Classic & Interactive Kitchens
Interactive Kitchens are child-size versions of kitchens, usually with a stovetop, an oven or microwave, and cupboards for storing pots and pans. Plastic versions, usually with electronic sound effects, range in price from $25 to $150. Little Tikes makes several versions such as the Cook n' Grill Kitchen (Compare Prices) and Cookin Sounds Gourmet Kitchen (Buy Direct)(ages 2 and up).
Cook n' Grill Kitchen is a two-sided play environment with a kitchen on one side and a grill on the other. The kitchen side features a coffee pot with disappearing coffee, a magnetic refrigerator door, and a stovetop burner with electronic sounds. The grill side looks like an outdoor patio with siding, a stone patio, a stylish fabric canopy, a picnic table and bench, and flowers to pick. Grill makes electronic starting and cooking sounds. Comes with 27 accessories.
Cookin Sounds Gourmet Kitchen plays electronic sounds like boiling water, sizzling bacon, and popping corn. The stove has light up flames and the sink makes the sound of running water and clinking silverware.
Smaller versions of interactive kitchens by Little Tikes include the Cinnamon and Spice Kitchen (Compare Prices) and the Tender Heart Tea Party Kitchen (Compare Prices), both with electronic sounds and phrases. For younger chefs, there is the Little Tikes DiscoverSounds Kitchen (Compare Prices) (ages 6 to 36 months). Spin the dial for funny sounds and colorful lights. The oven door opens and plays music. The refrigerator is a shape sorter and there is a springy play toaster.
Wooden Kitchen Sets
If you object to electronic toys (and the noise!) and prefer more nostalgic toys, you may want to consider a wooden kitchen set for your budding chef. Although more expensive, these kitchens are very high quality and will last for years, even being passed from one generation to the next. Guidecraft makes a wonderful Kitchenette Center (Compare Prices)(ages 2 and up) with a sink, refrigerator, oven, microwave and stovetop, clock and wireless telephone. Guidecraft also makes a beautiful hand painted Sunflower Kitchen ( Compare Prices)and Refrigerator (Compare Prices)(ages 2 and up), sold separately.
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