The 5 Best Kitchen Play Sets
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Toddlers and preschoolers are little helpers who love to imitate everyday tasks. I love when my almost 3-year-old plays sous chef for dinner, but a separate play kitchen lets him be more imaginative in a safe space and lets me work a little faster with the real food. Whether you prefer an heirloom-worthy wood set that will last years or a plastic one that is stocked with accessories, the best kitchen play sets are sized to fit your space, come with realistic kitchen features that engage kids for hours, and feature assembly times that align with your time constraints.
Kitchen play sets come in either wood or plastic and both are designed to be pretty sturdy. Plastic sets tend to be more affordable, lightweight for portability, and easier to wipe clean than wood, though they don’t blend in quite as well with home decor. On the other hand, wooden play kitchens (though usually made of compressed wood) can have a more premium look that more closely resembles a real kitchen, though you’ll have to pay more for it. But keep in mind, wood is much heavier, so you’ll want to dedicate a space to it since it’s not easy to move.
Size & Assembly
The recommended age range for each kitchen will vary, as will the unit’s overall dimensions, so I’ve listed both of those specs for easy shopping. The assembly times for setting up a kitchen play set can make or break the experience, too. Some of the options on this list can be constructed in less than one hour, while others require setting aside a few hours to follow step-by-step directions. Be sure to consider assembly time before committing to a play set.
Your child will appreciate any play kitchen that looks a lot like the working kitchen in your home. Toddlers and kids love any realistic feature, like stovetop burners that light up, oven knobs that turn, or sinks with a running water sound. Some kitchens also include cooking accessories, like pots and pans, and bonus points for any kitchen that incorporates storage bins to neatly store them. Some play kitchens might come with just a few pieces of play food, but I’ve included an adorable set of play food kids can even pretend to chop.
Now, here are the best kitchen play sets to surprise your kid and spark their culinary imagination. Each one is highly rated on Amazon and backed by more than a thousand reviews.
1. The Tried-And-True Plastic Kitchen Play Set With Over 15,000 Reviews
- Recommended Age: 24 months to 10 years
- Dimensions: 40.87 x 35.75 x 12.5 inches (height by width by depth).
This popular kitchen play set is loved by thousands of kids for its realistic lights and sounds and 24-piece accessory set. This plastic kitchen has a pretend stovetop with burners that light up using a battery-operated frying pan and pot (batteries are not included). The knobs on the microwave and refrigerator make clicking sounds when turned, and kids can even pretend to wash dishes in the sink with a swivel faucet. Your little one will love making coffee with the coffee maker station and matching travel mug.
Built-in storage bins, hooks, and shelves conveniently hold the included accessories, like utensils and dishes, and there’s even a spot for a dog bowl. Just keep in mind there’s no play food or stuffed puppy included with this set.
With a 4.8-star rating and over 15,000 reviews, this wildly popular toy comes in the featured brown/blue, tan, or pink. Reviewers report it’s easy to assemble (some reported it took about an hour to put together), and though instructions calls for a screwdriver, many parents report using a power tool to tighten pieces.
A helpful review: “Absolutely love this little kitchen! My 2 and 5 year old play for hours with this. The stove features lights and sounds that the girls love as well. The coffee maker and little coffee mugs were also a hit. There are also large storage bins that hold all of their little utensils and play food. I would definitely recommend this kitchen.”
2. An Heirloom-Worthy Wooden Play Kitchen
- Recommended Age: 36 months to 6 years
- Dimensions: 43.25 inches x 15.5 inches x 39 inches (length by width by height)
For a kitchen play set that might inspire or match the real kitchen in your home, consider this beautiful wooden toy kitchen. The white marble aesthetic and backpslash fits in with modern home decor, and it’s big enough for a couple of kids to comfortably play together.
The kitchen features an oven, stove with dials that turn, microwave with turntable, sink, reusable grocery list, refrigerator with an ice dispenser that releases two pretend cubes, and a “freezer.” It’s worth noting that other than the ice cubes, there are no accessories or pretend food included, however. If you prefer a more elaborate kitchen play set, this same brand offers this set with items like food and pots and pans.
With a 4.8-star rating and over 1,200 reviews, Melissa & Doug is a brand NBC News has called “the gold standard in early childhood play,” and this favorite comes in the featured white or charcoal. Some reviewers are split on assembly times, with a few reporting that it took them over an hour to put together and others saying they had this set assembled in less than one hour. Either way, the general consensus among reviewers is that the instructions are simple to read and assembly is easier with a drill.
A helpful review: “I bought this kitchen for my 3 year old and it was a huge hit, he loves to play with it everyday. As a parent I really enjoyed the quick assembly, easy to understand instructions and added safety features that I haven’t seen in other brands aside from Melissa & Doug, such as wall mounting and stabilizers to prevent tilting. The kitchen is made of durable quality material it will definitely support play for years, and it’s a great size kitchen for younger and older kids.”
3. The Farm-To-Table Kitchen With A Cute Chalkboard
- Recommended Age: 3 to 10 years old
- Dimensions: 44.2 x 13.6 x 43 inches (length by width by height)
Here’s a cute farm-to-table kitchen play set made with wood, plastic, and metal. It’s another top pick with over 3,500 reviews, and you’ll love that it comes with 18 accessories for the play kitchen. Building the play kitchen takes 1.5 to 2 hours, according to the manufacturer, and you can download the corresponding smartphone app for easy-to-follow instructions.
