9 best kids’ play kitchens that your little chef will love

Rebecca Moore
·10 min read
These toys benefit kids’ development, dexterity and imagination (The Independent )
These toys benefit kids’ development, dexterity and imagination (The Independent )

Having children means you’re almost destined to have a toy kitchen reside in your family home at some point.

But as toys go, there’s no denying that the humble toy kitchen has become one of the most stylish toys on the market.

Great for a child’s development, imagination and dexterity, a well put together toy kitchen can hold children's attention for hours on end, and it’s lovely to watch children enrol in some creative roleplay.

While you’ll struggle to find one under £50, see this as an investment, with the majority on the market made from wood, toy kitchens are designed to last the early years, and even passed on to siblings.

Some come with accessories aplenty, while some are stark but it’s almost always necessary to purchase some additional so bear that in mind when purchasing.

However, by refreshing accessories occasionally it’ll make the play kitchen seem like a whole new toy.

We tested these toy kitchens with a three year old and a four year old, over the course of two weeks.

Looking out for child playability such as clicking oven knobs and moveable sink taps, size – a taller kitchen will last that bit longer, design and quality (here’s looking at you sebra kitchen).

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent.

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Tidlo country play kitchen

A toy kitchen with a Belfast sink? Yes, that’s right. We love the level of imaginative detail that has gone into this play kitchen making it the most lifelike of all those we tested; coming with five oven/hob knobs each labelled to mimic a real working oven with temperatures and hob indication – they all make that fun clicking sound too, which kids don’t tire of.

Made from high quality and responsibly sourced materials this product is one of the sturdiest on the market, but they’ve thoughtfully incorporated side carry handles which makes it easier to move from room to room. Due to the taller work surface and size of this kitchen there’s years of play in the product and two chefs can use this comfortably without getting in each other’s way, and that’s scored real kudos with us.

There’s also a storage cupboard, utensil shelves and a clock with moveable hands, plus you’ll also get three utensils which can be easily slotted away in the shelf above the hob, the plastic sink bowl can be removed if required, and there’s also salt and pepper shakers and pretend washing up liquid. No stone has been left unturned with this beautifully made and well-designed kitchen, even the instructions were clear to follow and took us roughly an hour to complete.

Buy now £129.99, BigJigs Toys

Wooden table top play kitchen

JoJo Maman Bebe has a wonderful selection of role play toys, and we think this wooden table top play kitchen is a real show stopper. Small but mighty, it features everything your budding chef would expect to find in their kitchen. You’ll find two hobs with cooker dials that make a clicking sound as you turn them, an off and on switch, alongside some a pot and pan set and a hanging clock, fork, spoon and spatula, there’s also a handy blackboard which can be scribbled on – alleviating the need to really buy any additional accessories.

But the best bit? It all packs away so neatly, by taking down the back wall and slotting it into the grooves, it becomes a handy carry case. For an extra £7 have this engraved for a really unique play kitchen.

Buy now £35.00, JoJo Maman Bebe

Little chef wooden play kitchen

This kitchen has all the ingredients for an afternoon of roleplaying. A fully fledged kitchen, there’s a hob complete with clicking turning knobs, a sink with twisting taps, and an opening microwave and oven, you’ll also receive a few accessories too; a pot, pan, three utensils and even salt and pepper shakers – all for under £50.

The assembly was also very straightforward taking just shy of 45 minutes, with easy-to-follow instructions and clearly labelled components. Design wise, we love the oval worktop and pillar box red doors.

Buy now £49.99, Smyths Toys

Wooden foldaway kitchen

If you’re lacking in space this nifty kitchen from Asda may be just the answer; simply fold down the hob and sink panel and tuck it away when not in use and then back up again when play is ready to resume. The design of this is super sleek and the pale pastel colours are wonderfully gender neutral.

A lot of detail has gone into this kitchen, little chefs can twist the two knobs which make a clicking sound and it’s large enough for two to play together. The taps also turn and the sink can be removed. It was super simple to put together, taking just 10 minutes, with all instructions and parts being clear to follow.

Buy now £50.00, George Home at Asda

Djeco Leo’s cooker

This brightly-coloured small kitchen from French brand Djeco is fun and imaginative and suitable for girls and boys alike. There’s no need to buy additional accessories with this toy kitchen as it comes equipped with a saucepan with lid and a frying pan, wooden spoon and spatula with built-in magnets, cute bird-shaped salt and pepper pots and even a tea towel to put on the rail – play really is the order of the day.

The three knobs twist with ease, as do the taps but it would be favourable if these could make a clicking sound. Construction was pretty easy too taking less than 20 minutes as the pieces were clearly labelled.

