Imaginative play is always a great part of any childhood. It helps your child or toddler to easily learn to adapt to real situations in life, such as cooking and food preparation. One such imaginative play is pretend cooking, which most kids and toddlers often do.
By helping children to simulate cooking in the kitchen, it teaches them how to be creative in making up their recipes, being organized with their food preparation, practicing cleanliness in the workplace and having total control of their task.
For kids who want to be future chefs or cooks, you should have your parents buy you a great play kitchen set.
What to look for in a play kitchen
In order to look for a great play kitchen set for your child, it should have the following:
1. Nearly realistic design
For your child to have a quality play kitchen set, he or she must have a realistic environment. The kitchen set should have properly sized utensils and dishes. The sink and food prep areas should be easy to handle for kids and yet look like the real thing.
A good plus would be a working sink that your child can fill up with water. Or better yet, a kid’s frying station that you can also fill up with water and it squirts out the water in a similar fashion to oil when it gets hot when you turn up the heat in a real stove.
2. Safe, kid-friendly materials
It should not have BPA, lead, phthalates and the like. The corners of the tables, food prep areas, utensils and the like should be rounded to avoid injury.
3. Easy to clean up or pack
It should be easily cleaned up with its design such that the utensils can be packed and put into their right place. A foldable kitchen playset would be useful when it comes down to traveling.
4. Appropriate for their age
It should have the right age range for your child. For instance, children under 3 years should not have a kitchen set with choking hazards and small parts.
5. Durable without being too expensive
Even if your kitchen play set is not too expensive, it should still be durable, being made with quality plastic and materials.
Best Play Kitchens For Kids & Toddlers
Here are some of our picks for the best play kitchens for kids and toddlers:
Step2 LifeStyle Custom Kitchen Playset
This kitchen playset has a total of 20 pieces all in all, so it can be used for a fully detailed playtime with the kids. It comes with a decorative plate rack, granite-look counter tops and it even comes with electronic frying and boiling water sounds! This will simulate some realism to your child’s play. Custom kitchen sets like these can be great for imaginative play. If you want your child to become a great cook or chef someday, it starts with a realistic set like this.
The oven is made of stainless steel looking material while there’s also a recycle bin for food leftovers and the like. It will help to give your child an idea of what a real kitchen set looks like.
KidKraft Vintage Kitchen – White
Vintage kitchen designs such as this one can enhance your child’s imagination. The vintage design is also quite nostalgic for the parents and the simplicity will also teach children the basics of what kitchens used to look like back in the days. It has a size of 33 x 13 inches and even includes a cordless phone for answering calls with your friends.
The sink can be removed easily so you can clean it up in no time. It has doors that can be opened and closed by your child. You can even turn and click the knobs on the oven so that the cooking experience will become realistic.
KidKraft Ultimate Corner Play
As a unique kitchen set for kids, this one has lights and sounds. If you add kitchen lights to your kid’s setup, they will be excited to play with it. Lights can be used to make your kitchen play set to be like a real restaurant. If your child does pretend play of restaurants, this would be a great set for them.
It has a freezer, a microwave, and a fridge plus other amenities like a dishwasher and an oven. There is also a convenient storage space at the bottom of the sink to keep your child’s other utensils as well as other kitchen needs. There are also stovetop burners in the set.
Step2 Fun with Friends Play Kitchen
Friends kitchen sets like this would be beneficial for many playmates. It would have more room for more than one kid or toddler to play along and have a pretend kitchen at hand. It promotes friendship, teamwork, and cooperation while working or helping out in a kitchen while they are still young. It has a pink design and it has detailed coffee pods and a travel mug.
Complete with various utensils and condiments, this play kitchen design even has a swivel faucet for our children to learn how to wash the dishes. There are also storage bins for keeping trash and there’s a dish rack for keeping dishes neat and clean.
Step2 Lifestyle Fresh Accent Kitchen
Made with a stainless steel style design, this one is quite stylish. Fresh accents designs like this one would be great for kids who love good looking kitchen sets. This one would be great to establish as part of your child’s pretend restaurant or have it placed on your children’s playpen (if you own one for rental as a business).
