Toys are tools that prepare children to live to the fullest. As there are different kinds of toys that function in the development of the child in different ways, it is critical to choose the most developmentally-appropriate toy. This helps ensure optimum physical, mental, cognitive, emotional, and social development so children will grow up more physically fit, mentally healthy, emotionally stable, cognitively proficient, and socially responsible.
One of the most useful toys that can serve as gifts or presents to children are play kitchens. We have listed here 15 of the leading products we could find in the market this 2016.
Our 15 Top Kid’s Play Kitchens
|KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen||KidKraft||5|
|KidKraft Vintage Kitchen||KidKraft||4.8|
|Step2 Little Bakers Kitchen||Step2||4.6|
|Step2 Lifestyle Fresh Accents Kitchen||Step2||4.5|
|KidKraft Uptown Natural Kitchen||KidKraft||4.4|
|Step2 Grand Walk-in Kitchen and Grill||Step2||4.2|
- 1 Our 15 Top Kid’s Play Kitchens
- 1.1 Uptown Espresso Kitchen by KidKraft
- 1.2 Vintage Kitchen by KidKraft
- 1.3 Little Bakers Kitchen by Step2
- 1.4 Lifestyle Fresh Accents Kitchen by Step2
- 1.5 Uptown Natural Kitchen by KidKraft
- 1.6 Grand Walk-in Kitchen and Grill by Step2
- 1.7 Get Out n’ Grill Kitchen Set by Little Tikes
- 1.8 Number Lovin’ Oven by LeapFrog
- 1.9 Ultimate Cook Kitchen by Little Tikes
- 1.10 Heart of the Home Kitchen Set by Step2
- 1.11 Imaginarium All in One Wooden Kitchen by KidKraft
- 1.12 Cook ‘n Store Kitchen by Little Tikes
- 1.13 Deluxe Custom Kitchen by American Plastic Toys
- 1.14 Retro Kitchen and Refrigerator by KidKraft
- 1.15 Cozy Kitchen by Step2
1Uptown Espresso Kitchen by KidKraft
Age range: 3 to 15 years old
With a design that is as close to a real kitchen but only a tad smaller, the Uptown Espresso Kitchen is a playset designed not only for kids but also for kids-at-heart. It has a complete array of toy versions of kitchen appliances and fixtures including a refrigerator with water and ice dispenser, a 2-rack oven, a microwave, a freezer, and a dishwasher. The beautiful back panel board can accommodate play tea cups and plates while the beautifully adorned countertop comes with a kitchen sink, a fully functional faucet, and a 4-burner gas stove. Imaginative kitchen play cannot get any better than this.
What We Like about It – It has a sense of realism that is perfect for teaching kids about the different chores in the kitchen. Excellent for multiple players which can help facilitate cooperative imaginative play while fostering the development of kids’ social skills.
2Vintage Kitchen by KidKraft
Age range: 3 to 7 years old
There is something about white appliances that make it so elegant. Now consider a whole kitchen playset in immaculate white and kids will have to make sure that it stays white. The Vintage Kitchen playset is anything but vintage. It’s got all the wonderful toys of the modern kitchen such as a microwave oven, a refrigerator with an ice and water dispenser, a reach-in bottom-freezer, a dishwasher, and an oven. It also comes with a built-in cordless phone, a kitchen faucet with hot and cold water controls, a stainless steel-looking kitchen sink, and a 2-burner gas stove. Standing a little less than 3 feet tall, this should be an excellent playset for toddlers and preschoolers.
What We Like about It – It’s a great way to introduce young kids to the beauty of kitchen management. Now, if white is simply too “immaculate clean” for you or your kids, you can get the other color versions of the Vintage Kitchen available in blue, pink, red, and medium pink, which has a darker pink hue.
3Little Bakers Kitchen by Step2
Age range: 2 to 8 years old
With a very soft and cute pink and purple color, the Little Bakers Kitchen set should be one of the gifts that you must consider to give as a present to a 2 year old kid. The soft colors and smooth texture of the playset makes it ideal for small children. It also comes with all the toy replicas of a modern kitchen and includes a microwave oven, 2 electric stove plates, an oven, and a refrigerator. It also has a kitchen wink, a dish rack, a cupboard, and extra storage space. There’s also a pull-out vegetable and fruit basket including a baby seat attachment by the sink.
