While many parents have always considered pretend kitchens important when it comes to buying toys for their babies, the majority only buy for their 2-4 years old.
What they don’t know is that cooking sets for toddlers offer lots of benefits to older kids too. That is, children between ages 5-12.
It is very important to buy the right toy at the right age for your tots. Playing kitchens are right for different age range of kids.[amazon box=”B01C49MCCS” title=”KidKraft Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen with Lights & Sounds” button_detail_target = “_blank” ]
- Tons of features including a fridge, freezer, microwave, oven, dishwasher, laundry, sink and stove. Provides hours of fun!
- Espresso Theme, fits perfectly in a corner
- 21 inch Counter Height for Taller Children
Much has been written about the benefits of these toys on this website but we’ll like to reiterate here that kids above 5 years stand to gain a lot from using cooking playsets.
Children at these stages are already aware of lots of things going on around them. They’re becoming knowledgeable about the foods they put in their mouth and how it is prepared. Playing with a toy cookhouse will surely help them.
This post is to help you as a parent to choose the best kitchen set for an older child in 2020. Enjoy!
Best Kitchen Playsets for Ages 5-12
One thing that you will notice is common to all the kids’ cooking sets listed here is that they are big. Kitchenettes for these age group must also come with certain unique features.
KidKraft Retro Kitchen and Refrigerator – Best Playset for a Girl
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One important factor when buying cooking sets for 5-plus kids is the realistic look of the product. Does the toyset have any resemblance to the real thing? Will my baby able to effectively role play?
The KidKraft Retro kitchen and refrigerator combines realistic features with appealing design to stake a claim for the best pretend cookware for a 5+ child. Its 2-piece modular design separates it from a host of other cooking playsets. This is a commendable feature since it allows parents to try different setup layouts or set it up according to the availability of room space.
All its units’ doors open and close to add a touch of reality when kids are role-playing. The Retro comes with 2 plastic burners, a sink, a see-through oven and a dishwasher.
Farm to Table Playset
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The Farm to Table Play Kitchen Set is a cute toyset that offers much more than play value for your child.
KidKraft scores high with this unique playset that combines fun and educational features to engage kids.
The innovative toy can ignite your kid’s interest not only in cooking but also in gardening.
The kid’s kitchen comes with pretend fruits that can be ‘harvested’ and immediately “chopped up” on a cutting board. The fun doesn’t end there, the pretend fruits/vegetables come with sound features that emulate actual chopping.
The toyset itself is a beehive of light and sound features. The cooktop displays “cooking light” and has boiling and sizzling sound effects to simulate food preparation.
There is a large sink which parents can employ to teach their kids the importance of the regular washing of the hands. The tap has running water sounds and also lights up when in use.
Children also love the big refrigerator that this cookware comes with, complete with an ice maker that gives out ‘ice’ cubes.
The Farm to Table set comes with adequate storage spaces. Your kid can take a lesson in organizing stuff by using the two storage crates and hooks to store utensils and pretend foods.
The manufacturer makes the assembling easy on parents by including EZ Kraft Assembly which cuts considerably the time you will spend on setting this up from scratch.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef’s Pretend Playset – Best Wooden Set for Taller Toddlers
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The Melissa & Doug Chef’s kitchen is another good toy cookhouse where tots can prepare their imaginary 5-star meals. The Chef’s playset has such a resemblance to the real thing that your child will always want to stock up play food and prepare imaginary meals.
Melissa and Doug has made pretend play easier for the little ones by coming up with a pretend cookhouse with highly interactive features such as dials that turn, a rotating microwave plate and a functioning ice dispenser with two plastic ice cubes.
There is also a write-on grocery list, a moving sink faucet and burner grates that can be removed.
Also worthy of mentioning is the adequate storage space that the Chef’s Kitchen offers. Additionally, it comes with hooks to hang cookware and tableware accessories such as spoons, pots and pans.
Kids can truly have a quality role-playing fun in this innovative toyset that is designed to accommodate multiple children at once.
