10 Best Play Kitchens | April 2017

10 Best Play Kitchens | April 2017
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Best High-End
★★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 28 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Play kitchens offer a huge variety of activities for children, each of which will help them learn something new. All of these kids' kitchens come with accessories that will keep your children occupied for hours as they enjoy mimicking their parents. Skip to the best play kitchen on Amazon.
10
For small spaces, one of the best options is the Little Tikes Cook 'n Store, which is very lightweight and compact. Even with its tiny size, it still ships with storage, an oven, a range, and over 30 add-ons to keep kids entertained.
  • folds up for easy storage
  • includes a lazy susan
  • low weight causes instability
Brand Little Tikes
Model 639463M
Weight 12.9 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
9
The Hape Playfully Delicious is another compact option partially made with sustainable wood materials. A pull-out counter adds play space for smaller rooms, while pots and pans can hang from the included hooks to keep things tidy.
  • features large clicking knobs
  • oven has a see-through window
  • does not withstand rough play
Brand Hape
Model E3126
Weight 32.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
8
The KidKraft Red Retro is a stylish kitchen modeled after mid-century design, complete with faux chrome and stainless steel accents on real wood. The fridge and cabinet doors open to reveal lots of storage for food, and your child can use the built-in phone to take orders.
  • available in multiple colors
  • sturdy wooden construction
  • smaller than most models
Brand KidKraft
Model 53173
Weight 48.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
7
The Melissa & Doug Cook's Corner is a simple model that is made with a mix of wood and particle board. It is not loaded with toys or as large as other options, but it does come with a working kitchen timer, and the sink is deep enough to hold toy dishes.
  • not cumbersome to move
  • fun cartoon styling
  • bright non-gender specific colors
Brand Melissa & Doug
Model 3950
Weight 33.4 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
6
The Hape Gourmet Kitchen offers a calm and neutral kitchen that is very well built, with a strong base to keep it from tipping over. Made from particle board in a non-toxic finish, it easily matches other low-cost furniture for your child's playroom.
  • matching playsets available
  • large moving parts are easy to use
  • too small for older kids
Brand Hape
Model E3100
Weight 22.4 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
5
The KidKraft Grand Gourmet has a space-saving corner design, yet is still large enough for at least three children to use at the same time. The feature-rich kitchen comes with just about every appliance imaginable and still has plenty of space for storage.
  • play washing machine
  • ships with metal accessories
  • multiple color options available
Brand KidKraft
Model 53185
Weight 64 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0
4
The Step2 Life Style is a deluxe, large play kitchen that has plenty of upscale features, like crown molding and an overhead light. The faux stainless appliances make real cooking sounds your little chef will love while they use any of the 38 included accessories.
  • comprehensive cook's tool kit
  • plenty of play food
  • more than 7 storage spaces
Brand Step2
Model 7248KR
Weight 66.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
3
The Little Tikes Super Chef is a very low cost option considering its better-than-average construction and space saving, yet stable, design. One of the only options available to come with a coffee maker, it offers many great ways for children to play with their parents.
  • optimized for corner spaces
  • nonscratch feet on bottom
  • batteries included for sound makers
Brand Little Tikes
Model 614873M
Weight 21.7 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
2
The KidKraft Uptown is a wooden kitchen with a modern design, including faux tile and metal accents with colors that are both current and neutral enough to fit into any room. The tight-fitting pieces show a level of build quality that is hard to find in other models.
  • speckled countertop
  • chalkboard surface on the freezer
  • perfect for use by two children
Brand KidKraft
Model 53260
Weight 70.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
1
The Step2 Grand Walk-in is one of the only models kids can enter, allowing them to mentally transform their pretend playroom into a real kitchen built just for them. With every feature imaginable, your child will play longer with more engagement.
  • attached dining area
  • great for indoor or outdoor play
  • over 100 well made accessories
Brand Step2
Model 8214KR
Weight 53 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Kids Can Recycle, Too!

Did you know that Little Tikes is a proud member of the North American Plastic Recycling Network? Neither did I. Seriously, who would have thought that you could recycle a plastic garbage truck!?

When I grew up it was either Goodwill or the landfill. So who knows how many plastic kitchens are currently cooking dinner for the maggots over-populating the armpit of America. (That's a New Jersey joke, by the way.) But, thanks to Little Tikes and dozens of other toy companies, it's better late than never.

Based in eastern Ohio, Little Tikes sponsors its very own recycling effort to keep plastic toys out of landfills. And not just its own toys, but any plastic toys it gets its hands on. Most importantly, this program has been going on since 2006, so if you're thinking about buying a kitchen, it might not be as bad as you think to go plastic.

Made in U.S.A.

See the coal being burned to heat the furnace used to cook the plastic in this video of a toy factory in China? Not anymore!

As of 2013, Little Tikes has shifted production of its toys back from China to Cleveland, Ohio. And in place of burning coal, Little Tikes uses natural gas to fire up its plastic-cooking furnaces.

That being said, Step2's factory is also based in Cleveland, Ohio, which means 4 out of 5 of the top 5 play kitchens featured here are Made in U.S.A.

Make Me a Sandwich! Please?

You might be surprised by how oppressive the advertising for play kitchens once was. Then again, you might not.

From fake ironing boards in the 1940's, to unicorns adorning pink pastel microwaves in the 1980's, play kitchens have evolved from physical manifestations of patriarchal propaganda to playsets for both girls and boys.

Originally marketed for girls only, play kitchens weren't advertised to include just boys until the late 1990's and early 2000's. Remember the grunge era? "Smells Like Teen Spirit"? Well, as it turns out, MTV's often controversial videos had a much more massive impact on Western culture than most people think. Lo and behold, apart from inspiring drastic and widespread changes in fashion (most of which were rather horrendous), MTV also had a profound effect upon the marketing of children's toys.

Check out this video from Hole featuring Courtney Love in black wielding a pink Stratocaster, surrounded by ladies in purple dresses with blue slips designed to mix with Love's bright red dress. The irony is palpable. Better yet, here's a video from a female artist named Pink wearing a blue robe in an all blue bathroom in 2001. So thick with irony that it's no longer funny and you're forced to take it seriously. Such were discussions of pink versus blue in alternative media.

Enter parental reviews of play kitchens. Constant complaints about color schemes. Never minding the content, the bacon, the burgers, the pizzas, the order, the rules, the regulations informing, forming in our minds, corporate views of reality. "To think for yourself, you must question authority and learn how to put yourself in a state of vulnerable open-mindedness--chaotic, confused vulnerability--to inform yourself."

Be a builder.



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Last updated on April 24 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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