Little Chefs: Top 10 Kitchen Sets for Young Cooks



ยท 5 min read
Cooking Up Fun: Best Play Kitchens for Kids

Photo by Kampus Production


Teaching kids basic cooking skills at a young age provides many benefits. Allowing kids to gain confidence in the kitchen can encourage them to be more adventurous with foods, teach them about nutrition, and even get them interested in trying new foods. Kitchen playsets designed for kids are a great way to let them start exploring cooking in a safe environment.

This guide will provide an overview of the top 10 kitchen sets for young children. The focus is on products that offer realistic cooking experiences while ensuring safety and durability. We'll highlight features of each kitchen set and how they can be used to teach basic skills like following recipes, measuring ingredients, and more. With the right kitchen set, parents can encourage family bonding through play while instilling valuable real-world skills.

#1 Melissa & Doug Chef's Kitchen

The Melissa & Doug Chef's Kitchen is a top choice for aspiring young cooks. This realistic wooden playset includes features like a fridge, oven, and working doors and knobs. It provides a lifelike cooking experience to let kids roleplay real chefs.

With its classic wooden design, the Melissa & Doug Chef's Kitchen encourages open-ended pretend play. Kids can cook up imaginations meals using the sink, oven, and fridge. There's plenty of counter space for food preparation. The set also includes plastic play food and kitchen accessories.

Reviewers on Amazon praise the high quality and durability of this playset. They mention it holds up well to enthusiastic play. Parents say it provides hours of entertainment for kids ages 3 and up. They like that multiple children can play together at the spacious kitchen. This makes it a great option for classrooms and daycares too.

According to the manufacturer's site, the Chef's Kitchen is made of wood, has a classic espresso and white color scheme, and assembles easily. At 28" x 14.5" x 42.25", it's a good size for preschoolers and up. With its combination of realism and versatility, the Melissa & Doug Chef's Kitchen engages kids in learning through pretend play.


#2 Step2 Ultimate Cook Kitchen

The Step2 Ultimate Cook Kitchen is a top choice for inspiring young chefs. This play kitchen set comes with over 60 accessories, providing endless opportunities for pretend play. Kids can cook up a storm with the realistic oven, stove, microwave, fridge, and sink. Accessories like pots, pans, utensils, play food, and more allow children to replicate the actions of cooking and serving food.

Reviewers on Amazon say the Ultimate Cook Kitchen keeps kids engaged for hours on end. One customer said "There is plenty of room for both of them to play together. The plastic is sturdy and the assembly wasn't difficult at all. It comes with a basic set of play food, pots, pans, etc." [1]With so many pieces, this play kitchen set promotes interactive and imaginative play.

#3 Kidkraft Vintage Kitchen

The Kidkraft Vintage Kitchen is a charming retro-style set modeled after a 1950s kitchen. This sturdy wooden playset has an old-fashioned look with details like ornamental knobs, a rotary phone, and decorative curtains over the sink window.

Kidkraft designed this vintage kitchen with attention to realism and quality. It has metal hooks for hanging utensils, storage bins for pretend ingredients, and appliance pieces like a microwave and oven. The faucet actually pumps water for interactive sink play.

This creatively-designed toy kitchen encourages imaginative play as kids pretend to cook full meals. The retro styling adds roleplaying fun. Kids can act out what it was like to cook in Grandma's kitchen! This set is sized for children 3-8 years old.

With its nostalgic charm and sturdy wooden construction, the Kidkraft Vintage Kitchen makes an engaging gift for kids who love to play chef. It can provide hours of quality pretend play.


#4 Little Tikes Cook 'n Grow Kitchen

The Little Tikes Cook 'n Grow Kitchen is an excellent choice for young chefs of different ages and heights. This play kitchen features an adjustable height that can be set to 2 feet for toddlers or 4 feet for older kids up to 5 years old. The height adjusts easily by moving the stove and sink units up or down on the frame.

This adaptability makes it a long-lasting toy that can grow with your child. Shorter kids can play safely without having to reach too high, while taller kids will enjoy having a realistically sized play kitchen. According to one review, "I was so happy to find the Little Tikes Cook 'n Grow Kitchen which is perfect for my toddler. I couldn't wait to put it together. It was very simple to assemble..."

The Cook 'n Grow Kitchen comes equipped with all the essential play food, pots, pans, and realistic electronic cooking sounds. The set includes over 25 accessories to ignite your child's imagination. With sturdy construction and engaging details like lights, sounds, and turning knobs, this adjustable kitchen will provide years of cooking fun.

#5 Hape Wooden Kitchen

The Hape Wooden Kitchen is handcrafted from quality beechwood and designed to withstand heavy usage from little chefs. Hape prioritizes safe and eco-friendly manufacturing, using water-based paints and child-safe finishes.

This kitchen set features a realistic gas stove top with clicking control knobs, as well as an oven, sink, and refrigerator. The set also includes over 20 accessories like pots, pans, utensils, and play food. Everything stores neatly inside or on the kitchen unit's hooks.

Reviewers on Amazon emphasize the high-quality real wood construction and attractive color palette of this Hape kitchen [1]. They mention that it takes some assembly but the finished product is very sturdy. Many note their toddlers love playing with the sink and pretend cooking accessories.

