February 17, 2011,
S.K. asks from Bothell, WA on February 16, 2011
What Is the Best Play Kitchen Set for a 3 Year Old and 5.5 Year Old Boy?
I am looking for a play kitchen set for my boys. One will be turning 3 next month and one is 5.5 years old. They enjoy playing with their toy food and would love to have a kitchen set in the basement. I have been looking online for various sets, but many seem too small or "girly". Is there a play set that would be good for older boys like mine? I would love to hear advice. I plan on getting the set used off of Craigslist, so that I do not need to put it together. I also do not want to spend a fortune.
M.M. answers from Detroit on February 17, 2011
We have the KidKraft Large Play Kitchen (Wal-Mart web site has it for $120). It is pink, yellow and blue. So a little girly, but there is BLUE in it ;) Anyhow, sure cute and VERY durable. My kids got it for X-Mas 2 years ago from my parents and it's still in perfect condition. It's more of a wood base instead of plastic. I really like it. My kids are 3 and 5 1/2
J.C. answers from Lincoln on February 17, 2011
I have boys who also love to play in their play kitchen. The best one we found that is perfect for my 6, 5, and 3 year old is a wooden set. They can be more expensive, but are worth it! The plastic ones are too cheap and too short in size for your 5 year old.
The one we bought has a separate fridge, pantry, stove/oven, and sink cabinet. You can buy just one piece at a time to make it more affordable. If your house isn't big enough for separate pieces take a look at the Melissa & Doug wooden kitchen. Amazon.com has several nice wooden kitchens that are reasonably priced.
R.J. answers from Seattle on February 16, 2011
My favorite play kitchen is a real one. From about 18mo onwards kids can help in the kitchen doing age appropriate things. It teaches sooooo much (fine motor, gross motor, following instruction and instructions, pride of accomplishment, working independently, teamwork, planning, imagination, plus all the sensorial schtuff/practice), not to mention grinding in good habits young (cleaning up after yourself, helping family, chores of daily living / that they are so normal as to go unnoticed OR can be fun), plus family time, and as a long term bonus: a useful life skill.
As a toddler having my son help me slowed me down a little... but by 4 I could assign him a task that would save me ages of time... and by age 8 with minimal supervision he can actually cook almost anything I can. He's been asking if he can have a "night" of his own... but I've been procrastinating a bit on that. But he HAS been making his own breakfast for a few years now, and sometimes mine as well. I cook 3 times a day (brunch, lunch, dinner) and having his help is actually an *enourmous* help. In planning, shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning up after.
<grin> I mean, why buy a pretend one, when they can do the real thing?
M.S. answers from Chicago on February 17, 2011
I have a walk in kitchen by step2 I got it when my boys were 3and 4. They loved it. Google it and if your interested I'm looking to get rid of it. They are 5 and almost 7 and is being used less and less I have a 2yr old but he isn't into it as my other boys were.
Hope toy hear for you.
K.F. answers from Cleveland on February 17, 2011
KidKraft for sure! You can order them online at amazon.com or walmart.com. I got one for my son for Christmas- it's red, white, blue and yellow. Not girly at all. My son is 2 1/2 and loves it, but my 7 year old nephew comes over and plays with it too. Here's the link so you can see what it looks like: