As your child grows up, it is inevitable that there are some toys that don’t grow up with them. There are also toys that don’t target your child’s age anymore. Play kitchens are one of these items. There aren’t many play kitchen sets that target older children. They mostly target a younger age group, but older kids can still see benefits from playsets. We’ve scoured the web for the best play kitchen for a 11 year old and found a few options. Keep in mind, there may be an aspect of DIY in finding the perfect setup for your 11 year old.
You don’t need justification or confirmation from anyone if you are unsure of getting a kitchen playset. The first reason is because it is your child. No one can tell you how to raise your kid or tell you, you are raising them incorrectly. Secondly, is because you know that the kitchen set will be fun to them. A toy is a toy, no matter at what age. If a play kitchen is what will bring enjoyment and bonding, then I see no qualms in the ask. If your child is still too inexperienced in a real kitchen, then a play kitchen is a great tool to teach them responsibility, organization and basic kitchen skills. Finding something for your 11 year old will bring its own set of obstacles and here are the main features to look for.
I’m going to be Captain Obvious here, but as your child ages, they grow taller! By the time your child is 11 years old they are on average 4 feet 7 inches. What this means is that they’ve outgrown the majority of the kitchen playsets that are on the market. These playsets are unfortunately geared towards those who are toddlers, or under 5 years of age. It is the nature of the market; they’ll build items towards the biggest group of potential customers. But that doesn’t mean you are left out! You’ll just have to be a little creative in how you approach shopping.
In all the research I’ve done, if you can find any playset taller than ~3 feet, then you are on the right track. You don’t want your child spending lots of time bending over or crouching as it’s bad for their posture. That being said, there are only a few playsets that exceed this height. Check below for our recommendations. I alluded earlier you’ll have to incorporate DIY into this project.
The best way of going about getting that extra height is to build a structure beneath the kitchen playset. We recommend building a wooden platform that will elevate it about 6 inches off the ground. In the link provided, the legs are optional as the wooden legs might not be what you want in your house. If you are imagining this in your house, it does take some creativity. If you have basic skills with a drill, wood and maybe even some wood stain, you should be set. When you raise things, you have to be wary of items falling over. Not in this case, as 6 inches isn’t enough to change it’s center of gravity and those extra inches will make a difference in play quality for your 11 year old.
Having the kitchen playset sturdy is really important for your eleven year old. It is directly related to the increased height of the play structure. Especially if you are building a wooden platform, you want to make sure the structure is solid. You could get an all plastic set, but it feels cheap and is typically easier to push around for a 11 year old. We recommend looking for playsets that contain majority wood. It is a quality material that looks and feels high end. If your 11 year old is beginning or in the middle of coming out of the toy phase, then a realistic kitchen is what’s needed.
Additionally, a 11 year old is typically bigger and stronger than a 2 year old, though I’ve seen some hulk 2 year old children. What this means, with an increased physical stature, is that they are more likely to be more rough with the kitchen set. At the very least, they have a higher potential to break or scratch the materials. Having a sturdy structure is necessary as it can hold up to an inadvertent pan slam, or a wild swing of a fridge door.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe plastic has its place. Typically, all playsets have a plastic element, whether it be the kitchen accessories, or parts of the appliances. But when I research playsets, I’m looking for materials that are primarily wood, or wood-based, like MDF. MDF is medium density fiber which is made up from wood fibers. Still strong and durable, but cheaper to produce. All of our recommendations have quality materials.
Looking for your money’s worth should always be a concern for any parent. A kitchen playset is often a larger purchase and you don’t want to buying multiple playsets. But what’s unique to buying for a 11 year old is looking at the near future. The type of playset will depend on how you view it being used in the long run, when your child starts turning into a teenager.
Do you foresee them sticking with the playset, or do you want them to participate in the kitchen with yourself? There are some families that don’t have full kitchens, and the playset might be the closest thing they can afford to showcase what to aspire towards. Other parents might think their child isn’t ready to help out during cooking as directions might be hard to follow or attention might not be focused. And there are some parents that just want a kitchen playset for 1-2 years to help transition the kid to a real kitchen.
