You’re standing in front of a hot stove stirring a pot of boiling and bubbling sauce. You’re child suddenly appears at your side frighteningly close to the heat and says, “Mom, can I help?”. If this scenario sounds familiar to you, then it may be time to consider buying your child a kitchen of their own.

Play kitchens come in many styles and sizes and are designed for various age groups. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry. Here is a list of key features for you to look for and some of our favorite play kitchen sets.

Our Top Picks

Step2 Chef’s Toy Kitchen Playset

Best Overall

Step2 Chef’s Kitchen Playset

KidKraft Ultimate Corner Kitchen Lights

Upgrade Choice

KidKraft Ultimate Corner Kitchen Lights

How to Pick the Best Play Kitchens for Toddler

1. Recommended Age

An important factor when choosing a play pretend set for your child is the recommended age. If you have a three-year-old then you may want to get a smaller kitchen set made of plastic with soft edges. This one will be more suited to their height, making it easier for them to reach the sink, stove, and cabinets. On the other hand, a smaller kitchen set will definitely be a disappointment to an older child of around 6 years of age. Another important factor to consider is if the play kitchen comes with any small accessories that may be a choking hazard to a child under the age of 3.

2. Dimensions

The size of a kitchen may not seem all that important until you set it up and realize that it is either way to big for a small space or it is too small for your older child. Play kitchens can range from a mini-sized style meant for three-year-olds all the way up to a kitchen that is so large you might as well consider it a piece of furniture.

3. Weight

Some of these play kitchens can weigh as much as 50 to 70 lbs. That is definitely not something that you want to have to move once it is set up. It’s important to take this into consideration while shopping for a play kitchen. The wood sets usually weigh more than the plastic ones. If you are looking for something that you’ll need to move around regularly, then you may want to consider a smaller plastic kitchen for your child.

4. Accessories

Some kitchen sets come with their own accessories to start you off. These may include pots, pans, eating utensils, and plates. You’ll want to make sure that the one you decide to purchase has these items or your child may be disappointed at not being able to get the full experience of pretend play. If the set you like does not come with accessories, don’t worry! You can always purchase accessories separately.

5. Materials

Play kitchens are generally made of either plastic, solid wood, or composite wood. The solid wood units are usually heavier than the plastic and composite wood styles.
If you are looking for a plastic unit then you will want to make sure that is made with a child-friendly plastic. The wood ones are usually painted. If this is the case, then you’ll want to make sure they are painted with a non-toxic paint.

6. Electronics

Some of these play kitchens have some extra interactivity through the use of electronics. These may include an overhead light, beeping microwave, ice maker noises, light-up stove burners, dishwasher sounds, and a phone. Older children may enjoy these types of play kitchens simply because their experience is expanding.

The Winners

#1

Step2 Chef’s Toy Kitchen Playset

BEST OVERALL

The Step2 Chef’s Kitchen Playset is designed for those little future chefs in the making. It has a working oven and refrigerator door, two separate stove top burners, a sink, lots of kitchen storage space for keeping accessories neat and tidy, a recycling bin, and hooks for hanging teacups and kitchen utensils. The style of this kitchen is quite unique with its black countertop, baby blue tiled back wall and gray and white lower cabinets. It even has a convenient reach-through kitchen window. The set comes with 25 pieces of kitchen accessories.

  • You'll love
  • The reach-through window can be utilized as an additional form of imagination. You can set it in front of a real window or your child can even use it as a drive-through window at their restaurant!
  • This set has two stove burners that are on either side of the counter so two kids can cook their favorite meal without getting in each other's way.
Recommended Age: 2 to 5 years Dimensions: 11.5 x 34.4 x 38.5 Weight: 20.8 lbs. Materials: Plastic Accessories: 25-piece kitchen accessories Electronics: NA

#2

KidKraft Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen

Upgrade Choice

Your child can feel right at home with this modern styled kitchen designed to fit into the corner to save room space. The KidKraft Ultimate Corner Kitchen Lights has a speckled granite counter with appliances that mimic stainless steel. The kitchen includes a refrigerator, stove, microwave, oven, dishwasher, freezer, and dryer. All the appliance doors, and cabinet doors open which adds to the realistic look and feel of this play kitchen. The faucets and knobs turn, and there is a cordless phone with a hands-free clip so your child can make those important calls. The stove-top burners light up and the ice maker makes sounds.

  • You'll love
  • This play kitchen is designed to fit into the corner of the room which is ideal for smaller spaces.
  • The kitchen is designed to mimic a real-life modern kitchen which adds to the role-playing experience.
  • There is an under-sink storage area which will make clean up a breeze when your little one is done role-playing.

