46 answers

Kitchens for Boys

This may sound like a very silly question but I am wondering what everyone thinks about getting a play kitchen for a boy. My husband is really not into the idea but I think my son would enjoy it. Also, does anyone have any suggestions on a kitchen that would be nice for santa to bring. I definately do not want to spend very much money on it (since my husband is so against it) and I would like something that is fairly small (we do not have much extra room). Thanks in advance for any advise.

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What happened to letting kids be kids? They don't understand gender differences till they are older. It is just a toy...should we teach little girls to refrain from making car sounds or trying to climb trees because boys should do that? Kids don't know the differnce, only we do.

A.,

I have a 4 1/2 yr old boy that loved to play with his kitchen when he was about 2. I don't see any problem with it, and luckily my husband didn't either. Honestly I think most boys play with it for a short while (atleast mine did) and then they are done with it. Hey, the way I look at it, even if he does grow up liking to cook, some of the best chefs in the world are men! Good luck!

All 3 of my kids play together in their "kitchen" 1 girl, 2 boys. Look at a resale shop. They will be much less expensive. If you're around Reno, Once Upon a Child has quite a few of them.

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Try craigslist and yard sales. The Fisher-Price kitchens last forever, and look good even secondhand. We got one for our oldest when she was 1 1/2, and she and her sister still use it now (they're 4.5 and 3). We bought it at a yardsale for $25, cleaned it up, bought new accessories, and it's still in great shape.

Try some thrift stores... or second hand toy stores. A lot of those kitchens last forever (little tykes, fisher price) and many kids outgrow them before they fall apart. You can even try Craig's list, ebay or even some garage sales. I found a full sized tool bench that was like new at Savers for $5. my son still plays with it. Then buy the dishes and food toys at walmart. Sams club and Cosco usually have a good deal around Christmas time, so does sears and toys r us.

Boys love them just as much as girls... my son is really into doll houses now, becasue they have one at preschool and he gets to be the daddy who drives the car and puts the babies "night-night". I had to buy him the "shark vac" so he could vaccume the floors and a swiffer... they have this need to feel they are helping their mommies... they are learning to be "real caring men"

Who ever gets my son is goona be one lucky woman!

I bought my newphews the mini Kitchen from Hearthsong.com and they love it. It is a natural wood color with green legs so that it is neutral. It also already comes with 23 wood pieces of play cookware so there is no spending extra money for additional items for it incase they don't play with it. It got them to want to learn to help in the kitchen and make there own lunches which was a big help to my sister.

I have been reading a lot about Montessori and Waldorf early education, and based on those readings, I absolutely support involving both boys and girls in household duties. A small child-size kitchen would probably excite your little boy, as he could mimic what you do. Or you could just build/ buy a small table for him to help prepare real foods on. I recommend looking at Magic Cabin catalogue for ideas. I will definitely purchase child-friendly cleaning supplies and kitchen utensils for my son, and I do not in any way think that will encourage him to be like a girl. I think small children want to feel needed and productive in household tasks.....could it be that kids' obsession with television, cellular phones, video games, etc. be a result of them being bored? Of parents spoiling their children and never asking them to help?

both of my boys enjoy playing with their kitchen, and they still are very rough and tough, if that's a concern.
if you husband is really against it, there are some little kitchens that feature a bbq set, which could be a nice compromise.
have fun cooking!
-E.

Dear A., of course a boy can have a play kitchen. I have three boys and when they were younger they used to play with it all the time. We had fake food, utensils, groceries,(we kept used cereal boxes, etc)The biggest mistake I did was when we moved from overseas and we got rid off it all. I wish I had kept it. The two younger ones asked for it and really wanted to play with it, but we thought they were too old, at that time 3 and 5. As long as they want to play who cares.

My boys, are now 10,12 and 16, they did not grow up to be any wusses :)) Household roles, like kitchen, dressing up etc, it's just as important for boys as it is for girls. For sources, try out: backtobasicstoys.com. Or try to find used ones on craigslist.com. Good luck. best regards J.

We just bought a little kitchen for my son. He is 15 months old. He loves it! They have one at our library and he plays with it all the time. Some of them can be pricey and tall for little ones. I found a small wooded oven. You can purchase the different parts seperately (oven, sink, refrigerator). He also has a set of pots, pans and spoons. He helps me when I am cooking in the kitchen all the time.