There are so many reasons why a playset is sought after for older children. Whether it be short or long term, value should always be considered. Don’t spend $500 on a playset that will be gone in 2 years and don’t buy the $50 playset expecting it to be utilized long term.
KidKraft Farm to Table Play Kitchen Set, Large
This is our favorite KidKraft Play Kitchen Set for 11 year olds. It encompasses so much detail into a sleek, modern looking kitchen set. The most important part is that it stands at 43 inches tall. Over half a foot taller than the other leading play sets. Adding your own platform can get your entire set matching the height of your 11 year old. Besides that, this set is very aesthetic and pleasing to the eye. Depending on the parents, if you are looking for something that looks quality and realistic, then this playset is one. It includes a lot of interactive features such as a dispensing plastic ice cubes, a light up stove burner and accessories. It is pretty rare for a kitchen set to come with a knife, pots, pans and play food.
In terms of the materials, it is made from a mixture of wood, metal and plastic. The playset is very sturdy and the look and feel is very simple. It can be used for boys or girls as the colors are neutral. The price is also very reasonable and won’t break the bank whether you are hoping to have this short or long term. We recommend this kitchen set for a “realistic” pretend play session!
- Ice Cube Dispenser
- 18-piece accessory and play-food set
- Stove Burner w/ Sounds and Lights (batteries included)
- Modern look, Gender Neutral
- Easy assembly, but instructions are confusing
KidKraft Large Kitchen
Standing at a tall 43 inches, this KidKraft Large Kitchen is made for girls who enjoy the color scheme. This is a solid choice as this kitchen play set does the basics correctly. It includes a fridge, stove, oven, microwave, dishwasher and sink as all of the appliances. It has a decent amount of storage with shelves to organize food or accessories. Some of the nice touches include the stove knobs making a satisfying click noise. Additionally, having the stove and microwave see through makes it even more realistic.
The material is made from MDF which is wood fiber. It also includes PVC and T-Molding. This set is very sturdy and weighs about 88 pounds. Utilizing wood over plastic means it will make the playset heavier. Don’t try to move the set around multiple times.
- Simple, pastel color scheme
- 43 inches tall
- Plenty of storage space
- Long Assembly Time at ~3 hours
Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen & Grill
For our next choice, it does break some of the guidelines we set ourselves in the beginning of this post. That being said, I want to bring you a variety of solutions depending on your situation. This is an all plastic solution, but it offers a varied amount of appliances and most importantly, is 50 inches in height. Included is a 100-piece accessory set, a great addition so you don’t have to buy additional items. This playset features an oven, grill, stove, microwave, a sink and a refrigerator. Plastic doesn’t scream realism, but it does scream durability. Have a nice place in your backyard you can set this? There is basic interactivity with the grill and the stove where sounds and lights are a part of the playset.
Even though it is 50 inches in height, the layout of the playset may not be conducive to your child. It also won’t be compatible if you were to build a wooden platform to increase its height. That is because this kitchen playset is a walk in playset, thus complicating the logistics of it all. Either way, take a look at the dimensions and see if this monster of a kitchen set is the right solution for you.
- Can be used outdoors
- Has both a grill and stove
- Tons of kitchen accessories
- Lights and Sounds are incorporated
- 50 inch Height
- All Plastic
- Storage isn’t great
- May not be great for bigger kids
Finding the right kitchen playset for your 11 year old might prove to be a little difficult. I hope with this post, you’ve narrowed down your choices to a select few. Try to stick with sets that are more than 3 feet tall and made out of durable material. All of the choices here will be value purchases, quality items that won’t break the bank, or the play set. It is important to remember that older children love to imagine and can learn so many life lessons from role playing. Don’t let age stop you or your family from building lasting memories.