Kids love copying what adults do and most children are exposed to a parent or caregiver cooking in the kitchen from a very young age. It’s no wonder they love pretending to do anything kitchen-related – stirring soup in a pot, chopping vegetables, washing dishes, and more. All these put a kitchen playset at the top of gift lists for both kids and parents alike. The Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen & Grill in particular, features all the usual items found in a kitchen playset, like a refrigerator, sink, and stove. In addition to these standard appliances, it also has additional features, such as a spacious countertop and barbecue grill, which all kids are sure to love. Think of this toy as an upgrade from your ordinary kitchen playset.
What's in the Box?
This toy will arrive in two large boxes and will need to be assembled. We’ll get to how long assembly will take a little later. The kitchen set includes a refrigerator with a built-in water and ice dispenser, an oven, and a microwave that are made to look like stainless steel. They have working doors with ample space inside to pretend bake a cake or heat some food in. The sink features a swiveling faucet and has enough space to wash dishes or fruits in. A fun barbecue grill and stove top that make realistic boiling and sizzling sounds also come as part of the kitchen. The grill and the stovetop need batteries for the sound effects while the refrigerator, oven, and microwave have stickers for the buttons.
Pull-out bins, cabinets, and a drawer for storage are also included, as well as a countertop that can serve as a food prep area or an eating area. Once assembled, the kitchen has a number of sections that can be used all at the same time – the stovetop, the counter, the barbecue grill, and the sink area. The playset also comes with cushioned flooring, adding to the realistic feeling of this kitchen that kids will love. It’s also good to note that this kitchen playset is bigger when comparing it to other similar kitchens.
Pros vs. Cons
Having talked about the general features above, this toy does have its own set of pros and cons. Let’s start with the pros:
- KIDS LOVE IT – This kitchen can truly entertain kids for hours. There are so many activities they can do – barbecuing on the grill, cooking on the stove top, or mixing food on the counter, just to name a few. The possibilities are endless! Parents will also love it because it helps develop language and creativity. Kids can explain what they’re cooking, what they’re baking in the oven, or come up with an entirely new dish on their own.
- MULTIPLE STATIONS – Different stations allow more than one child to play at a time, making it a great toy for siblings or for a playdate. One child can cook on the stove and the other can chop at the counter, no arguments needed. The stations allow kids to play independently or play together.
- ACCESSORIES INCLUDED – No need to buy additional accessories to start playing with this kitchen set. This set already comes with a lot of toys you’ll need to fully enjoy the kitchen – including play food, utensils, plates, cups, and more.
- BUILT TO LAST – This kitchen set is made of sturdy plastic that’s made to last for years and survive more than one child using it. It even comes with built-in cushioned flooring that other kitchen sets don’t have.
No doubt about it, this playset checks most of the boxes parents are looking for in a toy – entertaining and educational, durable, and with extra fun accessories. However, we’ve noticed a couple of cons as well:
- COMPLICATED SET-UP – Setting up the playset can take up to 2 hours and more. This would be the biggest con of this toy. The instructions come as black and white photos (more than 50 of them) without detailed instructions. Also, a simple screwdriver alone will not do the trick due to the lack of proper drill holes. A power drill is needed to properly install the parts together.
- LACK OF STORAGE – The kitchen does not have enough storage space for all the accessories it comes with. Although it does have a cabinet, a drawer, and two storage bins, you’ll still need a separate bag or storage area is keep all the additional toys it comes with.
- ON THE BIGGER SIDE – This can be considered either a neutral point or a con. Because of its three-sided design plus flooring, this kitchen playset takes up more space than other smaller kitchen models. If you have a house with enough space, this is not an issue. However, if you live in an apartment or condominium, you’ll need to consider the amount of space this toy kitchen will take up.
Looking at the bigger picture, the pros of this kitchen playset definitely outweigh the cons. If you have the time and patience for assembly and the space at home for the kitchen itself and to store the additional accessories, this toy is still highly recommended.
Will this fit my house?
Let’s talk more about the features of this toy. Once assembled, the Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen measures 47.2 by 36.6 by 50.8 inches. Though it’s tempting to stick this playset in a corner, it’s better to put it in an area that allows the toy to have space around it so that kids can move around the whole set. The grilling station is facing outwards while the stove is inside the structure. The counter can also be used both from inside the kitchen and from the outside. Having enough space around the toy is a must to maximize enjoyment. Though meant for indoor play, there’s no reason it can’t be put in a patio or garden as well. The sturdy plastic material will survive outdoor weather.
How long will this last me?
To have a better picture of how big this toy is, an average 3-year-old is approximately 37 inches tall which is well below the tallest part of the kitchen. You can expect this kitchen to accommodate kids from 1 to about 5 years old comfortably. This means your child can use this toy for at least 2-3 years from purchase, depending on when you buy it. If your child has a younger sibling, you can use this toy even longer. The great thing about a kitchen playset is that it’s a toy that your child can use over and over again, even as he or she gets older.
One more plus for the Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen is that it can fit more than one child at a time. The three separate sections can accommodate one child each so the set can be used comfortably by up to three children at a time. More than three kids playing simultaneously is possible, but the chances of tears and shouts of, “I was here first!”, are definitely higher. This is just something to keep in mind when planning playdates with this kitchen set as the main attraction. For one to three kids, expect long stretches of happy playing.
A kitchen playset is one of the best gifts a child can receive and the Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen should definitely be on the top of any parent’s gift list. Though the price of this toy is higher compared to other kitchen playsets, it’s well worth the price. It may seem like a steep price to pay, but when you consider the accessories included and the many hours and long years it will be enjoyed by your child, it’s sure to become worth it.
Is it worth it?
Parents who are looking for a kitchen playset that will wow their child and make his or her eyes sparkle when they see this toy for the first time should definitely consider the Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen. We can already imagine the excitement of your child and you’ll definitely be the “best gift giver ever!” (imagine that in a three-year old’s voice), even just for the day. This kitchen playset should also be on the radar of parents who want to keep their child, or children, occupied for hours, or hold their attention more than a few minutes, at the very least.
Kids will have endless options with this toy – they’ll love opening and closing the cabinets, turning the sink on and off, mixing food on top of the counter, grilling hotdogs, pretending to cook their favorite dishes on the stove, just to name a few.