Last year my 4 year old boy wanted a "pink kitchen". I couldn't believe it and my husband was so horrified. We had a friend buy him his "pink kitchen" and we gave it to him from Santa. My husband and I bought him a BBQ grill that looked and sounded real to see which he would play with more. Well, he ended up only playing with the kitchen for a few months before it got boring and it is now parked by the sandbox for mudpies. The BBQ grill was great. We keep it by his dads grill and they cook together. PS...my husband was so embarrassed that we put his kitchen in his room-before it was moved to the sandbox.

I don't think it should matter that a boy wants to play with what might be considered a "girl" toy. We wanted to buy him a kitchen, just not a pink one. We actually just painted the concrete in my kids (both boys) playroom purple with lots of other colors. We're hoping to spark their imagination and have a fun environment for them to play in.

Tell you hubby that your son just wants to play. Just try to find one that is gender nuetral so that your next baby will want to play with it too!

R.

We bought a play kitchen off of craigslist for $10 and my 2 year old son just loves it. It fits right into the corner. It is used, but in great shape so you would never know. You can use old tupperware or butter, cream cheese, yogurt, etc. cups if you don't want to buy the fake food. I don't think your husband would object too much to something like that - especially if your son enjoys it.

I think Fisher Price has a cute little thing I am thinking of getting our son for Christmas despite what my husband says. I was going to suggest the laugh and learn kitchen and give you a site for it but, it just pulled up a recall on it.

check out Target's wooden play kitchen. They are more neutral colors (or more boyish). I have wanted to get my son a kitchen forever, he's 3.. right now I have a box I made into a stove. He LOVES it. Maybe make something out of boxes first and see if he's interested. Also, little tikes has a great grill (which as also instead of a kitchen) and see if he enjoys that. It's a great little grill, has lights and makes sounds.

L.

My husband felt the same way but every time we went to someone's house to play my son would play with the kitchen set. We got it for his 2nd birthday and he is 3 now and still plays with it and when other kids come over they all play with it too. My husband does not mind it anymore. We got just the small one since he is boy...the one we got was the smallest Step 2 from Toys R Us...

i just bought a laugh & learn kitchen for my 17 month old boy after seeing how much he loved the one at daycare. tell your hubby that its good for any childs development boy or girl

Hi Allison,
I think a kitchen is a wonderful idea.My daughter's best friend Rowan (age 4)loves to come over and play kitchen. I think he enjoys it more than anyone. He also has a kitchen of his own at home, and likes to fill his grocery cart, and then prepare a wonderful meal. We have a little tikes interactive kitchen that talks. and even knows what you're preparing, in a wonderful shade of blue and green.

Hope this helps,
R.

Hi, A. ~

Last year my son, who was then 2 1/2 yrs as well, started showing interest in pretending to cook and helping me cook. He would bring me little snippets from his imaginary kitchen all the time - cookies, coffee, spaghetti, etc - and say, "I hope a-like it." It was adorable! I also noticed he had a great time - as did many other kids, girls AND boys - with the play kitchen at church. So when Christmas rolled around, my husband and I bought him a $40 play kitchen from Walmart, and he LOVES it! Who knows, maybe my darling little man will turn out to be a world-class chef!

~ R.

I think kitchens are great for all kids. My son was actually given one for his bday when he was 3 from one of my best friends(who happens to be a successful chef in a beautiful rest. in Phoenix) My friend is totally a guys-guy and his tailgate parties are the best. Now my son is 8 and very busy in football and skateboarding, but once a week he gets to pick dinner and help make it. Go for it. Not sure on what type of kitchen, maybe do a walk thru the toy dept. and see what catches his eye and tell Santa

I have a 3 yr. old and we got the kitchen a few months ago from Craigslist.com, try there. I wouldn't look too deep into your son being a chef one day, would be nice, but the imagination part is what it's about. There should be no discrimination of toys at such a young age. My son plays with a doll once in awhile, feeding it and giving it food (and then maybe throwing it across the room). He is all boy, believe me! He pretends to make food with playdoh and serves it with the little kitchen set. It has a phone and lots of doors that open and shut, they love that. We have an older girl and younger girl. Everyone pays attention to it, about the same. Hope you come to a compromise.

