You want to do the best for your kids and for the planet, right? When it comes to choosing toys, this can be difficult. We’re here to help, with tips on choosing the most eco-friendly play kitchen. We’ll talk you through the features to look out for and our picks of the models to buy if going green is important to you.
Our earth is in trouble. Climate change is heating the atmosphere and causing problems in eco systems all over the world. Our oceans are filling with plastic, which is dangerous to marine wildlife as well as our own water supply. There are even microplastics in the air we breathe.
To make sure there is still a beautiful planet to leave for our children to enjoy, we can make choices now. If you opt for eco-friendly toys for your family, you can help make that happen.
So what should you look out for when choosing a play kitchen? Read on to find out.
Features to look out for
We want to have as little impact on the earth as possible when we buy toys for our children. Looking carefully at the materials they are made from can help. Wood is a renewable resource. This means that when we cut down trees, we plant new ones. So wood is the best choice of material for a green play kitchen.
Being kind to the environment means being kind to our immediate environment, too. The materials used to make the kitchen set need to be safe for your child to play with. You are looking for non-toxic paint, sturdy construction and no tiny, loose parts. The doors and moving parts need to be easy for your child to operate and not trap delicate fingers.
Trees take time to grow. They are a renewable resource, not an infinite one. The objects we choose to buy need to be durable so they last as long as possible. You need a play kitchen set that can withstand years of play. We all know that children are not often delicate when they play! A well made toy kitchen is an eco-friendly toy kitchen.
When your child has grown out of their play kitchen, you don’t want it to end up in a landfill site. The best way to avoid this is to pass it on to another family who can get a few more years’ life out of it. Then you might want to upgrade to a play kitchen more suitable for your growing child. But what about when it has been loved and played with so much that it isn’t functional anymore? To be truly eco-friendly your play kitchen set needs to be recyclable or compostable. A wooden toy will eventually rot and return to the earth from which it came. You can also look for material called MDF which is medium density fiber, made from recycled wood particles and wax.
Say no to plastic
The type of plastic used to make toys is not easily recyclable. It is made from chemicals and is often flimsy and can snap. A plastic kitchen will not last as long as a wooden one and therefore is not eco-friendly.
You may be thinking: which play kitchen has all of this? Here are our recommendations for the best eco-friendly play kitchens.
Giantex Wooden Kitchen Playset - Cheerful Red
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This kitchen set is sweet and simple but manages to have a lot of storage space for play food and equipment. It has a plastic sink, but the rest of the construction is wood. It is decorated in non-toxic paint, which you can clean by wiping with a damp cloth.
Other parents have advised not to over-tighten the screws, otherwise some of the components can split. But if you construct it carefully, it is a durable choice. It takes around 1-2 hours to build. Not bad in exchange for the many hours of fun your child will get out of it.
Hape Multi-Function Kitchen
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This play kitchen is all non-toxic wood, with metal accessories. Again, the sink is plastic but other parents have said that it is sturdy and durable. They also report that it is easy to assemble.
The amazing thing about this eco-friendly play kitchen is the storage. It has two cupboards which open out at the sides. Your child could even choose to use one as a fridge. There is counter top space as well, so your child has space for chopping and mixing. This is great, because lots of toy kitchens only have a stove top with no other surface space.
Camden Rose Beautiful Hearth Wooden Kitchen
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This gorgeous play kitchen set is made from quality cherry hardwood rather than MDF. It also comes fully assembled, other than the handles and faucet. The oven shelf and sink are stainless steel, meaning this toy could even last for several generations of children.
Reviews from parents are all glowing and you can see why. It displays pure, quality craftsmanship, and it looks like it has sprung straight from a fairytale. This would make a great gift that could become a family heirloom.
USA Toyz Hape Play Kitchen
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This kitchen is compact but comes with 13 accessories. The utensils are all different shapes, which will spark your child’s imagination. The clever storage means that everything they need to create their recipes is to hand. It is bold and bright and your children will be drawn to play with it. Apart from the sink, it is entirely made of non-toxic wood and paint. There is plenty of space inside to use as an oven, fridge or cupboard.
Other parents have come up with a good hack for this kitchen set. It is a little short, so they added caster wheels so it is not only taller, but moveable.
New Classic Toys Blue Wooden Pretend Kitchen
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This is the kitchen I have at home for my own son. It fits perfectly in a small space but there is still lots to play with. The sink is metal, which is more green than plastic, and he loves clanging metal utensils around in it to make a big noise!
There are wooden utensils, pots and a cute salt and pepper set as well as an oven glove. They all have a hook or storage spot, making it easy to tidy up. The shelves are useful for toy food or other accessories you want to add. Your child can turn the hands on the clock, giving a great opportunity to learn about telling the time.
Must Have Accessories
When you have chosen your eco-friendly kitchen playset, why not add some accessories? Look out for the same features as in the kitchen. They need to be made of sustainable materials, durable and use non-toxic paint.
Bigjigs Toys Wooden Dinnerware Set
This crockery set is made from responsibly-sourced wood and will look very cute stashed away in your play kitchen cupboards.
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Tender Leaf Toys - Wooden Gggs
How about some wooden eggs with a real eggbox? They are made from rubber trees, which grow fast, and they plant a new tree for each that is cut to make this toy
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Green Toys Tea Set
This isn’t wood, but is made with recycled plastic. Even the packaging is recycled and printed with soy inks.
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Hopefully you found this roundup useful. Congratulations on making the decision to choose a play kitchen that is good for the environment.