What is the Best Toy Kitchen for Toddlers?

by SusanM

A toy kitchen is one of the more expensive toys your child will play with. So check out what's popular for toddlers before you buy.

A toy kitchen is a great, classic toy for toddlers. It's a fabulous way to encourage imagination. Toddlers also love to imitate grown ups. So being able to cook just like Mom or Dad is something they love to do. So it can be frustrating for them when cooking isn't safe for toddlers to do. But with a toy kitchen they can pretend to make all those dishes they see the grown ups make. This thrills a toddler who wants to do things "by themselves".

Picking which toy kitchen is a hard choice though. There are many available, which in a way makes things easier, but it does add to how much research you need to do before you buy. This is especially so when not all toy kitchens are made for toddlers. In fact many are made for preschool kids. So which are the best toy kitchens made for toddlers to play with?

Step2 LifeStyle Gourmet Café Kitchen

For Toddlers 18 Months and Up

Good neutral colors for boys or girls
Lifestyle Gourmet Cafe Kitchen
Step 2

This is a toy kitchen with a French country look. It gets into my top toy kitchen list for a number of a good reasons.

  • Firstly many of the toy kitchens available are in bright colors or ones only good for girls. This one is in neutral colors so fits in with household furniture better. It's also a good color for boys or girls.
  • It's big enough for two young children to play with. So it's a good choice if you're buying a Christmas gift for a family with more than one young child. The kitchen is also a good size for toddlers although it might be a bit short for an older preschool child. 
  • This Step2 kitchen has all the essentials for pretend play including cutlery, plates, spoons and  some food. 

So this is one toy kitchen to keep in mind for your toddler.

Little Tikes Cupcake Kitchen

This toy kitchen has some good points going for it so it deserves a mention in this list. But it's not my favorite toy kitchen.

It's a popular small kitchen so a good choice if you don't have a lot of room. But the pastel colors tend to make this better for girls rather than boys. This won't be a problem if you're buying for a girl of course.

The kitchen is also easier to put together than many available. So if you find toys that need to be assembled a challenge this could be a good choice for you.

For Older Toddlers (2 Years +)

One toy kitchen for smaller homes
Cupcake Kitchen
Little Tikes

What I don't like about this toy kitchen is your toddler's imagination is restricted unless you add some extra play food items. This is because the kitchen is focused on cupcake making. So toddlers can't really imitate Mom or Dad very much. It also doesn't help teach kids about healthy foods. But these issues should be easy to fix by buying a range of play food and cooking utensils to go with this toy kitchen.

If you need a toy kitchen that's portable or one you can pack away after play this is for you. 

This is a new type of play kitchen that's less expensive than traditional toy kitchens. It also takes up almost no room and can be packed away easily. This makes it a huge money and space saver. 

It's just as good for pretend play as the bigger sets too. The set comes with play cookware, dishes and pretend food. There's no oven because of it's size but there's a stove top which should be plenty to encourage imaginative play. 

This toy kitchen is good for toddlers from 2 years of age.

Easy Store Toy Kitchen

A toy kitchen you can pack away
Role Play Center Kitchen Bin

Step 2 LifeStyle Dream Kitchen

This is a hugely popular and realistic looking large toy kitchen for toddlers. It's a nice looking kitchen for any home - if you have the space. The neutral colors make it a good choice for boys and girls. It's also big enough for multiple children to play with at the same time. The size also means it's good for children up to 6 years old. So it will last for years. 

The toy kitchen is durable so once your kids are too old for it you can sell it on Ebay or hand it down to other family members. 

There's heaps of accessories that come with it so it's really good for imaginative play. There's everything from cooking utensils, an electronic phone, dishes, cups and cutlery. You can also buy extra play food items in the Step 2 range that work really well with this toy kitchen. 

Popular Large Toy Kitchen

Wonderful for Families with Multiple Kids
LifeStyle Dream Kitchen

Little Tikes Mudpie Kitchen

Perfect Mud Pies

Classic Messy Outdoor Play
Mudpie Kitchen
Little Tikes

This toy kitchen gets mixed reviews from parents. But I think it's a fabulous idea so I had to include it in a list that explores 'What is the best toy kitchen for toddlers?' 

This is a real working outdoor toy kitchen for making mud pies. Little kids love making mud pies so  this kitchen adds to this childhood pastime. 

So this is a toy kitchen for older toddlers you'll need to consider the pros and cons of. Many parent's have not been impressed with this toy. But it's an amazing toy idea and any parents have had no issues with this toy. (So the issues may be from how some families use the toy.)   

It's certainly something that can help you share your own fond childhood memories of a fun and messy play idea that's more traditional than many activities for kids.

More Little Tykes Kitchens on Ebay

Little Tikes Cook 'n Learn; Smart Kitchen Playset

Time left: 1 week, 1 day

Little Tikes DiscoverSounds Kitchen

Time left: 3 weeks, 6 days

More Toddler Toy Ideas

Answers and ideas about picking the best toys for a 2 year old.
Do you know how to choose the right jigsaw puzzle for a toddler?
Choosing the best bike for your toddler.
Updated: 11/02/2012, SusanM
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