Choosing toys for children that are both cost-friendly and promote quality learning is tough. Parents want to find pieces that will last a few years and will hold a child’s interest for that amount of time. Bigger play items, such as a play kitchen, can make this process extra tricky.
Easy Ways To Pick Out a Play Kitchen
Picking out a great play kitchen doesn’t have to be too complicated. With many options on the market, we’ve compiled some things to consider when making your next play kitchen purchase.
Set Your Budget
The first thing you will need to do before buying any play kitchen is to set your budget. Play kitchens can range in prices quite a bit with upper-end ones costing roughly $700 and mid-range ones averaging out at around $189.
Ask yourself what you want your child to get out of the product? How long do you expect it to last? What features are important to be included with it? Also, don’t forget to factor in unaccounted for items such as accessories (plates, utensils, etc.)
The next step in finding the perfect play kitchen for your kiddos should be to do some online and word-of-mouth research. Amazon is a great place to check out for customer reviews on a wide variety of play kitchens! Simply filter your search to “Average Customer Review” to see reviews that are of the highest caliber. Keep in mind like all products on Amazon, look at items with a high volume of positive reviews to fairly gauge accuracy.
Another great way to narrow down suggestions for a good play kitchen is by simply talking to other parents. Ask your friends with children what they like about their children’s play kitchen. Teachers and daycare providers are a gold mine for opinions on toys of any kind. Classroom and daycare toys take lots of wear and tear over the years, therefore they should be able to tell you which kitchens will stand the test of time and are the most interactive/educational.
Bells and Whistles
There are some things to think about when settling on your purchase
- Materials – What type of material would work best for your family? Is wood a viable option? Or would plastic be better? Think about things like cleaning the kitchen set, ease of assembly, and if they are pet-friendly. For example, if you have cats that like to scratch wooden surfaces, then wood might not be the best idea.
- Capabilities – Does the kitchen have lights, sounds, and other electronic capabilities? Is there adequate storage for play pots, pans, etc. ? Is it lightweight enough to move or will moving it require a lot of hands?
- Space – Where will the play kitchen be stored in your house? Is there plenty of room in your child’s playroom or bedroom? Kitchen playsets are among some of the bulkier pieces of play equipment, so keep this in mind when you decide to purchase one. They are usually not easy to just move out of the way or tuck into a closet when not in use.
- Play – Is the kitchen age-appropriate? Can your child reach the knobs and other features? Is it large enough for more than one child to play with it at one time? Does the kitchen set promote real-world play that can foster an interest in cooking and preparing meals?
- Style – From farmhouse to restaurant-style, you can find just about any style of kitchen playset out there! This is another thing to consider with your purchase.
Find the Best Deals
Once you have decided what characteristics you are looking for in your play kitchen, the next step is to find one! Many bigger department stores, such as Target and Walmart still send our paper circulars that you can keep an eye on for deals. They can also notify you in their apps of price drops or other savings offers. Club stores such as Costco or Sam’s Club usually have great deals on larger play items and should always be checked into. Likewise, Amazon has similar features and with Prime, shipping is not an issue.
Another option if your budget is small or perhaps you don’t want to spend big money, is to buy a kitchen playset secondhand. In-person or online garage sales are a great place to find these! This is also a good idea if you are unsure how much your child will even play with it.
If you are looking to purchase a higher-end kitchen set, but don’t have the means to purchase it right away then just start a small fund. Tuck away $50 here and there until you have enough saved for this bigger purchase. Additionally, you can always ask friends and family to pitch in for a larger ticket item.
Other Factors To Consider
There are some other things you should think about before bringing home a new kitchen set. One of them is who will be playing with it? Will both boys and girls be playing with it? If so, would a more gender-neutral themed play kitchen be a better option?
Will it be passed down from one sibling to the next or a cousin to a cousin? Investing in a more sturdy kitchen set can save you a lot of time and money in the long run! If there are many kiddos in your home or life, having an heirloom piece can be beneficial. If taken care of properly, many play kitchens will stand the test of time and can last quite a while in the same home.
It might be a good idea to pick up a kitchen playset for a large gift – such as for Christmas or a birthday. They are on the higher end of the toy realm budget, so they make a great addition for occasions of big magnitude. During the holiday season in particular, there are usually great deals on all kinds of toys so this can make even more expensive kitchen playsets more affordable, too.