Buy now £69.98, Tickety – Boo

Sebra kitchen

Style-conscious parents may want this kitchen more than their children, as the curved design is super cool and modern and looks great in any space… even your own adult kitchen! Danish kids interior brand Sebra design quality furniture, textiles and toys for little ones with Scandinavian simplicity, and the craftmanship is second to none too, which is well demonstrated in this toy kitchen.

There’s an oven – which has a magnetic closing – two hobs with twisting knobs that click, and a removable sink with moveable taps for children to get stuck into. Made from natural coloured and painted plywood, assembly is a doddle as you simply screw the legs into place and add the tap, which took us less than five minutes.

Buy now £179.00, Kidly

Cam Cam Copenhagen play kitchen

If you’re looking for a sustainable choice, then say hello to this play kitchen from Danish kids’ brand Cam Cam Copenhagen. Made in Europe, everything you see from this toy kitchen is made from sustainable wood, bar the removable metal sink, while the curtain is GOTS-certified organic cotton – even the paint is VOC-free, which at first has quite a strong smell but that soon goes.

Consisting of a magnetic closing oven, two hot plates, a metal sink, plus there’s plenty of space for additional accessories with storage room behind the cute curtain, and four hooks to hang utensils from.

Given the price tag of this kitchen it would add value to include some pots and pans to complete it, but it’s certainly big enough for two children to play together. There are three turnable knobs, but make sure you don’t screw those too tightly! In terms of assembly, we’d recommend putting aside a bit of time as they were a little complicated, taking us 90 minutes to assemble. You can’t fault the sustainability of this kitchen, designed to stand the test of time and look oh-so-good doing so.

Buy now £189.95, Scandiborn

Plum discovery mud pie kitchen

Who said kitchens have to be inside? A mud kitchen is a wonderful way to get children involved in the environment, and there’s no better example than this solid wood kitchen. We love how creative little ones can get with this, and there’s certainly enough room for two or three to play comfortably. It comes with five colourful paint brush pens, so little artists can paint on the easy-clean painting screen, a metal sink for all of your mud pie mixing desires, alongside three pots and pans and cooking utensils, a gardening set and three planters – and even a separate wooden planter box to grow your own, no stone has been left unturned. While it took us two and a half hours to put together following the clear instructions, we were thrilled with the result of this sturdy piece of kit made from FSC certified timber. We love the built-in step at the back to allow smaller ones to paint their finest flowers, or colourful scribbles! Our four-year-old tester has become quite the green fingered queen of the garden, thanks to this kitchen.

Buy now £184.95, Scandiborn

Personalised grey play kitchen

The king of personalisation My 1st Years, has found a way to make its first kitchen extra special by offering a free personalisation service allowing you to add two lines of text, such as “Poppy’s kitchen” or “chef Remy”. This small wooden kitchen comes with a wooden saucepan, wooden spoon and fork, the utensils slot into an elasticated slot which is great for keeping them in place.

The three oven knobs each make a fun clicking noise, and the sink taps can be twisted too, as can the arms of the clock. We cheated and opted for the pre-assembled option which costs an additional £10, but there is the choice to receive this flat packed if you fancy the challenge. The colours are gender neutral and look stylish and it is finished to a good standard.

Buy now £100.00, My 1st Years

Cook ‘n Learn smart kitchen

If it was up to the kids this would definitely be their choice. This kitchen really does come to life, responding to actions and by using the included accessories maximising the playtime as it holds kids’ attention longer than any other we tested. Technology heavy, there’s plenty of fun sound effects too, such as sizzling when pan or pot is on the hob, or chopping noises when food is on the chopping board, there’s even a flowing water effect when the sink tap is on – and like a real oven the light comes on when the door is open! But the play really comes to life when you add an iPad or tablet, simply download the free Cook ‘n Learn app, connect through Bluetooth and choose between four modes of play and learning with free play, games, recipes and music – while the kids loved this feature we did feel that this does take away an element of imagination and role play.

This added feature isn’t necessarily needed though as the kitchen comes with a whopping 40 accessories, with everything from pans, plates and cups to homegrown veg so there’s really no need for any additional purchases. While this is made of plastic it’s been tastefully designed and feels very robust, and there’s plenty of room for two children to play together. You’ll need to buy four AA batteries, and the construction took us around 90 minutes but was clear to follow, be prepared for the stickers to be a little fiddly and make sure you get them right as there’s no unsticking them!

Buy now £149.99, Little Tikes

The verdict: Kids’ play kitchens

The tidlo country play kitchen not only looks good on the eye, but allows for hours of imaginative play for two children comfortably – we love that it's that bit taller to offer longevity while being incredibly child friendly.

If you’re after something equally entertaining for the kids, check out our round-up of best kids’ playhouses or best remote control toys