What We Like about It – The accompanying cooking pots and pans make interesting frying and boiling sounds when placed over the toy burner which makes it excellent for imaginative and make-believe play. The colors are not too bright so it’s not really an eyesore.
4Lifestyle Fresh Accents Kitchen by Step2
Age range: 2 to 6 years old
Designed to look like a classic and elegant wooden kitchen piece, the Lifestyle Fresh Accents Kitchen playset is something that any kid will surely love because of its sense of realism without necessarily detracting from the fact that it is still a toy. The kitchen playset comes with a refrigerator, a microwave oven, an oven, a single gas stove burner, an electric stove top, and a kitchen sink with faucet. The kitchen cabinets open and shut for additional storage especially for the accompanying accessories that includes kitchen and cooking utensils, tableware, dinnerware, glassware, and several pieces of play food like pizza, apples, corn, burger patty, lettuce, and even watermelon.
What We Like about It – Designed for toddlers, it’s the perfect gift to help teach young children about the things that are normally done in a kitchen. It’s excellent for developing hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and imagination.
5Uptown Natural Kitchen by KidKraft
Age range: 3 to 15 years old
Designed as a classic, elegant toy replica of a wooden kitchen, the Uptown Natural Kitchen features a microwave oven, a refrigerator and freezer, a dishwasher, an oven, and 4-burner gas stove with a stainless steel-like kitchen faucet and sink. It also comes with a paper towel holder on the side as well as a cordless phone on the side of the cabinet housing the refrigerator and freezer. The backboard is elegantly designed with a wooden cupboard perfect for additional storage space for cups, plates, and other kitchen, dining, and cooking utensils. All knobs are fully operational with distinct clicking sound.
What We Like about It – One of the best play kitchen sets we have seen so far and should be great for stimulating creative and imaginative play. We like the idea that it’s large enough to accommodate several players at a time. Parents can also join in the fun to help teach kids on proper kitchen management.
6Grand Walk-in Kitchen and Grill by Step2
Age range: 2 to 8 years old
Compared with other kitchen playsets in our list, the Grand Walk-in Kitchen and Grill is a very unique playset in that players are literally surrounded by the playset on all three sides with a beautiful arch on top. On one side, a refrigerator, microwave oven, an oven, vegetable and fruit pull-out baskets, a cupboard, a kitchen sink with faucet, and a kitchen drawer can be found. On the opposite side is a dome grill, 2 burner gas stove, a countertop, and several levels of cabinets. The bridge serves as a modified dining table pretty much like what they have in diners. The playset also comes with more than 100 accessories including toy food, kitchen utensils, cooking utensils, and other kitchen accessories.
What We Like about It – It cannot get any better than this. With so many accessories and a unique wrap-around design, playtime provides endless possibilities for kids of all ages. This is excellent for make-believe play; great too, for enhancing divergent problem solving skills.
7Get Out n’ Grill Kitchen Set by Little Tikes
Age range: 2 to 5 years old
There’s nothing more fun than spending the weekend with the whole family outdoors barbecuing or grilling. Kids can learn to appreciate this tradition with the Get Out n’ Grill Kitchen Set. The grill set comes with a dual-level grill as well as a 2-burner gas stove on one side and a kitchen sink and faucet on the other side. There’s a grill cabinet underneath to serve as ample storage for the different playset accessories.
What We Like about It – It’s perfect for outdoor play especially when teaching kids about the joys of weekend barbecues. It fosters imagination and creativity while at the same time helps young children master their fine motor skills as well as communication skills.
8Number Lovin’ Oven by LeapFrog
Age range: 2 to 5 years old
While the Number Lovin’ Oven is not necessarily a kitchen play set in itself but rather a pay kitchen appliance, it nevertheless is a magnificent piece of toy appliance to have for make-believe kitchen play. It’s more of a learning activity center than it is a make-believe oven because it plays several fun and friendly songs and phrases that introduces kids to numbers, counting, and fractions. It has a number slider that teaches kids about numerical things and concepts such as temperature and time. It comes with toy pizza slices, bread, cupcakes, and fried egg in addition to different kitchen utensils.
