artisan toys for children. The extra work that they put in can be seen with the designs of some of these kitchens, but it will also increase the price. As far as getting your money's worth, look for kitchens that already come with all the extra pieces that you might need to deck out your kitchen. Some of the kitchens on this list come with things like frying pans and other appliances. This is not the case for all the kitchens on this list. If you want to save some money, look into buying a kitchen that comes with a few extras.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are the benefits of buying a play kitchen?
There are a few interesting benefits to buying your child a play kitchen. Play kitchens are a great place for your child to exercise their creativity. Cooking as a trade is one of the most underrated pursuits in life when it comes to expressing your creativity. This can be seen in the purchase of a play kitchen. Watch all the things that your son or daughter will come up with off-the-wall recipes that they will create. It is also great for teaching your child some of the basics when it comes to food preparation. Things like where fresh food goes, or what it takes to clean up after a meal, can easily be taught with a play kitchen.
q: Where are good places to find food pieces?
Something that almost all kitchen playsets have in common is that they don't come with the extra food pieces that you will need if you want your child to have something real to put on the plate. These sets of food toys are usually not very expensive, but you will have to choose what kinds of food you want to buy. The classics are things like breakfast foods like bacon and eggs, but it might be a good move to get vegetables and meat, as well. The cheapest place to find these things is probably in the related items of their store pages. The companies that make the kitchens also usually make sets of food, too. This will help make sure that the food that you buy is of the same style as the kitchen that you have bought.
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