Toy kitchen sets have been loved by children for many decades. They have a unique ability to captivate a child's attention for hours on end, as they prepare meals for friends or work together with siblings to produce something they're proud of. Before buying a new kitchen playset, bear these important points in mind.

The Benefits Of Toy Kitchen Sets

There are a huge number of benefits to letting your kids play with toy kitchen sets. They will start to learn the practical skills that go into cooking a meal: measuring ingredients, following directions, and having patience for the meal to cook. They'll also develop their imagination as they work with friends to cook up a meal, and host feasts for their toys. And, gradually, your kids will understand the elements of basic nutrition.

Toy kitchens aren't just for girls any more, either. They help to promote equality between the sexes as little boys and girls work on the cooking together. Many kitchens have enough space for two or three children to play at the same time, helping them to learn why teamwork is so important.

Factors To Consider When Buying

The first thing any parent needs to think about is space. Toy kitchen sets aren't the smallest of toys, and if you have a small home then you probably won't be able to purchase the most advanced toy kitchens. If space is really limited then you can buy certain elements alone, such as the cooker, rather than as part of a larger kitchen setup complete with a sink, walls, refrigerator and so on.

Now it's time to consider the type of toy kitchen you'd like. Plastic toy kitchens are extremely affordable, and can come with a range of features for less than $50. Some are able to make sounds related to the workings of a kitchen, and many come with excellent kids designs (such as the Dora the Explorer kitchen). The inevitable downside to these playsets, however, is the fact that they are often flimsy, and you wouldn't expect them to last as long as higher quality sets.

A number of manufacturers produce higher quality plastic kitchens, but this comes as a price. For example, Little Tikes kitchens start at around $80. The plastic is generally more durable and there's less effort required in assembly.

Lastly, wooden toy kitchen sets are considered to be the highest quality and will often cost over $100. That said, they are designed to last through the generations, and the style means that they will fit much more naturally into any home. Some kitchens, such as the Step 2 LifeStyle Dream Kitchen, will even incorporate elements of granite and stainless steel for a very realistic product.