For Asher’s 2nd birthday, I had decided to get him a kitchen set. I was obsessed with Junior Master Chef and I think little kids look so damn cute when they cook. But Asher was too young to try cooking so I thought why not let him start by pretending to do so first. Anyway, kitchen sets make great accessories for role-playing and letting kids get creative with their imagination.
I must admit that the kitchen corner has replaced our reading nook as my favorite section in the house. It would have been gentler on the pocket if I could build a DIY kitchen set toy like the one from the Ikea Hackers site.
However, I wasn’t good with wood work and lacked the resources and tools. So I had no choice but to purchase one instead. There were so many brands and models available in the market. Firstly, there were the cheaper and smaller versions, that were made of plastic and readily available in toy stores island wide. Asher had one of those but he was getting too tall for the stove. But really, that was just another reason to justify my pricey purchase.
After going through tons of reviews and doing much research online, I finally settled for a wooden set. Wood was more solid and aesthetically-appealing to me. I’m sure with some proper care, a wooden kitchen set could last for a long time. Despite there being so many different kitchen set models available in the market, not all were being sold locally. To date, I only know of Mother Works that carries a limited collection off wooden kitchen sets but at an exorbitant price due to hefty import taxes and so on I guess. So I turned to Amazon for a cheaper alternative. To be honest, my first choice was the retro version.
Just look at the tiffany blue shade it comes in, that was enough to bowl me over. However, I realized that it was quite small after checking out the reviews. And the blue just didn’t go with the rest of our hall’s furniture. It was cute but we didn’t have space in his bedroom for this so I decided to go with something more conventional. That was how I decided on the Kidkraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen.
The thing about these wooden toy kitchens is that they don’t come fully assembled. I read that it usually takes an adult or two around 3 hours to fix one up. But guess what? I took 5 hours instead. I had aches all over my body, ruined nails and blistered palms at the end of it. You bet that I swore never to ever buy another wooden kitchen set again if I had to single-handedly assemble it.
The kitchen set alone comes with a fridge, microwave oven, baking oven, dishwasher, stove and sink. Which meant that it wasn’t complete without the kitchen accessories.
This is our kitchen after I had fully stocked it up. We have the wooden fridge and pantry food from Melissa and Doug, the stainless steel pots and pans, also from Melissa and Doug. You can find Melissa and Doug at Mothercare stores or on Amazon. The kettle and a 3 piece canned food set were bought during the ELC sale. I won’t have gotten them if not for the really good discount because I felt a stainless steel kettle would have matched the other accessories better. I’d decided on felt food items from Ikea instead of the plastic ones that are normally sold in most toy shops. I’ve been trying to cut down on plastic toys ever since I’ve learnt about Montessori.
Overall, I have spent a few hundreds on this kitchen but I’m sure it’s a worthwhile investment considering years of fun and joy these toys would bring to Asher (and I).