Play kitchens and accessories are perfect for inspiring imaginative and creative play for toddlers and kids ages 2-6 year old and beyond. In this guide, you will find our recommendations on how to choose the best toy kitchens and play kitchen accessories for your budget, space, and style. 

Graphic for post - buying guide: best play kitchens, great for kids 2-6 years old.

Reviewed and co-written by Lauren Braaten, Pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT).

Guide to Toy Kitchens

Looking for a play activity that provides countless hours of fun and opportunities for development?

Consider a play kitchen!

Play kitchens provide the perfect set-up to help toddlers and little kids develop and expand imaginary play, build social-emotional skills and vocabulary, learn life skills, and practice problem-solving.  Although ages 2-6 years will usually get the most benefit out of play kitchens, even younger toddlers 12-18 months and kids 7+ years seem to gravitate towards playing with a toy kitchen. There’s just something about a smaller version of a grown-up space, made especially for kids, that gives play kitchens a fun and magical feel all their own.

When deciding on a play kitchen, there are a few things you’ll want to consider: size, cost, colors and style, and specific features are all items we’ll provide feedback on below. Two things we especially love about play kitchens compared to many other large item toys are their overall durability and variety of play ideas that grow with your child as they develop and expand their skills.  Dare we say an added bonus is that play kitchens can give us a few hot minutes to get dinner going with fewer distractions? (Anyone else try getting a meal made with a screaming toddler wrapped around their leg? Anyone?)

Let’s also talk for a quick second about HOW. CUTE. all of these play kitchens are?

Toy kitchens have come a long way from clunky, plastic-only, and minimal features to stylish, sustainable, and gender-neutral color palettes that provide multiple ways to play. You just might find yourself wanting to hang out in play kitchen-land, whipping up a delicious pretend meal with your little ones more often than you thought.

Reasons to Love these Kitchen Play Sets

  • Durable – many on our list are made of wood construction and wood-based materials
  • Gender-neutral color palettes and designs
  • Countless options for Imaginative play – the kind of play that fosters skills such as creativity, cognitive flexibility, self-regulation, and problem solving
  • Gives kids a chance to become familiar with real-life kitchen skills in a safe setting
  • Encourages vocabulary and social interactions
  • Provides picky eaters with opportunities for food play in a non-pressuring way
  • Ability to grow with your child for many years – some are even height adjustable!

Best Play Kitchens

Best Wooden Play Kitchen: Pottery Barn Kids Charlie Kitchen Collection

Best Budget Kitchen: Kidkraft Happy Harvest Wooden Play Kitchen

Best Splurge: Milton & Goose Essential Play Kitchen

Best Modern Style: West Elm Mid-Century Play Kitchen

Best for Small Spaces: Mini Chef Kitchenette

Best Farm to Table: KidKraft Wooden Farm to Table Play Kitchen

Most Versatile Kitchen: KidKraft WONDERVAN

Best Overall Kitchen Accessories: KidKraft 115-Piece Deluxe Tasty Treats Food Set

What to Look for in a Play Kitchen

  • How big (or small) is it? – Depending on the size, layout of your home, and where you plan to keep it, the size of the play kitchen will likely be one of the most important things you’ll need to consider before buying. In addition to the overall size of the toy kitchen, make sure to check the height of the countertop and and any shelves. While most toddlers will be able to “grow” into a slightly taller kitchen, a good rule of thumb for an appropriate countertop height would be a measurement that’s somewhere between the height of your child’s waist and hips.
  • Style and colors – do you want a wooden play kitchen with a neutral based color palette or a play kitchen that has pops of color throughout? Is it important that it blends in with the rest of your home’s décor?
  • Cost – the great thing is that there’s a variety of price points when it comes to play kitchens, but keep in mind that higher quality items, such as wooden play kitchens, will last longer. Higher quality kitchens will also have the ability to be passed down to family, friends, or sold second hand.
  • Specific features – although almost all play kitchens include the basics of a sink, stove, oven and fridge, you may want to consider looking for one that includes specific features from your own kitchen, or features that your child particularly enjoys. Microwave? Ice maker? Extra cupboard space? Chalkboard for grocery lists? Chances are you’ll be able to find a model that fits your needs.


  • Plan ahead for assembly time – all toy kitchens are going to require at least 2-3 hours to put together, so don’t put off the assembly until the night before Christmas.
  • Consider adding an anti tip kit for safe play – depending on the height of the play kitchen you purchase and the age of your child.
  • Spark their interest with new play themes – as your child grows, so will their play schemes. Making a birthday cake for a stuffed animal, playing coffee shop, or encouraging older kids to write out a recipe are all ways to help a play kitchen feel new again. Or add a couple new play kitchen accessories to inspire your child to get cooking! (pun totally intended).
  • Use the ideas your child makes during play as a transition to help you with real-life tasks in the kitchen. They just might be more willing to help you sprinkle those veggies on a homemade pizza after you’ve reminded them of their own play kitchen creations.

Kidkraft Play Kitchens

If you are looking for a fun and whimsical play kitchen at a decent price, then look no further than KidKraft! KidKraft makes an adorable play kitchen that will last for years! Below you will find 3 of our favorites, but we couldn’t not tell you about some of our other top play kitchen sets from KidKraft that we are loving right now – Happy Harvest Play Kitchen, Modern White Play Kitchen, or the Terrance Garden Play Kitchen.

Ikea Play Kitchen

It’s a classic! And at a great price! We gave this play kitchen the Most Versatile because if you are into DIY then this play kitchen is a good pick for you. There are thousands of ideas on how to up-grade this basic kitchen to any theme or magical experience your child prefers.

Wooden Play Kitchens

In addition to being a sturdy and environmentally friendly option, the quality and longevity of wooden play kitchens mean that they can be passed down from generation to generation. Here are some of our top picks for wooden play kitchens that look like a piece of art AND function as your child’s favorite play activity.

More Favorite Toy Kitchens

Play Kitchen Accessories

And of course, no play kitchen is complete without accessories. Play kitchen accessories are perfect for helping your child expand on imaginary play themes. Simply using accessories in a different way or adding a few pieces can make your play kitchen set feel completely new again. We’ve created a list of our favorite accessories from cuttable play food, to wooden and stainless steel pots and pans, to cash registers and more.

Play Food

Kitchen Tools

Place Settings

Kitchen Accessory Sets

Cash Registers