Your kids learn from you, so it's not surprising that when they're young, they want to do all things you do - and that's why the toy market is chock full of baby dolls, pint-sized cars, dinging cash registers and (perhaps most popular) play houses and kitchens.
Choosing a play kitchen for your child doesn't have to be as difficult as looking for yours, but it does require some know-how. Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for the perfect kid-sized kitchen.
- Material. Play kitchens generally come in one of two materials: plastic or wood. Those looking for a more portable kitchen should definitely go with a lightweight plastic version; plastic kitchens also tend to have interactive features such as buttons, lights, and sounds. Wooden kitchens, on the other hand, don't have new-fangled bells and whistles, but they are sturdy, durable, classically styled, and destined to become treasured heirlooms.
- Size. Be sure to note both the area in your home the play kitchen will occupy and the number of children to be using it. A single child might not require the larger kitchen several children would share, and a living room corner might require something with a lower profile than a play kitchen for a child's room. Some play kitchens, then, consist of a single, slim, stacked unit; others require a substantial amount of wall space; and still others come in separate pieces, such as a stove and a refrigerator.
- Accessories. Of course, the finishing touch of any well-equipped play kitchen is plastic food and cooking utensils; be sure to consider how many you'll want to store and where you'll store them, as this, too, can affect the size of the play kitchen perfect for your little chefs.