Having fun while learning in a play kitchen can help children develop valuable life skills and spark a passion for food and cooking. Play kitchens have come a long way, and buying one for your budding chef can be a fun experience. But, the options are vast. We reviewed a range of sizes, brands and price points from national retailers.
Our reviewer tested with her children, a three-year-old boy and four-year-old girl, over several weeks. The delivery experience, time and tools required to build, size, educational value, functions and interactivity, materials, robustness, accessories, ease of storage, age range and value for money were all considered during testing.
Read on to discover which toy kitchens came out on top. This traditional midsize kitchen from Teamson comes in a mix of wood-look and bold colours and is a reliable, sturdy structure.
It includes an oven with a see-through door that opens, plus a hob, microwave and shelves. It also has a speckled, granite-look countertop with a removable plastic sink and large cupboard to store plenty of kitchen kit. With a high back, it houses shelves, a couple of mini drawers and display space for play food and equipment.
Knobs on the oven and hob twist with a satisfying click, and the clock has adjustable hands to help your child learn s and how to tell the time.
Look away now if you cringe at the sight of big plastic toys — this play kitchen is bright, fun and full of great features and accessories that really excited our mini chefs. This kitchen has it all: a fridge, oven, microwave, coffee maker, hob and sink.
It also comes with a vast range of accessories 38 are included that the kids loved. The clicking knobs and easy-to-open doors kept our testers busy for hours. An adjustable smartphone holder above the hob offers tech-savvy kids the opportunity to film or photograph their masterpieces while cooking. We did wonder whether this feature was slightly out of the age range for this type of toy, but the concept is fun and combines technology and traditional play to encourage creativity and learning.
The kitchen also comes with Tasty Junior recipe cards, so kids will be encouraged to try real cooking with grown-ups. We received extra themed accessory packs to review — these include fun, interactive play food such as colour-changing emoji cookies and interchangeable ice-cream cones and scoops. Our mini testers got stuck into these sets, but they do require separate purchases.
The 10 best toy kitchens for kids
This realistic-looking play kitchen might end up putting your real kitchen to shame. Made with sustainably sourced materials, it comes in an neutral cream colour with wood-look worktop and wipe-clean fittings. The hob makes exciting cooking noises and lights up when you place a pan on it. Details like shelves, hooks, a digital-look display and tea towel rail make realistic kitchen play a dream.
It was a favourite among the parents during the testing, and second favourite for the. The main attraction? The water noises coming from the taps.
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It will take up space in the home, but all those cupboards provide lots of storage solutions. It also comes with five stainless steel pots, pans and utensils, so your child can get cooking straightaway. The Ikea Duktig kitchen is a great all-rounder, and was recommended by many parents during our research. It has a microwave, hob with light-up rings, an oven, a removable sink with mixer tap, shelf and rail with hooks for hanging pans and utensils. We think it offers the best value for money in terms of build and features. Choose from pans, crockery, utensils and even cinnamon buns.
This was an almost unanimous first choice among our child testers, but was less loved by parents. This is a dream kitchen for Peppa Pig fans — regardless of gender — and will keep them entertained for hours. It comes with an oven, a washing machine, fridge, hob and an adjustable clock. Exciting, interactive features include a chicken timer, pop-up toaster and clicking oven knobs that make all sorts of sounds. It also comes with lots of accessories — we love that the mugs make the drinker look like they have a piggy nose. The colours are bright and bold and it can be noisy and annoying our reviewer kept it locked in the playroom!
However, children might grow out of it when they get a little older. Best play kitchen for DIY dodgers. This foldaway kitchen from Asda comes in a grey-and-yellow colour scheme, has a sink with hot and cold taps, an oven and a microwave with see-through doors, plus cupboard space.
Illustrations of a grater and utensils at the back of the shelf help make it feel like a busy kitchen. The brass-look mixer tap, handles and twistable oven knobs as well as a patterned splashback add an on-trend, modern feel.
The thing we particularly love about this kitchen is that it requires very little assembly, especially in consideration of its generous size. This compact tabletop kitchen packs away into a cute miniature carry case, making it perfect for holidays, travelling, day trips or for limited spaces in the home. One of the case sides doubles as a pop-up backdrop, which you then attach to a little row of hooks to complete the mini kitchen. Kids can choose between two backdrops: a daily specials board or tiles with a mini chalkboard for listing ingredients.
Two hob rings are painted onto the case for a camping-style stove. Clicking knobs and moving switches make for a realistic cooking experience. Accessories include a frying pan, lidded saucepan, hanging clock and set of three utensils.
We love how portable this is and that everything can be packed away after play. This is a high-quality, sturdy and well-built kitchen that comes in two separate units — perfect if you need a flexible layout. The water cooler dispenses play ice cubes and has lots of storage space inside. Brass-look taps and cupboard handles add a classy look to the wipe-clean grey units, and the inset butler-style sink adds to the contemporary look. The oven has a digital-style display and two clicking, twistable knobs. The realistic-looking gas hob rings have adjustable knobs to allow for lots of dishes to cook at the same time.
The Aviles play kitchen is a sizeable, retro-style kitchen with lots of modern features for the creative cook. Handles, taps and knobs have a metallic silver look and quality finish. There is a handy chalkboard, water cooler and an ice machine that dispenses play ice cubes, plus a working thermometer. We loved the de and pastel colours that this kitchen comes in.
It would look lovely in any part of the home. The structure is sturdy and was easy to assemble.
It comes with a painted wooden saucepan plus a spatula and spoon, both of which can be stored in hooks on the splashback. We found some fantastic knitted toys from Best Years. Skilled female artisans in rural Bangladesh knit these colourful fruits, vegetables and treats. The kids loved playing with them as they could be stuffed into saucepans and squished when they pretended to chop them up. They would also make good soft toys for younger children, and some come as rattles for tinier tots. Children learn through role play and imitating real-life kitchen tasks like preparing food, cooking, washing-up, laundry and storing food and equipment.
Some kitchens go further, with included clocks to help them learn to tell the time, recycling bins to encourage good habits and chalkboards to write lists and recipes. Look out for opportunities for your child to practice counting and adding up, problem-solving, creativity, building vocabulary, planning and organising. Some of the reviewed kitchens — especially larger ones with lots of cupboards and features — took multiple grown-ups hours to assemble.
Consider your DIY skills: if lacking, who can you persuade to help? You could consider hiring a professional to save time, mistakes and stress. Play kitchens come in all shapes, sizes, des and colour schemes. Is it timeless or trendy in a way that may become dated? If you need to pack it away to store after playtime, be sure to choose a compact option.
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If you want it to be passed down through other children or generations, invest in one that is built to last. We looked for robust, well-made kitchens that would stand the test of time. Wipe-clean surfaces and removable sinks make cleaning much easier after a busy day in the kitchen. Our testers energetically mashed broccoli to make a mint sauce, which left one of the kitchens in need of a thorough scrub down!
How many kids are going to be playing with the kitchen? Remember, you may need to secure it to a wall to avoid it toppling onto .