The Best Toddler Play Kitchens That Will Spark A Lifelong Love For Cooking

Cooking up creativity.

The Best Toddler Play Kitchens

by Hannah Carroll |
Updated on

A toddler play kitchen can help children develop their understanding of the world, enhance their fine motor skills and, most importantly, create cherished childhood memories. As parents, we're all too familiar with spending hours in the kitchen - cleaning before cooking, then cleaning again afterwards. And, let's face it, 'fun' isn't a word we typically associate with the experience, but toddler play kitchens have long been regarded as one of the best toys for kids.

As the name suggests, 'pretend play' is when children can mimic real situations, like cooking in a child-friendly environment. This allows the child to imagine themselves in different roles or scenarios, exploring different roles and emotions and fostering creativity, social skills, language development, problem-solving abilities, and emotional regulation.

The best toddler play kitchens at a glance:

The best toddler play kitchen overall: Luxe Wooden Play Kitchen, £160 on John Lewis
The best toddler play kitchen for design: Zara Children's Wooden Play Kitchen, £129.99 on, Zara
Best toddler play kitchen bundle: La Fiamma Grand Kitchen, £320 on Kidly

The great news is, whether you're looking for the best toys for one-year-olds all the way to the best toys for six-year-olds and beyond, a pretend kitchen is a pretty solid choice.

With the increasing popularity of wooden toys, there has been a significant rise in stylish wooden play kitchens. Unlike the garish, brightly coloured plastic ones from our youth, these new options offer a more aesthetically pleasing choice. Win-win.

SHOP: The Best Toddler Play Kitchens

The best toddler play kitchen overall

Luxe Wooden Play KitchenCredit: John Lewis

This is our top pick for the best toddler toy kitchen because look at it - it's beautifully crafted. Designed to ignite imagination and nurture essential skills for your little one, it has realistic details like four rings and dials, a spacious oven, and ample storage, setting the stage for endless culinary adventures. It offers the whole cooking experience, complete with sinks and taps, ensuring hours of immersive play and cherished memories for years.

Customer review: "My toddler loves this! He has not stopped playing with it since we built it. It's the best thing we have bought for him. It is of excellent quality, definitely worth the money, and I definitely recommend this to anyone. The wood is a beautiful colour, and it's really neutral, so it will go in any space. We love it! Very, very happy!"

Pros

  • Wooden
  • Helps develop fine motor skills and hand-to-eye coordination
  • Realistic design
  • Easy to set up
  • This product supports responsible management of the world's forests

Cons

  • Partial assembly is required

The best toddler play kitchen for design

CHILDREN'S WOODEN PLAY KITCHENCredit: Zara
Price: £129.99

www.zara.com

As always, Zara delivers this minimalist design that is perfect if you plan to put the play kitchen in your living room or a shared family space. This mini kitchen has a small footprint and is crafted from wood and painted in neutral colours.

Pros

  • It doesn't require too much space
  • Minimalist design
  • Neutral colours
  • Movable elements

Cons

  • Smaller than others on this list

Best toddler play kitchen bundle

La Fiamma Grand KitchenCredit: Kidly
Price: £333 (was £370)

www.kidly.co.uk

The La Fiamma Grand Kitchen offers everything a child could desire in a toy kitchen, featuring two expansive units packed with accessories. From an oven with an opening front door to a traditional Italian coffee pot, it has all the essentials for imaginative play. With additional features like a wood-fired pizza oven and magnetic wall holder for utensils and knives, this top-of-the-range pick ensures endless entertainment for years.

Pros

  • Includes lots of crockery, utensils and food
  • Double kitchen with pizza oven
  • Moveable parts
  • Accessories can be stored on a magnetic wall holder 

Cons

  • Lots of accessories to keep track of

The best toddler kitchen with accessories

Little Tikes - Wooden Deluxe KitchenCredit: Little Tikes/Amazon

While this isn't the most fashion-forward kitchen, it is packed full of features that your child will inevitably love. This Little Tikes Deluxe Kitchen is made with responsibly sourced materials and is certified by the FSC. The brightly coloured kitchen has lights, sounds, and many accessories.