Recommended Age: 3 to 8 years
Dimensions: 33 x 11.7 x 35.7
Weight: 50.7 lbs.
Materials: Sturdy wood design
Accessories: NA
Electronics: NA

#3

Step2 Cozy Kitchen

Best Budget Buy

This cozy style kitchen comes with a realistic looking stove, an oven, and a refrigerator. The STEP2 Cozy Kitchen has storage cabinets with faux stained glass designs, contemporary looking counter tops, and faux mosaic styled tiles. The kitchen also comes with 21 pieces of kitchen accessories such as cooking and eating utensils. All the doors in this kitchen open/close and all the knobs turn which will add to the act of pretend play.

  • You'll love
  • The kitchen is lightweight compared to many others, making ideal for use in a home where it needs to be moved around, or in a classroom.
  • The cozy kitchen has everything that a 2 to 4-year-old would want for their first role-playing kitchen.
  • Watch for: This kitchen is primarily designed for younger children. If your child is over age 4 the kitchen may be too small for their liking.

Recommended Age: 2 to 4 years
Dimensions: 20 x 11 x 38
Weight: 15 lbs.
Accessories: 21 piece kitchen accessories
Materials: Tan/Brown colored Plastic
Accessories: NA
Electronics:  NA

#4

KidKraft Vintage Kitchen in Pink

Best Play Kitchen For Girls

The KidKraft Vintage Kitchen in Pink is a vintage styled kitchen set all in pink with stainless steel styled hardware. It comes equipped with a refrigerator, stove top and oven with knobs that click and turn, a microwave, and sink with faucet and handles that rotate. The kitchen has a realistic looking stove and oven knobs as well as a refrigerator temperature gauge. It also has an old fashioned looking telephone, a storage area, and cabinets that open and close. The kitchen provides a realistic feel with its many movable parts.

  • You'll love: The sink is removable for easy clean-up, so your child can pretend to wash their dishes in the own sink!
  • Watch for: The kitchen rests on narrow legs/feet. If you have children that get a bit rough you may opt to use the included wall bolt assembly.

Recommended Age: 3 to 8 years
Dimensions: 33 x 11.7 x 35.7
Weight: 50.7 lbs.
Materials: Sturdy wood design
Accessories: NA
Electronics: NA

#5

Step2 Lifestyle Deluxe KIDS Kitchen

Best Step2 Kitchen Set

The Step2 Lifestyle Deluxe Kids Pretend Kitchen comes equipped with everything a child could want. It is designed with a granite looking countertop, a refrigerator, a double sink, and a realistic looking window behind the sink. It also has play food baskets, plate, and cup racks, compartment styled silverware drawer, and stylish cabinets that open/close. Your child can enjoy realistic role play with the electronically enhanced stainless steel oven, microwave, dishwasher, stove top, overhead light, and cordless phone. The kitchen set also includes 39 accessories such as pots, pans, eating utensils, and play food.

  • You'll love
  • The unit offers a true kitchen experience with the many interactive electronic additions built into the appliances.
  • The faux window set in behind the sink is a lovely touch that adds to the real kitchen feel.
  • The size of this kitchen can easily accommodate more than one child during pretend-play.
  • Watch for: This kitchen is large and heavy, so you'll want to set it up in a semi-permanent area.

Recommended Age: 2 years and up
Dimensions: 102.5 x 36 x 39
Weight: 70 lbs.
Materials: Plastic
Accessories:  39 kitchen accessories
Electronics: Microwave, Oven/stove top, Dishwasher,Phone, Overhead light

#6

KidKraft Red Retro Kitchen

Best Retro Play Kitchen

A red play kitchen that pops with realistic vintage appeal. The KidKraft Red Retro Kitchen comes equipped with a refrigerator, sink, two burner stove top, oven, microwave, and cordless phone. It has a convenient storage shelf and cabinet beneath the sink as well as an overhead shelf to store away all those play accessories. The bright red, wooden set is accented with chrome styled hardware, faucet, stove knobs, and handles. All doors open and close and the oven knobs click and turn which will enhance your child’s role-playing experience. The kitchen sink is removable for easy cleaning.

  • You'll love: You can let your child wash their dishes in their sink and then simply remove the sink for easy cleaning.
  • Watch for: The kitchen unit rests on narrow legs/feet, so you’ll want to make sure it is set in a sturdy location.

Recommended Age: 3 to 12 years
Dimensions: 33 x 11.7 x 35.7
Weight: 51.1 lbs.
Materials: Wood
Accessories: NA
Electronics: NA

#7

Melissa and Doug Cooks Corner

Best Melissa and Doug Play Kitchen

A compact wood styled kitchen that can be nestled into the corner of any room. Stir up your child’s imagination through role-playing skills in this miniature version of a kitchen designed in red, white, and blue. The Melissa and Doug Cooks Corner features a refrigerator and oven that can be opened and closed, a three burner stove top, a removable kitchen sink, shelves, a 3-minute timer, and a cutting board area. The faucet swivels and the stove knobs turn to further enhance your child’s cooking and cleaning experience.

