If you’re at the stage where your little one LOVES to copy Mummy or Daddy doing the cooking, you might just want to invest in a toy kitchen (not least because, otherwise, your fave pots and pans could find themselves going walkies ?).
To help you decide what to buy, here’s our pick of some of the best play kitchens out there…
GOLD winner, Best Toy For Pretend Play, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards
What it is: This wooden mud kitchen has an oven with opening door, removable splash tub, refillable butt and tap. Also included are some stainless steel pots and pans and a mixing whisk. It takes around 1 hour to assemble. Dimensions: 108cm x 43cm x 369cm.
Why we love it: If your kids like mixing mud – this kitchen is brilliant. It wipes down easily and looks lovely and clean even after being covered in dirt. Child judges for our toy awards loved the water dispenser in particular, and the fact that it came with a set of pots and pans was a bonus for many, too.
Available from: John Lewis and Pramworld
BRONZE winner, Best Toy For Pretend Play, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards
What it is: It has a window box, which has carrots and onions it, plus there’s a cutting board and wooden knife, fridge with ice maker that dispenses fake cubes, 2 storage crates and a chalkboard. Assembly required. Dimensions: 110cm x 109cm x 69cm.
Why we love it: Child judges at our toy awards loved the sink in particular, as the tap lights up. The cook-top also lights up and makes a sound. Parents said their kids were kept amused for hours playing with it.
Available from: KidKraft
What is it? A compact kitchen with a pull-out counter for serving. It includes an oven, stovetop, cabinet, rotating dials and a sink. You can choose it in red, black or grey. Dimensions: H94.1 x W30 x D96.5cm.
Why we love it: The chalkboard to write a shopping list or a menu on is a lot of fun – as is the fact that it’s a cafe as well as a kitchen! It’s like two role play toys in one.
Available from: Argos
What is it? A small cottage-style wooden number, with play oven, cupboard, drawers, shelf, sink and hob. Comes with a floral apron and tea towel. Dimensions: 85cm (H) x 72cm (W) x 22cm (D)
Why we love it: This kitchen is great for smaller tots. It’s not as high as some of the others, so even really little ones will be able to reach the hob and drawers. Cute as!
Available from: Jojo Maman Bebe
What is it? A very stylish retro number, with play washing machine, oven, dishwasher, microwave, sink, hob, clock, cupboard and shelves. Comes with 11 accessories including a basket and pots and pans. Dimensions: 104cm (H) x 99cm (W) x 33.5cm (D).
Why we love it: If you’re not restricted for money and space, we think this Little Tikes number will be a HUGE hit. It hs lovely chunky knobs to twiddle, and a really substantial play area for hours of making like Bake Off.
Available from: Little Tikes, Amazon and Very
What is it? Sturdy wooden kitchen, with play oven, sink and hob. Comes with 9 accessories, including a frying pan and kettle. Dimensions: 76cm (H) x 50cm (W) x 30cm (D).
Why we love it: This nifty little unit has the most lovely accessories – we particularly like the tea towel and salt and pepper set. And we really rate the bold black and red 80s colour scheme. Great fun for your child and beautiful to have in your house.
Available from: Big Jigs, The Toy Centre and Amazon
What is it? A brightly coloured kitchen and breakfast counter with extractor fan hood, oven, fridge, double hob, sink, washing machine and hotplate. Comes with 19 accessories and needs 3 AAA batteries. Dimensions: 110cm (H) x 118m (W) x 34.5cm (D).
Why we love it: This is a great-value kitchen, considering all the details and extras you get. And the switch-on-and-off lights over the breakfast bar are genuinely storming small-person-pleasing touch.
Available from: Smyths Toys
What is it? A bigger-sized kitchen, with play fridge, freezer, chalkboard, oven, washing machine, microwave, storage shelf, a sink, double hob, and 5 clicking control dials. Dimensions: 91.5cm (H) x 80cm (W) x 26cm (D).
Why we love it: If you’ve got the room, and you want to get plenty of bang for your buck, we think this grown-up looking kitchen could be just the ticket (although you’ll need to supply your own accessories). We really like the ice dispenser that actually dispenses (play) ice.
Available from: Argos
What is it? A compact, minimalist-look kitchen with play oven, sink, hob and microwave. Dimensions: 109cm (H) x 40cm (D) x 72 cm(W) and needs 4 AA batteries.
Why we love it: The best thing about this no-frills play kitchen is that the hob has lights you can switch on (and off) to make the rings glow as though they’re getting hot like the rings on a real cooker do. We also like the height-adjustable legs, so that the kitchen can ‘grow’ with your child.
Available from: Ikea
Age: 24 months +
What is it? This kitchen and restaurant comes with over 30 accessories – including a coffee maker, a waffle maker, play food, pans and spatulas. Dimensions: Height 102cm x Length 120cm x Width 36cm.
Why we love it: Not only is it a kitchen, but there’s an area to sit and eat as well. And, as the chef, your little one can make a lot of things – pizza, waffles, burgers and eggs, to name a few. This role play toy should keep little ones entertained for a long time!
Available from: Little Tikes
Age: 3 +
What is it? A compact wooden cooker that includes clicking dials, hob details, and a removable oven tray. Dimensions: 35 x 40 x 54 cm.
Why we love it: This little cooker is great for small spaces – it even has carry handles so you can easily move it from room to room. We love that it can be used as a little cooking toy, or you can build on it with more from the Tidlo collection – you can also get a wooden sink, a fridge, a microwave, and even a washing machine.
Available from: BigJigs
Age: 3 +
What is it? A foldable, mini play kitchen that comes with seven wooden accessories including saucepans, frying pans and salt and pepper sets. Dimensions: W 32cm x H 28cm x D 26.5cm.
Why we love it: This stylish toy is the perfect space-saving alternative to a big play kitchen. We love how portable it is – when your little one is finished playing, this little kitchen folds right up. You can have fun with it at home, take it outside, or even to the beach to make sand cakes.
Available from: Kidly and The Hut
Age: 3 +
What is it? This wooden kitchen has 4 hotplates, turnable knobs, an oven with window, a water tap and sink, and a kitchen cupboard with a curtain. Dimensions: W 60cm x D 34.5cm x H 74.5cm.
Why we love it: This pretty kitchen by Flexa is super stylish. We love the little knobs that your little one can hang pans and spoons from – or even little signs or menus.
Available from: Nubie and Junior World
Age: 3 +
What is it? Painted in gender neutral colours this classic role play toy includes a sink, hob, oven with opening door, and all the utensils required to cook up a feast. Dimensions: W37.4cm x H69.3cm x D25.2cm
Why we love it: Not only does it come with all the usual accessories – pots and pans and spatulas, and so on – but it also features a sweet little kitchen clock that children can practice learning how to tell the time with. We love that it’s really compact, but also full of fun features.
Available from: Amazon, Crafts 4 Kids and Smallable