A play kitchen can become the centerpiece of your child's play room. These toys lend themselves well to imaginative play while also teaching children valuable skills, from fine and gross motor skills to measuring and problem solving. A play kitchen is an investment that can be played with by multiple children across several generations. The following can help you choose the best kitchen for your little ones.
Tip #1: Check for age range
Play kitchens tend to come in two overarching age ranges – those for young toddlers and early preschoolers, and those aimed at late preschool to early elementary age. The main differences are going to be height of the kitchen and the amount of interactive details. For example, kitchens aimed at younger children usually have only a door and a few knobs to turn. The kitchen is set low so that they can easily reach everything. Those aimed at older children contain more moving parts, including knobs, faucets, multiple storage units, and even windows. The units are taller, so they are sized more appropriately to older kids.
Tip #2: Consider your material options
The two material choices for play kitchens are wood and plastic. The main draw of plastic is that it is easy to clean, but it also doesn't have the classic feel and touch of a wood kitchen. A benefit of wood is that it is durable and looks good enough to keep in the kitchen or living room. Wood is the way to go if you want the play kitchen to last through multiple children or if you plan to pass it down to grandchildren some day. Wood can be cleaned with a damp rag or a small amount of disinfectant. An added benefit is that major damage can be sanded away.
Tip #3: Look for easy care details
There are a few details that make a kitchen much easier to maintain. First and foremost, the sink on a play kitchen is often the most used area, and don't be surprised if your little one tries to pour actual food into it. Opt for models with removable sinks, either plastic or stainless steel, so that you can run them through the dishwasher as needed. Ornate carvings or details can be a cleaning nightmare, since dirt can get into them, so choose kitchens with simple lines for an easy wipe down. Finally, it's also helpful if all the shelves are removable so you can easily clean them when needed.
Contact a manufacturer of wooden play kitchens for more help on choosing the perfect play kitchen.