The Best of the Best Play KitchensKate Bayless
Play kitchens offer all the excitement of cooking without any of the mess or potential for setting off the smoke alarm. Besides, where else can you make cherry pie with pickles, or pizza with fried eggs and French fries? Help your kids cook up some fun of their own with our five top picks for play kitchens.
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1. Step2 Upscale Party Time Kitchen
The Party Time Kitchen decor is not for the minimalist or modernist, but the kitchen does have lots of modern conveniences, including a microwave, stovetop, phone, overhead light and clock. This kitchen makes the most beeps and bings, which kids inevitably love (our tester’s favorite was the boiling-water noise for the pot). The kitchen has decent storage (two cabinets, two wicker baskets, one drawer), which is good because it comes with thirty-three cooking accessories – but no food.
2. Little Tikes Ultimate Cook Kitchen
This kitchen offers 30 accessories and a number of fun features, like a cappuccino maker! The assembly isn’t difficult, but does take time (don’t forget about all those decals!). Some interactive features in this kitchen include sounds for the stove top and sink – plus there is so much storage space for all of the accessories.
3. Little Tikes Cook ‘n Play Outdoor BBQ
If you’re worried that a standard kitchen might bore your child too quickly, the Cook ‘n Play Outdoor BBQ by Little Tikes surely won’t. In addition to the stovetop and oven, this unit has a dual-level grill so your little ones can be the grill master too. There is an extended counter space for extra fun.
4. Fisher Price Dora’s Talking Kitchen
This kid-approved kitchen comes with a stovetop, oven, sink, and fridge. Don’t forget the built-in noise-making blender, radio, and telephone where you can talk to Boots, Diego, or Abuela. It also includes five interactive recipe adventures, with audio food-making instructions (the foods are named in both English and Spanish). This kitchen comes with twenty-eight accessories, including pans, utensils and more play food than any of the other sets.