If your husband isn't into the idea, maybe you can compromise. There are lots of tool bech sets out there right now. I got my son a gas station pump that he can pretend like he's pumping gas, fixing his cars and there is also a ramp and some places to play with his cars on. On the other hand, I don't see anything wrong with a kithcen for a boy, but my husband would be the same way. My son wanted a pink pumkin for trick or treating and my husband said, "NO WAY".

I think a kitchen set for a boy is great. My 5 year old son got one a few years back and he loved it. He still plays with it at times. He makes food with playdoh and serves it up......NOTHING wrong with it at all. Good luck convincing you hubby.

I was thinking about the getting the same thing for my little guy this year for christmas too. Like the other mamas have said look at all the famous chefs... Tyler Florence, All the guys on IRON Chef.. anywho We saw one at target made out of wood painted Blue (very boy friendly) and small but it was 99 dollars.

I am sure if target sells a manly little guy kitchen other places will too.

Hi A.!

I have two boys and one girl and they all love playing with the kitchen set we have. Imagination play is so important for kids. Especially role playing. They see you in the kitchen and want to model after you. Like the other post said, there are manu men out there that love to cook, so I see nothing wrong with it.

There are many like new sets for sale on Craigslist. The following link is even in masculine colors, for $30 and it even comes with play food (great deal!):

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/bab/459474122.html

Some other great deals:

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/bab/457879541.html
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/bab/429918906.html
http://phoenix.craigslist.org/bab/420752652.html

Good Luck!

Step 2 has nice sets. They even have a bbq set that may be something your husband might feel better about. I have girls that sometimes like to play with cars. Funny that doesn't have the same impact as our sons playing with kitchen stuff. Good luck and check out Step 2. They have their own website and you can either buy direct or check out stores that sell their toys.

I have two small boys (2 &3 ) who love to paly with big sis's old kitchen. I did but them a more boy like on from Target, the wood set, the boys broke the kitchen in about one month, we are back to sis's old one and Santa will be bring a less destructable on for Christmas. All kids love to mimic grown ups, does Dad ever cook? I keep the play kitchen close to my kitchen so that while I am cooking so are they, it also helps keep the little ones from standing on chairs too close to the BIG stove, because they are already cooking something better then whatever I am. I do like the wood food sets we got at Target because they can be "cut" and put back together with velcro. Does your husband cook at all, either in the house or on a grill? Getting your son whatever he sees daddy do will make both of them happy, even if you get the little tykes BBQ. Good luck with both your "boys" And may God bless your holidays.

What happened to letting kids be kids? They don't understand gender differences till they are older. It is just a toy...should we teach little girls to refrain from making car sounds or trying to climb trees because boys should do that? Kids don't know the differnce, only we do.

Hi A.,
When my son was one my husband and I got my son a play kitchen. We got in a neutral color so that way it didn't look girly. My husband was fine with the idea because when my son was little he loved to pretend he was cooking. We got it from Walmart but I have also found it at Toys R' Us. I believe it cost us around 45 dollars but we still have it and now my daughter who is one plays with it. I think it is worth it.

NOT AT ALL. I got my son a kitchen in 2005, and he wasn't quite 2 1/2 because I had noticed him playing with them at daycare with his friends. I found a nice tan one at Wal Mart. I don't for the life of me remember how much though. Yes, his Sperm Donor (notice I didn't call him Dad, for reasons like this) said I was going to turn him gay. I think he is full of it, and what woman out there someday isn't going to want her man to cook for her??? It is in his play room, but the new plan is to clean a spot out in the breakfast nook so that he cooks when mom cooks. Tell the hubby that I even bought my son a very colorful tea set and we have chocolate milk and cookie parties with his stuffed animals at his SpongeBob Squarepants table, and you know what? He ALWAYS notices girls when we are out and about!

Hello, Why don't you try a barbeque. I think fisher price makes a barbeque that makes grilling sounds and it comes with food. Maybe if it's a barbeque your husband won't be so against it. Anyway why is a kitchen just for a girl???:)

SAHM-J. with three crazy little boys.
Logan 4, Caden 2 1/2, and Zane 1.