What We Like about It – Great for teaching young kids about parts of a whole. For example, the pizza is divided into 4 pieces, teaching them that ¼ means one of 4 parts. The songs and phrases played by the oven can also help develop the numerical skills of children.
9Ultimate Cook Kitchen by Little Tikes
Age range: 2 to 10 years old
With a very modern, simplistic, and minimalistic design, you would think that the Ultimate Cook Kitchen is not a playset at all. With an extended countertop and boxy design, the Ultimate Cook is something that parents and their children will love. It comes with a refrigerator, an oven, and a microwave plus a 4-burner gas range. It’s got plenty of storage space, shelves, and cabinets for the accompanying accessories. It also comes with a Cappuccino maker and a kitchen sink with faucet. There are 2 pull-out baskets for storing fruits and vegetables as well as other food items.
What We Like about It – The playset reminds you of what a modern kitchen should look like – simple yet efficient. It’s great for stimulating imaginative play especially when shared with other kids.
10Heart of the Home Kitchen Set by Step2
Age range: 2 to 8 years old
With a combination of classic stone and wood design, the Heart of the Home Kitchen Set truly immortalizes the notion that the kitchen is indeed the heart of any home, past, present, or future. The playset comes with a realistic dome-shaped oven design pretty much like what you would see in an authentic pizzeria. It also comes with a refrigerator, a microwave and an oven, a beautiful cupboard, and a pet nurturing center underneath the centrally-located kitchen sink. The bridging arch is designed as a wooden feature that accommodates pegs for kitchen utensils and a picture frame on top. There are over 40 accessories that come with the kitchen set.
What We Like about It – The design is reminiscent of classic kitchens all over the world. It is therefore ideal for make-believe play which, in turn, can help in the development of children’s reason and problem solving skills.
11Imaginarium All in One Wooden Kitchen by KidKraft
Age range: 3 to 8 years old
Made entirely of engineered high quality wood, the Imaginarium All in One Wooden Kitchen is something that is unique. It looks more like a colorful cabinet with dresser only that it is designed as a kitchen. Nevertheless, it should serve as one of the best presents you can ever give. It comes with wooden ref, freezer, microwave, oven, and a 4-burner gas range. The checkered backboard make for an interesting kitchen tile pattern. It also comes with a wall clock, a telephone, and several pieces of kitchen and cooking utensils.
What We Like about It – First off, it’s made of wood, not plastic. That alone means safety and durability. The brilliant colors can reinforce color recognition and mastery while at the same time stimulating imaginative and creative play.
12Cook ‘n Store Kitchen by Little Tikes
Age range: At least 18 months old
Designed as a preppy kitchen for toddlers and well into preschool, the Cook ‘n Store Kitchen comes with an oven, a hot and cold water dispenser, a storage compartment, a beautiful kitchen sink on one side, a white countertop on the other, and an electric stove. It also has a stove top vent underneath the microwave oven. The playset comes with a variety of accessories incuding kitchen and cooking utensils, dining ware, and glassware.
What We Like about It – It’s a very colorful way to play make-believe cook-off. For younger children, it reinforces mastery of shapes and colors while at the same time helping develop mastery of fine motor skills.
13Deluxe Custom Kitchen by American Plastic Toys
Age range: 3 to 15 years old
With more than 20 accessories to complement the kitchen playset, the Deluxe Custom Kitchen is a sturdy miniature kitchen for little kids. Finished in pink, this should be a great addition to the playset collection of young girls. It has a microwave, a light-up stove top gas range, an oven, a dishwasher, and kitchen sink. It has plenty of storage space to organize the different accessories that come with it including pots and pans with lids, baking trays, and other kitchen utensils.
What We Like about It – It may only come in pink but it sure is pretty to look at especially if you are planning to give it as a gift to your little princess. Excellent for creative and imaginative play. The controls and knobs allow for fine motor skills enhancement.
