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Designing a Dream Play Kitchen

Imitative play is one of the best ways for kids to exercise their imaginations and explore new roles. Play kitchens have a long history as a favorite role-playing tool for children. Today's options are extensive so consider your chef's specialty and let's gather the ingredients.

Cook Up Some Learning Fun

Children learn through play. It's how they make sense of and test the things they see their parents, grandparents, and caregivers doing on a daily basis. What may feel mundane and ordinary to adults is new and fascinating for our children. Through role play, children learn valuable life skills like how to work with others and problem solve. Play kitchens provide an excellent foundation for launching your child's imagination and creativity.

Play Kitchen Pieces

When choosing a kid's play kitchen the first thing you may want to consider is whether you want an all-in-one single unit or to purchase "appliances" separately. Stoves are available as stand-alone toys, as are sinks, refrigerators, and cupboards. These are great options if you have the space for them. It allows you to spread out the appliances in the same way a real kitchen is set up, and you can skip the features you don't think your child will enjoy.

The most popular choice is a play kitchen set. These toys feature the stove, fridge, sink, and oven all in one piece. They also often feature a microwave, dishwasher, and shelves. When it comes to play kitchens, more details equals more fun. Kids love things like clicking knobs, doors that open, play phones, towel racks, utensil hooks, and clocks. These features give children more to do and brings playtime to life.

Aside from configuration, style is another consideration for your play kitchen. From sweet retro play kitchens to modern play kitchens even today's parents will be jealous of, there are styles to satisfy everyone. Colors can range from bubblegum pink to radiant red and kitchens can also be made to look like they feature state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances. There are L-shaped play kitchens and compact options that tuck neatly into a corner. Just decide what ingredients your kitchen needs and you'll find your recipe for fun.

Haba Biofino Sizzle Expert Grill Set Small Play Appliances

Most cooking enthusiasts have an affinity for kitchen gadgets and appliances. Your child will likely be no different. Play mixers, toy toasters, and fun-to-use tea sets add to the authenticity of the play kitchen experience. Toy microwaves feature working dials and opening doors that kids will love to play with. They'll love treating Mom and Dad to a hot cup of Joe from their own toy coffee maker.

KidKraft 27-Piece Primary Kitchen Playset Play Dishes and Pans

No matter how fancy the kitchen is, a cook can't be successful without the right tools for cooking and serving. Shop pots and pans with realistic stainless steel or cast iron looks and watch how much your kids will love using the ladles, spatulas and other utensils. Setting the table is fun with brightly colored dish sets complete with forks, knives, and spoons.

Melissa and Doug Cuttable Fruit Crate Play Food

To complete any play kitchen experience, the kids have to have something to pretend to cook, then serve, then eat, right? From packaged brand names just like those you get in the grocery store to a basket of fruit from the Farmer's Market, you'll find all sorts of play food here. Kids can even make their own pizzas, sandwiches, and sundaes.

Berry Toys Play All Day Supermarket Play Set Play Grocery Store

A great addition to the play kitchen is a play grocery store or grocer's stand. These role-playing toys —many complete with food — take the play kitchen experience full circle as little cooks select and purchase the food they'll later "cook" in their toy kitchen. Toy shopping carts and cash registers further authenticate the experience.

KidKraft Espresso Uptown Play Kitchen and Laundry Playset Play Housekeeping

If your child loves to cook and grocery shop, chances are good he or she will also love to clean house. Play washer and dryer sets will have them doing laundry just like mom and dad and they can even finish it off with their own ironing board. Play vacuums are a big hit and we've got a great selection of toy cleaning trolleys so kids can handle any mess.

Little Adventures Deluxe Sleeping Beauty Costume Dress-Up & Costumes

Finally, while they're in the middle of make-believe they may as well go all the way and get into costume. Sure, you'll find a chef's costume here but why limit them to the logical options? We'd love to see a princess pastry chef or a firefighting fry cook. Whatever kind of cook they want to be, we'll have a costume to suit.

Popular Play Kitchen Brands
KidKraft Kids love the bright colors and trendy patterns found in KidKraft play kitchens. These wood toys have great details like raised burners, doors that latch, removable sinks for easy cleaning, and fun accessories like phones. KidKraft retro play kitchens are a big hit for their signature look and you'll also find backsplashes in fun argyle or chevron patterns. Bright colors are here, too, alongside stainless steel and espresso kitchens made to look just like Mom and Dad's.
Hape Wood play kitchens from Hape are small in scale and ideal for toddlers. Smooth sanded edges and natural finishes make these toys safe, and they're simple in design so children can focus on their imaginations. Finely crafted with moving parts like doors that open and knobs that turn, Hape play kitchens often include accessories like plates and silverware.
Melissa & Doug From one of the most recognizable names in toys, these play kitchens are fun for all ages and genders. Melissa & Doug play kitchens are notably gender neutral featuring bold primary colors like red and blue. They're sturdily built of wood and have all the features kids love in a play kitchen.
Popular Play Kitchen Options
KidKraft Super Chef Wooden Play Kitchen Wooden

Available in a full assortment of colors and styles, wooden play kitchens are the most popular choice. Many options offer play from every angle and kids love all the working doors and knobs.

American Plastic Toys Custom Kitchen – Pink Plastic

Smaller in size and in cost, plastic play kitchens are a great choice for the youngest cooks. They tend to have a smaller footprint, feature fun, vibrant colors, and often include accessories.

KidKraft Personalized Pink Vintage Kitchen Personalized

Kids love things with their name on it and a play kitchen is no different. Shop a nice selection of popular play kitchen styles with the option for personalization.