  • You'll love: The kitchen unit comes with easy to understand instructions for quick and easy assembly.
  • Watch for: This kitchen set has small parts that can be a hazard to children under the age of 3.

Recommended Age: 3 years and up
Dimensions: 16 x 20 x 36
Weight:  29 lbs.
Materials: Wood with non-toxic coatings
Accessories: NA
Electronics: NA

#8

Little Tykes Bbq Get Out ‘N Grill

Best Little Tykes Kitchen Set

What could be more fun than cooking a meal for mom and dad at your very own play kitchen? Grilling them some burgers on your very own grill of course! Be prepared to overeat as your child feeds you endless burgers and hot dogs. The Little Tykes Backyard Bbq Get Out ‘N Grill is just like a gas grill in the backyard. It has a dual grill, side burner, and lid sink. It has a started button with clicking knobs, a lower cabinet for storage, a towel bar, and even side knobs for hanging grill accessories. The barbeque includes an 8-piece playset.

  • You'll love
  • The design of this barbeque mimics a real-life cook-out so your child can really get into their pretend-play grilling.
  • This unit can be used both indoors and outdoors.

Recommended Age: 3 to 7 years
Dimensions: 11 x 24 x 28
Weight: 10.14 lbs.
Materials: Plastic
Accessories: 8 piece play set
Electronics NA

#9

Hape Toaster Wooden Play Kitchen Set

Best Wooden Play Kitchen

Now your child can make you breakfast in bed with this unique wood kitchen playset. The Hape Toaster Wooden Play Kitchen Set features a wooden toy toaster that has an easy wooden lever for easy toast pop-up and a heat adjusting knob. It also comes with two slices of bread, sliceable butter slices, a plate, butter knife, and a jar of play honey. All accessories and parts of this set are child safe paint finished solid wood construction.

  • You'll love
  • This set is a unique way to get your child started with kitchen and cooking basics.
  • The pop-up toaster would make a great addition to an existing kitchen playset.

Recommended Age: 3 to 5 years
Dimensions: 7.1 x 3.1 x 4.4
Weight: 1.3 lbs.
Materials: Child safe solid wood
Accessories: Toast, butter, plate, butter knife, honey
Electronics: NA

DIY, Craft and Décor: Ideas for play kitchens

Tea party time

Set up a tea party with your child complete with the table, chairs, and a stuffed animal or two. Then have your child be the host. They can prepare the tea, cookies, and cakes in the kitchen while you and the other guests wait.

Out to eat!

Supply your child with some real food items that they can prepare easily for their age such as bread, peanut butter, and jelly. You and a guest can sit at a prepared table while the chef takes you order, prepares your food, and serves it in style. Bon appetite!

Let’s go to the drive-through

Pretend that the play kitchen is a drive-through restaurant. Drive up in your imaginary car and place your order. Then pull up to either a reach-through window or the other side of their kitchen to pick up the order. If your child has a toy register they can even use this to give you your total and take payment.

Recycle and add on

Just because your child has a basic kitchen playset doesn’t mean the fun needs to stop there. If your child is really into the pretend play scene then why not expand? You can easily add on to their kitchen with used furniture that you spruce up. Pick up an old nightstand from the local thrift store and paint it to resemble a stove or kitchen island. Autumn, from It’s Always Autumn, gives some excellent ideas on the various types of furniture that can be converted into play kitchens.

Let your imagination run wild!

Your child doesn’t always have to play with plastic foods and pretend cardboard boxed foods. Have your child help pick out various gummy snacks from the store that come in various fruit shapes, or other easy to serve real food items that can be used for pretend cooking. You may be surprised at what you can come up with!

The sky is the limit

You don’t have to just simply use a play kitchen set as it comes. This is a great opportunity to bring the creativity out in your child. If it comes with a window, you can have your child pick out some cool kitchen curtains to adorn it. Perhaps your child may like a colorful kitchen throw rug by their sink. There are many ways for them to add their own creative touches to their kitchen.

Quick Decision

Step2 Chef’s Kitchen Playset – Best Overall
Those young chefs in the making may enjoy the Step2 Best Chef with its pass-through window, extra storage, recycle bin, and everything else a child could want in the kitchen.

KidKraft Ultimate Corner Kitchen Lights – Upgrade Choice
The KidKraft Ultimate Kitchen is designed with older kids in mind with its large dimensions that fit easily into a corner space of the room and fully packed kitchen.

STEP2 Cozy Kitchen – Best Budget Buy
If your looking for a small styled kitchen for your little one then the Step2 Cozy Kitchen may be the right one for both you and your pocketbook.

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Gary B.

Gary B.

Gary is a father of two, self-identified RC fanboy, and part-time guitar plucker. When he's not racing his collection of remote-controlled vehicles or strumming away, we bend his arm and get him to write with precision and expertise on a range of mechanical and electrical toys.

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