Dear A.,

I have 1 word for you and you can tell your husband. Emeril!!! This man is not a frilly french chef. My 3 year old son asked for a kitchen for Christmas. He prepares wonderful dishes and helps clean up the kitchen when he's finished. He is now almost 5. He still loves playing with the kitchen. He is not a sissy boy in the slightest. He is still in karate and loves to watch sports with dad.
The best part is when Mom or Dad are sick, he goes to the kitchen and makes us some of his special chicken soup. Then does not forget to fight all of the evil ninjas on the way there!!!

N.

Hi A.,

If your son would enjoy a kitchen set, go for it! Cooking includes a wide variety of learning opportunities involving manual dexterity, reading, math, chemistry, biology, art & design, and communication. I assume your son likes cooking because you've had him help you in the kitchen. Keep that up and keep him interested in trying new foods by having him help you come up with menus and preparing the food.

And think of developing his interest in the long-term. If you return to work outside the home when your children are older, how much help would it be if your son were able to start dinner, or even make it all my himself? Cooking well is an art, and a skill that has earned many a person good money. He'll be able to find a job in high school and college. Being a good cook practically gaurantees that he'll never be lonely or malnourished :)

There are some nice all-wood kitchen sets available that are small, not fou-fou, and not too expensive. Our you could look online for a plan for building a child's kitchen. Maybe your husband would be more interested if he had a hand in creating it and keeping the cost down. Look also at the thrift stores/resale shops for kitchen sets at lower cost. I often see play "food" and appliances at ARC, Savers, TJ Maxx, and Ross.

Good luck and good eating!

~ K. L

Some very famous chefs probably had toy kitchens. Look at Anthony Bourdain, Rocco DiSpirito, Mario Battali, and Emeril! Tell your husband maybe you have a budding chef on your hands, cause if he's worried about it being feminine for your son - hey, none of those chefs are feminine and they rake in the bucks from their cooking careers (plus, I adore Anthony Bourdain!)

Your son is probably trying to emulate you, since he's home with you all day.

Good kitchens to buy:
I would not buy the Dora kitchen (not for a boy, either) because it doesn't do too much, not sturdy, and it's expensive.

We bought our daugher a Little Tikes kitchen and it doesn't take up too much room, it's sturdy, and I think it cost us about $60 or $70.00. The burners make real noise, the sink makes water noise, and it comes with a clip on phone to talk on.
This is the one my daughter has:
http://www.littletikes.com/Toys/Toys-Detail.aspx?Product_...=

And another one from Little Tikes:
http://www.littletikes.com/toys/toys-detail.aspx?Product_...

Their site has a bunch more. I also think Walmart.com will have a pretty good selection.

My husband I went through the same thing last year,until I finally won. Santa brought the cutest kitchen from Target, its blue and very simple. My boys, now 3 and 5, absolutely love it and play restaurant all the time.

A.,

My husband was a little iffy but then he decided it doesn't matter if a boy wants to become a chef! Since then we have realized that our 6 (then just 2) and 3 year old boys are not going to be a chef but they love to cook for us on the weekends. Good luck finding an inexpensive one, though, unless it's actually "cheap", as in thin plastic. Tell hubby to get over it and good luck finding one!

A.,

I have a 4 1/2 yr old boy that loved to play with his kitchen when he was about 2. I don't see any problem with it, and luckily my husband didn't either. Honestly I think most boys play with it for a short while (atleast mine did) and then they are done with it. Hey, the way I look at it, even if he does grow up liking to cook, some of the best chefs in the world are men! Good luck!

i just saw a kithcen activity center on tv that looked like a lot of fun. didnt look too big but had lots of cubbys and activities. i think it was fisher price. tell your hubby this is 2007. boys need to learn to cook and should be exposed to it because these days girls dont know how to cook and some day he may be doing all the cooking. i always encourged my sons to cook. my oldest is an excellent cook and does all the cooking at his house. my youngest is very diet concious and doenst like my fried foods so he usually cooks his own meals and it doenst hurt my feelings one little bit because since he started cooking two years ago, ihave lost 74 lbs

I take care of children in my home, right now most of them are boys and they love the kitchen, I dont think its a boy or girl thing. Just the other day my son(4) saw a new kitchen at walmart and asked for it because it has a garbage can and ours doesn't if his wasn't so new I would probably get him another one, all kids love to pretend!!! It good for them.