Customer review: "Really lovely sturdy kitchen! Instructions were clear to follow, and I put it all together in a few hours. My son really loves it, and I can see him enjoying it for many years!"

Pros

  • Made with responsibly sourced materials
  • Light and sound elements
  • Engaging for children

Cons

  • Not as aesthetically pleasing as others

Best interactive toddler play kitchen

 KidKraft Uptown Elite Play Kitchen for KidsCredit: Amazon

This lifelike kitchen from KidKraft has working hobs, a light-up griddle, and realistic sounds that enhance your little one's role-play experience. The removable sink is easy to clean, which is ideal if your little one attempts to create a masterpiece.

Customer review: "I'm so glad I paid that bit extra for this kitchen. You really can see where the extra pounds go. Simple things like colour-coordinated screws make all the difference to its appearance.
The kitchen was easy to assemble and, thankfully, had no stickers to apply.
My 4-year-old absolutely loves it, and I'm sure it will stay a favourite for a long time."

Pros

  • Realistic toy kitchen
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to build

Cons

  • Some customers found that doors were stiff

Best luxury play kitchen for toddlers

Step2 Grand Walk-In Play Kitchen made of woodCredit: Amazon
Price: $479.99
Alternative retailers
Kohl's$479.99View offer
Wayfair$479.99View offer
Walmart$685.47View offer

When it comes to play kitchens, this one really takes the cake. This showstopping walk-in play kitchen is crafted from wood and has a realistic, modern design. It can be used indoors and outdoors, but be warned, you will need a little space for this huge kids' play kitchen. Sure to be a hit with kids of all ages.

Customer review: "Overall, the play kitchen is excellent. It is very solid once assembled and should survive several years of heavy play. Assembly took 12 hours due to the number of pieces. At least 50% of the assembly time was spent searching for the next piece(s) needed. All pieces are supposed to be labelled with numbered stickers for reference, but approximately 10 per cent of the stickers had fallen off their respective part. So, a bit of sleuth work may be required. Assembly instructions resemble those found with IKEA furniture. The only tools required are a screwdriver plus what is included in the box."

Pros

  • It comes with a 15-piece accessory set
  • Oversized buttons
  • Large kitchen perfect for multiple children

Cons

  • Requires a lot of space

Best toddler play kitchen for multiple children

Cooker ReversoCredit: Janod/ Kidly
Price: £133 (Was £190)

www.kidly.co.uk

This double-sided play kitchen is perfect for multiple children. It has a unique child-approved design, which has features on both sides of the kitchen. We love the vintage geometric patterns that give this kitchen a retro feel.

Customer review: "A very well-made toy, it takes about an hour to assemble, and overall, we are pleased with the product. Our only gripe is that one piece of the construction had been packed without the inclusion of two nylon bushes with which to screw the parts together. In the end, I had to remove one from another section which resulted in two sections being held by three rather than four screws; not the end of the world but disappointing."

Pros

  • Two-sided kitchen with cooker and washing machine
  • It is great for two kids to play at once
  • It includes a frying pan, saucepan, colander, spatula, spoons and oven gloves
  • Modern design

Cons

  • Batteries not included

FAQs

Is a wooden or plastic play kitchen better?

We advocate for sustainable materials when it comes to kids' toys, and for this reason, we would opt for a wooden play kitchen. Wooden kitchens are often more durable, aesthetically pleasing, and eco-friendly. However, they can be more expensive. Plastic kitchens are typically lighter, easier to clean, and come at a lower cost. This is a judgement-free zone - so consider which option best suits your child and your household.

How do I choose a toddler play kitchen?

When choosing a toddler play kitchen, there are a few things to consider:

Space - Consider the size and design of the kitchen to ensure it fits well in your home and allows for easy access and play.

Your child's age - Look for kitchens with appropriate features and accessories that will engage your child's imagination and promote learning through play. Always check the specifications to ensure the play kitchen is suitable for your child's age. The best toys for two-year-olds will not be as engaging for an older child.

Materials - Consider the quality and durability of the materials used to ensure a long-lasting and enjoyable play experience.

Hannah Carroll is a Parenting, Lifestyle and Home Product writer for Grazia, specialising in product testing and reviews. With three children, Hannah loves testing the latest industry products on her own family.

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