The Hape Wooden Kitchen measures 33.5 x 14.2 x 41.3 inches and is recommended for kids 3 years and up. It offers versatile, open-ended pretend play opportunities to boost creativity and imagination.

#6 Teamson Kids Chef Kitchen

The Teamson Kids Chef Kitchen offers a colorful and engaging design that will capture any child's imagination. This playset features a retro-style white cabinet with accents of bright red, blue, green, and yellow on the oven, sink, refrigerator, and other appliances. According to one Amazon reviewer, "The modern clean design is ideal for the minimalists."

With realistic lights and sounds, this kitchen brings pretend play to life. As described on the Teamson website, it even has "a pretend ice maker" to inspire creative roleplay. The vibrant color accents add a fun, child-friendly element while the white cabinetry gives it a clean, sophisticated look.

For children who love to emulate real-world cooking, the Teamson Kids Chef Kitchen offers an engaging balance of realism and imagination. With its playful design and interactive features, this toy kitchen set stands out as a top choice for pretend chefs ages 3 and up.

#7 KidKraft Ultimate Corner Kitchen

The KidKraft Ultimate Corner Kitchen is designed to fit perfectly in a corner, maximizing play space. Its L-shaped layout features a sink on one side and a stove, oven, and fridge on the other side. This spacious setup allows multiple children to play together, promoting social skills, cooperation, and imaginative play.

The KidKraft kitchen includes many realistic features like knobs that click, doors that open, a faucet that turns, and a cordless phone. These elements encourage roleplaying as chef, parent, or restaurant worker. As children pretend to cook meals, talk on the phone, or wash dishes, they build creativity, problem-solving, and language abilities.

Studies show that imaginative play builds skills like self-regulation, perspective-taking, and social competence. The KidKraft Corner Kitchen facilitates this beneficial play by providing a large, versatile setup for multi-child dramatic play.

With sturdy wood construction and kid-safe materials, this corner kitchen is made to last through years of childhood fun. The neutral color scheme fits most decor styles. Designed for kids ages 3 and up, the KidKraft Ultimate Corner Kitchen encourages interactive, imagination-driven play essential for development.

#8 Little Tikes Super Chef Kitchen

The Little Tikes Super Chef Kitchen is an excellent choice for young aspiring chefs who want a highly interactive play kitchen. This model features numerous electronic features that bring the play kitchen experience to life.

One of the standout aspects of the Super Chef Kitchen is the 30+ interactive sounds and phrases that help guide children through the cooking process. Kids will hear fun voices and sound effects for different play food items and kitchen tools. There are even phrases to encourage roleplay conversations between the child chef and imaginary customers.

This play kitchen also has cooktop lights and burner sounds to simulate the experience of cooking on a real stovetop. The oven playfully announces when it's preheated and ready for baking. There's also a working microwave with flashing lights and authentic microwave sounds.

For added interactivity, the sink faucet actually pumps water, and the refrigerator and freezer doors open with sensor lights and sounds. With so many interactive elements, the Little Tikes Super Chef Kitchen makes imaginative play feel wonderfully real for little chefs.

According to one reviewer on Amazon, "This kitchen has it all! My daughter loves that the sink actually pumps water, the oven beeps when ready, and the microwave makes noises. Definitely worth the money for all the interactive features."

#9 IKEA Duktig

The IKEA Duktig play kitchen is a fantastic budget-friendly option for families. This simple birch wood kitchen set includes a sink, oven, cabinets, and accessories like pots, pans, and "food" items. Despite the low cost, it offers plenty of realistic play opportunities.

Reviewers praise the IKEA Duktig for its classic, minimalist design that fits well in modern homes. It's made from solid wood rather than plastic, giving it a premium feel. The compact size also makes it easy to fit in small spaces. IKEAsells additional accessories like a toy grill and utensil set to expand the play kitchen over time.

While it lacks some bells and whistles of pricier kitchens, parents say the IKEA Duktig keeps kids entertained for hours. The affordable price point allows families to invest in multiple accessories and play food items. For those wanting a basic, durable play kitchen on a budget, the IKEA Duktig is a top choice.


Overall, there are many excellent kitchen playsets on the market that allow kids to engage in imaginative and educational cooking play. The top picks provide a balance of realistic features, safety, durability, and affordability. When choosing the right kitchen set, consider your child's age, interests, the amount of space you have, and any specific features that are important like modern or vintage aesthetics.

Some of the key factors to evaluate include:

  • Realistic Materials: Look for kitchens made from wood, metal, and plastic for an authentic cooking experience.
  • Safety: Ensure there are no small detachable pieces that could pose a choking hazard for little ones.
  • Durability: Opt for sturdy construction from quality materials built to withstand active play.
  • Accessories: More accessories like play food, pots, pans, and utensils enrich the experience.
  • Storage: Kitchens with cabinets, shelves, and other storage help kids stay organized.
  • Size: Make sure the dimensions fit your space and suit your child's height.

While plastic kitchens tend to be more affordable, wood sets provide a more upscale, realistic option. Look for play food that replicates the textures and shapes of real ingredients. No matter which set you choose, the bonding and development benefits of cooking together as a family are invaluable.


About Maria

Maria is not just a contributor to NowKiddy; she's also a devoted mother who has personally navigated the joys and challenges of parenting. With three children raised under her attentive guidance, she has amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge ...

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