Toddlers love play kitchens. It was always one of the most popular toys at toddler group and my children absolutely loved theirs. We kept it until they were 7 and 9 because until they age, it still got played with from time to time. If I’m honest, I was a bit jealous, I would have adored one when I was a child but they weren’t a thing then. When you’re choosing a play kitchen, it’s import to get it right, as you’re likely to be living with it for a long time to come so you don’t want something that’s going to be an eyesore, we made that mistake and had to replace our first one which was a cheap looking plastic toy kitchen.
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Factors to Consider when Choosing a Play Kitchen
What you look for in a play kitchen will spend a lot on your personal circumstances, here’s what to consider when making a choice.
The Size of Your Play Kitchen
It’s best to plan where your play kitchen will live and then choose one accordingly. If you are lucky enough to have a play room you probably won’t be too limited but if it will be in your living room or a bedroom, I suggest measuring the space you have available. Some families also choose to have their play kitchen in their real kitchen so that little ones can copy parents when they are cooking.
The Material your Toy kitchen is made from
If your play kitchen will be downstairs in an adults space, I would aim to choose something wooden that will look more appealing. There are some beautiful ones if you have the budget and the classic IKEA one still looks fairly attractive while costing less than some others. If you go for plastic it has the benefit that it can be used outside.
A play kitchen is an investment because your child will likely play with it for many years. Even if you don’t want to splash out on something very expensive, you’ll want to get the best you can for your money. You won’t need a huge number of accessories to start with, focus your budget on the kitchen and you can add more pots, plans, plates, knives and forks etc later.
Some play kitchens come with accessories and some don’t. If you have already gathered a fair amount of food related toys you might prefer not choose one that comes with more but if you don’t already have some choosing one that includes some can save money but check they are things that will actually make play more fun. We had a dish rack that was hardly played with.
Budget Wooden Kitchens
This simple kitchen* available on Amazon is very similar to iconic IKEA kitchen* but without the stress of going to IKEA. One of the great things about it is the cupboards underneath which give you some bonus storage space.
If you’d like something bright and cheerful this pink play kitchen* is a nice choice. For children who want their kitchen to look like a proper grown up kitchen, this sleek, grey kitchen* would be a hit.
Plastic Play Kitchens
A lot of plastic play kitchen look rather flimsy. Step 2 have a history of making solid plastic toys so their plastic play kitchen* would be a good choice and would work just as well outside as inside. It also comes with lots of accesssories.
Small Toy Kitchens
If you have limited space so you’re looking for a small play kitchen this narrow play kitchen* could be a good choice. While toddlers may not be able to reach it all initially, being tall will be a bonus as the kids get older. If you prefer something a bit planer they also do a natural wood play kitchen*.
If space is really tight then you could consider a table top kitchen, this bright one with a sink* is lovely.
Extravagant Play Kitchens
This wooden play kitchen* is expensive but certainly isn’t an eyesore, in fact I’d be rather happy if my real kitchen looked like this! It has everything I’d like in my kitchen plus lots of storage space for hiding away toys.
If you prefer a more country style kitchen this pink and white wooden corner kitchen* is lovely, although being L shaped, you’ll need the right space for it.
If you’d like to explore some other toys for toddlers, we’ve also gathered together the best construction toys, the best outdoor toys, the best ride on toys and the only 6 toys your toddler really needs.
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