14Retro Kitchen and Refrigerator by KidKraft
Age range: At least 3 years old
In the 50s and 60s, many kitchens have a very distinct look. With the Retro Kitchen and Refrigerator, kids will have a blast with the past as they try to make sense of the wonderful curves of the 50s and 60s. Painted in soft pink, the playset comes with a pink 2-door refrigerator, a pink oven, a pink dishwasher, a stainless steel-like gas range and kitchen sink, and a wall clock. The kitchen sink can be removed for easier cleanup.
What We Like about It – Moms and dads will surely love this as it brings back the memories of yesteryears. It thus becomes an excellent conversation starter for teaching kids about the way people lived in the past. Nevertheless, it is still great for imaginative and creative play.
15Cozy Kitchen by Step2
Age range: 2 to 6 years old
With a more contemporary design intended for introducing children of today on the idea of modern kitchens, the Cozy Kitchen is one great way to help children expand their imagination well into the domain of cooking and kitchen organization. The Cozy Kitchen comes with a refrigerator with a water dispenser decal, an oven with a picture of a pie baking, a 3-burner gas stove, and movable kitchen faucet and sink. The countertop has a contemporary feel to it. The cabinets and cupboards are also meticulously designed to mimic elegant styling.
What We Like about It – The Cozy Kitchen may not be as big and elaborate as the others in our list but it does provide a variety of benefits to children playing it. For young children, it’s a great starter playset for enhancing their hand-eye coordination, control of body movement, and fine motor skills. Additionally, the toy helps them with exploratory and imaginative play.
How We Came Up with Our List of the Best 15
Making a shortlist of the best play kitchens is not easy. We had to look at all existing play kitchen sets and rank each one according to their developmental appropriateness, their age appropriateness, the quality of the toy, the safety of the materials used in its manufacture, the credibility and reputation of the toy company, and, of course, the overall feedback from countless of parents who have already bought the kids’ play kitchen sets. Ranking them from 1 to 15 proved to be rather difficult because each one will have its own strengths and weaknesses so we have decided to just come up with the best 15 in this category of toys.
Play Kitchens and Kids
Many of the world’s greatest chefs and artistic and creative individuals started playing with kitchen sets when they were still kids. These play sets provided them with the opportunity to work out their imagination and creativity. Studies show that an open-ended imaginative play is very important in the development of children’s problem-solving skills especially their divergent skills. This allows them to look at a problem from a variety of perspectives leading to the discovery of a multitude of possible solutions. This lays the foundation for creative, logical, and critical thinking which can, in turn, further enhance the problem-solving skills of children.
Kitchen play sets provide such opportunities because it is up to children to devise their own strategies to address a particular problem. They tend to figure out which strategy or action will work best for any given role play. This also allows them to experiment with different solutions to a particular problem. Consequently, this lays the foundation for their counterfactual reasoning – that type of reasoning that operates on the what-if principle. This helps children make predictions of what may or may not happen if certain variables are changed. This requires understanding of basic logic and cause and effect relationships.
Play kitchens can also provide a wonderful opportunity for kids to share their passion with other children as many of these play sets require cooperative play. This helps facilitate the development and enhancement of social skills which can provide the foundation for excellent emotional development.
Of course, playing with kids’ kitchen sets require mastery of gross and fine motor skills as children will need to handle play kitchen and cooking utensils and the like. They need hand-eye coordination as well as spatial intelligence.
Perhaps one of the most important benefits kids can obtain from play kitchens is that it introduces them to the wonderful world of cooking, food preparation, and food organization as well as food sanitation. Cooking is an essential home activity. Introducing this concept to children at the appropriate age can help them understand the essence of kitchen work. Additionally, they will also learn the values of cleanliness, sanitation, organization, preparation, and meal planning.
Kids’ play kitchens are a great way to stimulate kids’ love for food, nutrition, and cooking. More importantly, however, is the impact of these types of toys on their cognitive, emotional, and social development. So, if you are still at a loss as to what gifts to give kids this coming holidays, why not given them a kids’ play kitchen set? Our best 15 kids’ play kitchens will help you decide.
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