It has a coffee pot with molded-in coffee maker for you to make coffee and the like. It even has a feature to activate electronic frying for your kids to pretend to roast their chicken or turkey and the like. It has 10 pieces of various accessories and utensils for your child to use.
KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen
This espresso style kitchen design is a good choice for its unique looks. It can be used for a fancy restaurant style, a clean environment and the like. It would be useful if your child wants to build a restaurant cafe as a pretend play for your child. With its brown design, it has intricate details of the sink, oven, microwave and the like in a seemingly stainless steel style finish.
There are many details, such as a dishwasher, a fridge, some burners, storage space above the sink and much more. You can even rotate the microwave turntable for a realistic cooking experience or use the oven for baking cakes and pastries.
Step2 Grand Walk-in Kitchen and Grill
Bearing a fancy style, this one is suited for those who want to pretend to have a fancy hotel or restaurant. This grand kitchen style design would be the best for multiple playmates. Have your child establish their own pretend restaurant to serve more customers, such as their friends and family. It will be a great experience for all!
It has 103 pieces in total, has a stainless steel design for the kitchen (pretend, of course), has a grill, stovetop and even a phone for taking orders from the customers! There’s also already a dining area attached to the walk-in kitchen for easily taking customers for a good meal!
Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef’s Kitchen
This kitchen with dispenser is a good design because it allows your child to stock on their pretend food items in a smart way. Knowing how to properly stock their food is one step in being a chef or cooking expert in the future. Besides, this kitchen also has many other features and amenities for kids. Because of its ice cube dispenser, it can be great for serving drinks and desserts.
The charcoal-colored wooden modern design is a good choice for those who want a minimalistic kitchen for their children. It even has a grocery checklist so your children can learn how to sport foods and grocery items. It has a spinning plate inside its microwave for a realistic cooking experience.
Little Tikes Super Chef Kitchen
If you are a fan of Little Tikes products, this is a sure must-have if you want a kitchen for your child. This super kitchen is a design like no other, which encourages imaginative play for your kids to feel and act like chefs or cooks. From the cooking areas to the food prep areas, it will be a great pretend play experience as a play kitchen for your toddlers or kids.
It has all kitchen utensils needed for most young chefs and cooks, and even a coffee pot to serve coffee to the guests! There’s a towel rail for hanging your cleaning towel and there’s also an electronic sound for “cooking” with friends!
Naomi Home Kids Gourmet Kitchen Set
Home gourmet made by kids can be easily done with this play kitchen set. A gourmet is a specially prepared food item that will not only look good but taste great. Gourmet style play kitchens will help your future chef to know their basics in food prep and handling. This gourmet set has clicking knobs, has 4 burners, a microwave, an oven, a dishwasher, a fridge, and a freezer.
Its chrome faucet has a nice finishing touch while it also has a towel holder. You can even remove the whole sink so you can clean it up nicely and thoroughly.
USA Toyz Hape Kitchen Playset
Do you want a minimalist looking set for your child? Kitchen playsets such as this one can be a great addition to any child’s room, toddler’s room, a playpen or on a preschool setting. It will encourage children to act out in the kitchen like their parents to help them learn how to prepare food in general. It has 13 pieces and all have toddler-friendly parts that aren’t too small to hold. It has a nice blue finish and color combination with simple utensils.
KidKraft Grand Gourmet Corner Kitchen
This set has a cute and pink design that’s great for girls. It has a freezer, a microwave, a fridge and the like, all with detailed utensils. Your child can establish a gourmet corner with this play kitchen set due to its design and features. Such an educational play set for kids and toddlers, it has features like a food prep station and items for pretend cooking.
American Plastic Toy Kitchen
If your child wants a deluxe kitchen play set, this would be a great choice. It has an extensive amount of features, especially for kids who will be playing in groups as chefs or cooks in a restaurant, aiming to practice how to serve their customers and guests. This one has 22 pieces in total, has realistic bubbling or sizzling sounds when cooking foods and even has lights and sounds for the oven and burners. There are also shelves at the top for storing your important kitchen items.
Pretend play of a kitchen scenario is a great thing for kids and toddlers while they are still young. It helps them become more responsible adults in the future, teaches them cleanliness and good manners and helps them to enhance their creativity when coming up with new recipes.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best play kitchen sets for kids and toddlers! We hope you find something that you’d like to give to your child!