A.,

The Christmas that my son was two I also got him a toy kitchen. He was always using other toys to pretend he was cooking so I thought he would enjoy a toy kitchen of his own. I was right. I found one at Sam's club that year for about $30 or $40. (That was four years ago so I can't remember the exact price.) It was pretty small and didn't take up a lot of room. It was also in bright red and yellow so it didn't look like a girl toy. My brother also thought at the time that it was a weird thing to buy for a boy, but he enjoyed it.

Good luck.
C.

All 3 of my kids play together in their "kitchen" 1 girl, 2 boys. Look at a resale shop. They will be much less expensive. If you're around Reno, Once Upon a Child has quite a few of them.

We got our son a play kitchen last year for Christmas (he was three) and he loves it (so do his friends)! I wouldn't worry about it. Guys cook too. Ours was very inexpensive and small, I got it from a catalog. Look around online...there are a lot of small options out there that won't be too expensive.

I say go for it! Maybe he'll grow up to be an awesome chief :). Did you check craigslist?

I don't know why some husbands have a hard time with this- mine included.
We don't have a kitchen but lots of kitchen things. We have shelves and toy food stuff ( plastic and mostly boxes) and some real boxes. Shopping basket.

teacups and picnic equipment( Plates, cutlery etc)
We make whatever we want so we have a box from amazon that's a cash register and fake money we made. We cut out cardboard to make pans or pretend with other items or use our imagination. The boys love to play and make things for their kitchen.
I'm not keen on the plastic kitchens but the wooden ones are out of our budget so this is an affordable solution for us. Although you can find so many good bargains on craigslist and at yard sales. You might find something there.

A kitchen for a boy is a great idea. I bought my son a kitchen when he was 2. He loved it! Check around at toys r us. They have a kitchen that is a table top kitchen that isnt that big and I think it cost under 50.00. Good Luck!

My first son had a small stand up on wheels Fisher Price BBQ grill. After I found out my second baby was going to be a boy. I got them both the Step 2 Bistro Grille. It comes with a stool, dishes, condiments, etc. Both were very "manly" and my husband approved. However, the Step 2 Bistro Grille doesn't make any noises although the knobs turn. I paid $110 for it.
I didn't know at the time..but my friends got one from Highlights Magazine online and it's Orange for $59.95. And now they have a similar but smaller version of a Step 2 Deluxe Kitchen for $39.99 at Walmart.

My friends tell me to tell my husband that our sons could be the next Emeril Legasse, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence, Mario Batali, etc. Then of course he backed off when I said Bobby Flay.

Also, if you buy it used, remember to ask if it was indoors or outdoors. If it was outdoors, be wary of bugs. If you bring it indoors, the bugs will be there too.

Tell your husband to get out of the dark ages. There's nothing wrong with buying a kitchen for your son. They do exist for boys also. My son has baby dolls, princess wands and I'm also looking into a toy kitchen for him. Bottom line, he plays with the toys he enjoys. Why anyone would be against that is beyond me.

Fisher Price has a Laugh & Learn Kitchen... it talks n has a radio that plays music... It looks fairly small. I dont think its a "girly" play kitchen either. Maybe that will help with your husband not being not into the whole idea of a boy playing with it. I think it would be a good idea for him to have because then he can get the idea early on that the kitchen isn't just a place for women! lol Im sure that sounds bad but I believe that boys enjoy dressing up and all the house play type of activities just as much as girls do. I worked at a preschool and we had boys that played in the "housekeeping" center everyday alongside the girls. The kitchen is $65.00 on fisher-pricestore.com. Also step2.com has a ton of kitchen playsets.

My 2 1/2 yr old son also wanted a kitchen. I found a Melissa and Doug wooden "stove top" with burners and knobs. It's very cute...and small. It's a tabletop set that opens and closes for easy storage. Very inexpensive...maybe $20-$25...and serves his kitchen/cooking play without taking up a lot of space!

A.,

My son is 2 1/2 and loves playing in the kitchen. I've considered getting him a kitchen too. He loves that when we go to other peoples houses. He has a little tiny one right now, but I was thinking of getting him a bigger one. I see nothing wrong with boys in the kitchen. There are tons of male chefs. I wouldn't get him a pink kitchen if your hubby is totally against the kitchen idea. Try and find one that is more unisex. I have also seen a bbq set. He might like that and your hubby might agree more with the bbq thing versus the kitchen. Hope that helps!

L.

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