We Love Our (Plastic-Free) Play Kitchen


I've been meaning to post about our wooden play kitchen for a while now.




We love it.



It was a joint gift to my 4-year-old boy and 2-year-old girl when they had birthdays over the summer. I deliberated and saved up quite a while before purchasing it. The grandparents contributed. I think I finally was galvanized to buy it when I read about and saw the picture of Soule Mama's wooden play kitchen in her book The Creative Family. It is the centerpiece of our play room.  A constant favorite for our kids as well as their friends.



I shopped around a while before finally purchasing our wooden play kitchen from Heirloom Wooden Toys. There are a few cheaper wood play kitchens out there, but I wanted one made of all or almost all solid hardwood (not plywood or particle board).  Also, many mass-market wood play kitchens had pretty mediocre user reviews (flimsy, poorly made, pieces don't fit well together, etc.).  Our play kitchen is Christina's Wooden Play Kitchen by Elves & Angels. If you want a wooden play kitchen with a hutch (shelf above), there are several other wooden play kitchens by Elves & Angels or Willow Toys with one or two shelves above the sink/ stovetop. So many great options!



For us, it was a big-ticket item, but since I purchased it, I've seen several plastic kitchens that cost even more, and don't have any of the quality, aesthetic appeal, and open-ended charm of our wooden play kitchen. It's true you can often find plastic play kitchens at garage sales or on Craig's List for next to nothing, but I personally think most plastic play kitchens look kind of grimy after 6 months, and I also really didn't want to bring an additional 10 pounds of plastic, used or new, into our play room.



Heirloom Wooden Toys also has a lot of great play food and play kitchen accessories. I reviewed one set by Plan Toys in this post. I favor the wooden and fabric variety, particularly because my children tend to put play food right in their mouths, despite my many admonitions not to ("Just pretend to eat it!").

To keep our play kitchen always exciting, I rotate our play food and play dishes every couple of months (when I rotate most of my kids' toys). You can read all about our favorite play food and play kitchen accessories and where we have purchased them in this post.

What is your child's favorite toy for pretend play?


Related Posts

Favorite Sources for Play Food and Dishes
Gifts that Encourage a Child's Sense of Wonder About Nature
Worth Saving for the Grandkids: Colorful Wooden Blocks by Grimms
Upcycled Toys: Boxes with Slots

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8 comments:

  1. That's a beautiful kitchen! :-) We have a plastic yard sale one right now. It's on the list to replace. Someday... :-)

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  2. Thanks, Michelle. It took me about a year to save up and convince myself to buy it. Like I said above, The Creative Family helped push me over the edge.

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  3. That is GORGEOUS. I really want to DIY one (You've probably seen the million of tutorials on Pinterest) but I highly doubt I'll ever actually take the time to make that happen. I wish we could afford more quality wooden toys - Most of our stuff is secondhand but plastic nonetheless.

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  4. That is a gorgeous kitchen. We had a nice wooden kitchen that was ruined when our basement flooded. We have not had one since and I wonder sometimes if my youngest is missing out, but I can't bring myself to buy another one. Her preschool has a great wooden play kitchen too, so I figure that is enough for now. ;)

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  5. Janine, yep I saw some great DIY ones on that Anna White website. I was going to have my husband make one over the summer, but then he got a job, so I figured we could afford to buy one instead.

    Brenna, that is a really, really sad story. It would be hard for me to buy another one too. I once saw my exact play kitchen on Craig's List, but it was gone in about 30 seconds. But if you watch vigilantly, you might find one there -- just make sure it's REAL wood.

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  6. I love your kitchen! I go back and forth on getting one for our son but I am not sure the cost is worth it when we only have the one child. How long (age) do you find kids play with them until?

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  7. That is an amazing kitchen! I'm sure your kids are having so much fun while playing with it.

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  8. My kids were 2 and 4 when we got it. I think it would work well for as young as 18 months and up to 5 or 6, depending on the child. My 4.5 year old plays with it tons, and it gets regular use from older friends that come over -- but I think it depends on the kids. My sister says her two girls ignored their play kitchen (plastic) after 6 months. I think it helps that we rotate the food and dishes -- keeps it exciting. I'm a big fan of rotating toys to maintain novelty, but I think my kids would play with our kitchen a lot regardless.

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