KidKraft Large Playset – Staking a claim for the Biggest Toy Cooking Set
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As the name suggests, the Large Kitchen is a bigger upgrade of a brand of playsets – the KidKraft Uptown series. It comes with a host of premium features that make it an ideal playset for an older kid.
First, it is highly interactive. The doors to all the pretend appliances – freezer, refrigerator, oven and microwave – open and close. There are see-through windows on the oven and microwave. This will definitely add to your child’s quality of play. The fair number of appliances will also give your child endless hours of role-playing fun.
The Large Kitchen comes with a microwave, oven, freezer, refrigerator and four stove burners. It also has a sink, with 2 colorful knobs for the tap and a cell phone.
One thing you will appreciate, as a parent, in the Large Kitchen is the storage space. Accessories add up over time and there’s nothing like a child’s cookhouse that can accommodate them.
If you’re looking for good quality toy cooking set that will last through different generations and that your older kids can play with, you should definitely go for this.
KidKraft Large Set with Light and Sound
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A list of older kid’s kitchen will never be complete without a mention of the KidKraft Large Play Set with Light and Sound. If you want to buy a cooking playset for your 8+ kid but which a 3-year-old can play with, then we highly recommend this set.
The Large Kitchen comes with all the necessary stuff and much more. Even with the minimalist design, the manufacturer did not leave any good thing out. A modern-looking toy oven, microwave, cordless phone and washing machine are part of the roleplaying treats.
With this playset, you can forget about clutter in your child’s playing space. There are adequate storage spaces all over the toyset. Talk about teaching kids how to organize their stuff.
And for the icing on the cake, the set comes with light and sound to engage kids of all age groups the more.
What to look for when buying toy cookware for older children
To make sure your child gets the maximum benefit from any toy cooking set, you need to keep the following factors in mind when looking to buy.
Extra Tall Play Kitchens
One important thing to consider when buying cooking toyset for your older tot is product height. A playset for a 5+ kid must be extra tall as an entire set. What this means is that you don’t want your child bending over, especially if they play for hours at a time reaching for shelves and such.
Yes, when we are in the kitchen there are times where we push reach downwards for the dishwasher, or to grab something from the freezer. You need to ensure that the kitchen set is at the proper height where things are reachable.
Children grow at an alarming rate. A taller cooking set enables your toddler to use the plaything for quite some time before outgrowing it.
Tall play kitchens also help with kids’ engagement since manufacturers will usually include extra features. Take for example the Step2 Fun with Friends Set, the upper part features a plate rack, hangers for cups and spoons and a shelf to hold shakers and other stuff.
To play moms and dad’s role effectively, your child must be tall enough to use the counter space on these toys. The kitchen set’s counter height should be as close to the height of your child’s hip. This is typically where most humans are comfortable doing kitchen work, is at their hip. You do not want them bending at the hip if they are pretend playing for hours.
In a pinch, you can do-it-yourself and make a wooden platform that could lift the kitchen set a few inches off the ground. This doesn’t make the playset unsafe as the platform is providing only a few inches of height, but can do wonders for your children.
Appliances and Accessories
Since a 6-year-old is likely to be more adventurous than a 2-year toddler, this should reflect in the buying decision.
An older child will need a toy kitchen with more accessories and appliances, that’s why you will notice in our list above, all the toy sets come with a considerable number of pretend appliances.
Any pretend cooking set that you’re looking to buy for your older toddler should come with at least 5 interactive appliances. That number should include all the basic pretend appliances like oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer and sink. Extra appliances you may look for are a dishwasher, laundry machine, pet nurturing center, etc.
Having a kitchen set that is interactive does wonders for your older children. As they grow older, they understand how real kitchens work and having a stove make sounds or turning dials will hold their interest in the toy for longer periods of time. Also, keep an eye out for things such as a chalk board, or consider creating a menu with your kid. Some even have “ice” dispensers and light up stoves.
And when it comes to buying extras, don’t hold back. The best accessories for kid’s cookware should consist of pretend foods, tableware and groceries. Just like actual cooking, you can make so many different combinations of meals. Having just 20 or 30 accessory pieces can provide infinite amount of menu combos to satisfy even the most hungry customer. Let your creativity run wild here; who said fun is just for your child?