The amount of play kitchens for 3-4 year old children is amazing. It’s so hard to choose the right one too. You want something that will fit in your designated space while providing the most realistic kitchen experience for your kiddo. I put this list together when shopping for play kitchens for our own son and decided to share my research out to you.
At about 3 years old your child will most likely start wanting to help you in the kitchen. Toddlers want to do adult things and feel like an adult. They want to mimic what you do. The best thing to do at this stage is give them a way to mimic by playing in one of the best kids play kitchen sets.
There is always that little bit of doubt on if your kid will play with a kitchen. We went to Big Lots and bought one of their cheap little kitchens. Sure enough our son played with it. The problem with these little kitchens is they are easy to tip and easy for them to get bored playing with them.
You can use the kitchen for more than pretend play time. Teaching your toddler the names of food and appliances. Also teaching them the properly handling of hot items by pretending the food that comes out of an oven is hot.
It’s important for children to play in toy kitchens no matter what their gender. It can spark a lifelong love of cooking and teach them valuable lessons. A toy kitchen is a fantastic tool to help teach all toddlers new life skills.
If you want a great kitchen that encourages a few years of play there are a few great ones to choose from. I’ve compiled a list of all the great ones to choose from.
Best Kids Play Kitchen Set
There is no one best kitchen set for kids because each kid is different and needs different things from their kitchen. I’ll help you decide which kitchen is best for your kid after I introduce you to the best of the best kids play kitchen sets.
Melissa and Doug Wooden Play Kitchen Sets and Accessories
Coming in at the top of the list is this Melissa and Doug kitchen. I absolutely love all the Melissa and Doug products. This kitchen has all the standard and necessary items for years of imaginary play.
It’s more than 3 feet tall and 3 ½ feet long. It’s big enough that multiple kids can play at it without crowding and the wooden construction means it’s sturdy.
With any toy kitchen you will want to get all the accessories that come with it. I’ve included some of the best accessories to go with the kitchen of your choosing.
- Stainless Pots and Pans Set
- Stainless Cooking Utensils
- Grocery Cans
- Fridge Food
- Pantry Food
- Slice and Bake Cookie Set
- Wash and Dry Dish Set
When it comes to large toys for kids there are two brands I like more than the others. Melissa and Doug and Step 2. The next four kitchens come in closely after the first Melissa and Doug kitchen that I feature.
They all have their own unique qualities. Any one of them will be a fantastic choice for your growing child and will give you a couple years of good play time.
Melissa and Doug Corner Wooden Play Kitchen
This kitchen stands at 26’’ and is 36” wide. It’s great for corners of the room and younger or smaller children. My son is about a head taller than other kids who are the same age as him so this kitchen does not work for him.
It features all the standard appliances and like the first one is has a sturdy wood construction. Extra shelves to hold accessories and working nozzles on the sink and stove make imaginary play a lot of fun.
Step 2 Chef’s Toy Kitchen Set
This is a fantastic little kitchen for your toddler and it comes with a 25 piece kitchen accessories set. The stove lights up making pretend cooking look more realistic to your child.
The set stands at 35.7 inches tall and 34.5 inches wide. It has plenty of spots to store all the accessories that come with it. While the set doesn’t have a fridge, it does have a coffee maker.
Step 2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen and Grill
Ok I’m going to be real here I absolutely love this kitchen. It’s big, realistic, and comes with 103 accessories. It has all the appliances that a real kitchen has, light up stove, and coffee station. It also has extra cabinets and storage areas.
It’s 47 inches tall which means your kid will be able to fit in it for quite a while. The overall width is 50 inches so it will take up some space. Which could be a big downside for those with smaller spaces.
This is a pretty fantastic kitchen set that your kid will love playing with for at least a couple of years.
Step 2 Heart of the Home Kitchen Playset
This playset is a fantastic middle of the road between the first Melissa and Doug kitchen set and the big walk-in Step 2 Kitchen Set. It’s comes with a 41 piece accessories set and has all the major appliances.
Extra storage and a cute little picture frame area. It’s 48 inches tall so it will work well as your child grows. It’s also 45 inches wide and is extremely sturdy.
Picking The Right Play Kitchen Set
Think about how your kid responds to your own kitchen. My son likes to help start the microwave and opening and closing the fridge. I know that when buying him a kitchen these two appliances must be in the kitchen.
Think about how your kid plays. Do they move quickly from one thing to the next? Would they play well with a lot of different options?
Do they play for longer periods of time with one item? Do they focus on a movie and sit quietly? Don’t laugh some kids are actually really great at this, I envy their mom’s and wish I knew their secret.
It’s important to keep these in mind when picking the correct kitchen. Picking any large and more expensive toy for your kid to play with is a commitment. Making sure your kid will play with it for a long enough period of time is important.
How To Use The Toy Kitchen Set To Teach
I love using the kitchen to teach Lucas. He’s learned about hot and cold and names of food. He’s learned what is needed to make certain items.
He knows the egg sandwich needs english muffins, egg, and cheese. He knows the frozen waffles go in the toaster. These are all life skills that he has learned before he can even say the names of the food.
You can take it further and teach colors and shapes of different food. Later that can go into learning how to spell the different types of food.
You can get several years of teaching out of one kitchen set. It’s an important and safe tool to have in your arsenal of teaching methods. Your kid will have lots of fun while learning a lot about new kitchen related objects.
The toy kitchen is the best way to teach your kid about actual kitchens. Any one of the kitchens above will be a great tool to use. Remember I have listed accessories as well in case the one you choose doesn’t come with the accessories that you need.
Which kitchen are you getting? Let me know in the comments below. Follow me on Pinterest for more like this and make sure you pin this to your Kids Toys boards.
- 20 Best Toys For 3 Year Olds
- Developing Creativity With The Melissa and Doug Easel
- A Parent’s Guide To Tablets For Toddlers
- 17 Best Lego Sets For Kids