Planter boxes on the kitchen ledge display a pretend garden with three carrots and three onions; each toy vegetable can be “chopped” with the wooden knife on the cutting board. When they’re ready to cook, your child will love the realistic lights and sounds of the stovetop burners and the faucet in the farmhouse sink. Two fabric bins that look wooden are included for storing pots, pans, and play food. Your little one can practice their letters and drawing on the play set’s chalkboard menu.
A helpful review: “This farm kitchen is adorable. The children love it. I go in just to play with it in the preschool classroom because it has a running water sound and blue light that come on when you turn faucet on. The stove turns red and has a boiling water sound. It is so cute. This product also came with wooden fruit that you cut apart and stick back together with the velcro. All the children flock to this. It was a little tricky to put together but well worth it when it was done. [...] Definitely a must purchase.”
4. A Budget-Friendly Plastic Kitchen That’s Perfect For Small Spaces
- Recommended Age: 24 months to 8 years old
- Dimensions: 15.5 x 11.5 x 20.5 inches (length by width by height)
For small play areas, this toy oven brings plenty of fun in a tidier package. This is a plastic stovetop and burner, rather than a full kitchen, but it’s loaded with realistic lights and sounds that appeal to any tiny chef. The burners “turn on,” the water “boils,” and the oven light turns on when it’s opened. The burner dials actually turn, and the oven is designed to be deep enough to hold all its 11 accessories: four cookies, a cookie sheet, a fried egg, a piece of bacon, a steak, a frying pan, a spatula, and a towel. With over 2,000 reviews, shoppers commented this toy took just minutes to assemble.
A helpful review: “My son had been doing a lot of pretend play with cooking and food, but using whatever toys he had, like cars. So I figured I'd buy him a little stove, but didn't want to get anything too expensive [...] This stove is perfect. It was better quality than I was expecting for the price. It was also super easy to assemble, and it's small enough to not take up much space, but big enough that my son doesn't look like he's playing with a doll stove. He was thrilled and has been playing with it ever since. [...]”
5. A Taller Wood Kitchen For Older Kids
- Recommended Age: 36 Months to 12 Years
- Dimensions: 43.77 x 17.71 x 44.13 inches (length by width by height)
For older or taller kids, parents reported investing in this large play kitchen with a tall refrigerator and high shelves. This wooden kitchen also features an oven, microwave, dishwasher, icemaker that lights up and makes noise, removable sink, pull-down faucet sprayer, and cordless phone. There are no accessories or play food included with this play kitchen, but it does have a shelf for storing dishes and cookware. Reviewers report needing two to four hours to put the kitchen together, but say that the brand includes “detailed, step-by-step assembly instructions” and that some shoppers found it easier to have a “helper.”
A helpful review: “This kitchen is awesome! [...] Assembly was easy, took a while (2 hours or so by myself) but easy to follow instructions. [...] It seems very intimidating at first out of the box, but it goes pretty quickly. The pieces are sturdy and it feels high quality! KidKraft never ceases to please! It is a neutral color and matches the living-room decor and looks like a real (mini)kitchen! My kids LOVE it. It is a great size (the largest I could find in this price range). My 3 year old, 5 year old, and even my 11 year old all enjoy playing with it! You will not regret this purchase!”
Nice To Have: Pretend Play Food
- Recommended Age: 3 years old and up
Most kitchen play sets don’t include play food, so here’s a quality wooden play food set to get started. Each piece is made of organic and renewable rubberwood, and they’re vividly painted with nontoxic water-based dyes. Toddlers and preschoolers will love using the included play knife to “slice” through the vegetables held together by nylon — it even makes a crunch sound.
The set comes with seven vegetables, including a carrot, cucumber, and corn, as well as a storage tray and wooden knife. For a larger food collection, you might also like this 35-piece plastic set that includes prepared foods.
A helpful review: “The foods included are very detailed and a good size for kids’ kitchens. My child can fit multiple pieces into her pots and pans when she is play cooking. All of the velcro attachments are throughly adhered to the pieces and work great. Even the storage bin is perfect. It fits on the shelves of my child’s kitchen when stored away. And is lightweight so my little one can pick up the whole tray when she wants to use it. We love this little set.”
Also Great: A Set Of Pots & Pans
- Recommended Age: 3 to 8 years old
This pots and pans toy set appeals both to little ones for being so realistic and to their grown-ups for its durability. The eight-piece set includes a pot with a lid, two pans, a colander, two wooden utensils, and a storage rack. And the pots and pans are made of stainless steel, so they’re dishwasher-safe. No wonder it maintains an impressive 4.9-star rating with over 7,000 reviews.
A helpful review: “Great product! My daughter LOVES it! Since they look so real she feels just like mom and dad in the kitchen! I have her Melissa and Doug kitchen set up in our kitchen and she cooks alongside us with her pretend play. The best thing about these has to be that they are dishwasher safe so she throws them in with our dinner plates and I feel like it makes her feel like she's the real deal!”