what age for a play kitchen? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi there,

DH and I bought a gorgeous wooden kitchen from Willow Toys for DD on that amazing co-op that someone posted on MDC a while back.

We put it in the closet planning to give it to her at Christmas and tell grandmas etc. that wooden food, aprons, utensils, etc. would be a great gift to go along with the kitchen.

Now I'm questioning if we should hold it back until her 2nd birthday or even older??

I don't have huge expectations of her freaking out with joy over it or anything, but would hate to "waste" the surprise on a child too young to really enjoy it.

She will be 20 months at Christmas. Any thoughts on what age kids typically can get into a play kitchen? Her birthday is in April. Is 2 a better age? Or even later?

Its such a nice gift, I'd hate for it to be passe' by the time she'd be old enough to get into it.

XOXOXO
B

mama to Milena Anjali (4/26/06) and Vincent Asher (4/13/09) ~ married to the love of my life since 2002.
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#2 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 01:56 AM
 
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Well, my son is 20 months and we have a play kitchen. He isn't as into it as I suspect he will be in the future but he does play with it on occassion, mainly opening up the cabinets and turning the knobs. He also pretends to wash his hands (his new thing.) I suspect he will become even more engaged in the future, trying to cook me breakfast. Now only if he really could!
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#3 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 02:00 AM
 
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I would say as soon as the child can reach it than it's good to go. Young (even 1) love little mini kitchens/food etc.,.. We have a little kitchen that sits on the floor for little babies who can only sit up and our son loves it.

Andi - roller derby, slave to the hoop, birth junkie, lover of love, single mama of 4
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#4 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 02:40 AM
 
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DS (14 mo) loves to go into DD's room and play with her kitchen. He opens the cabinets and takes out the dishes and food. He'll sit there messing around with it for awhile (until his sister decides that he's "messing up" her room.

I'm thinking of getting him something similar for his room this Christmas. Either a smaller kitchen or one of those market stands. I think as long as it has doors to open and shut and some food and dishes in it he'll be happy!
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#5 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 02:42 AM
 
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I would say hold off until Christmas or second birthday. It's a great gift and she definitely won't miss it in the next four months or so. Both of my dc loved it at 2yo.

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#6 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 12:35 PM
 
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ds got his at Christmas when he was 18 months old. I don't think that is too young to enjoy it.

He didn't really get into the whole "wow look at this present" thing until around his 3rd birthday, so if you're holding off for that it might be awhile.
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#7 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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DD got a wooden 'kitchen' for christmas shortly before she turned 2. It was the best present ever! Her eyes literally lit up and she played all evening long, together with the set of pans I got for her. The kitchen wasn't a real kitchen, mind you. It was just something like this one ours was just handmade and a hand-me-down from some friends of my ILs.
Since we moved out from my ILs in March 06 I decided that DD should get her own kitchen for our flat as well and my parents got her exactly this one. I am more than unhappy with that model even though I advised my parents to get it. It's poorly made, nothing is glued toghether, they just just a tacker *argh* The color is coming of from the handle and the regulators and the kitchen is unfirm and shakey.

I hope that I will be able to make a kitchen for my DC myself sometime next year when my DFIL finishes his workshop. He's quite a carpenter and will be able to help me. I plan on using this Elves&Angles Kitchen as an imagination help.

Did that answer your question in any way? I think that 20 months is not too early, surley not. I would only say that one of those 'more' expensive kitchens is worth every penny. They are well-made, sturdy and beautiful! :
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#8 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 01:38 PM
 
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IMHO, a play kitchen can be enjoyed anytime from 18 months on - but of course, as with all things, it will be different things to your child at different ages.

We didn't have a play kitchen for DD at 18 months but she liked to play with the one on display at Target, plus another one at a playgroup. At that age, it was all about opening the doors, placing an object inside, closing the door, opening again, etc. Now DD is 25 months and we just got her a kitchen, and now she clearly understands the "pretend" part - that it's a kitchen like the one where Mama and Daddy cook and wash dishes. She still loves to open and shut the doors now, but it's different already. But right now she's not too specific about her motions in pretending to do things - for example, we have a wooden "macaroni and cheese" box and a play pot - she doesn't know yet how to "pretend" to pour the macaroni in the pot and stir it around and then serve it in a bowl. That will come later.

Point just is, the experience will change. Give it whenever you like I think Christmas would be perfect!

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#9 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 01:42 PM
 
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Beth, I got one of the play kitchens as part of the co-op and I love it! Anyway, my son will be 13 months at Christmas and I plan to give it to him then. Before buying it, I read that a lot of people's dc started playing with them around 18 months. It is true, you probably won't get the same level of excitement as of you wait a few more months...but you will probably get a few more months of play out of it.
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#10 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 01:44 PM
 
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laohaire- we cross posted....where did you get the mac and cheese box? I am looking for something that would be safe for a child under 3.
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#11 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BethSLP View Post
She will be 20 months at Christmas. Any thoughts on what age kids typically can get into a play kitchen? Her birthday is in April. Is 2 a better age? Or even later?

Its such a nice gift, I'd hate for it to be passe' by the time she'd be old enough to get into it.

XOXOXO
B

I was about to post this...my DD was born 4/25/06! One day apart. I really think Xmas will be a perfect time for this gift. We're saving for one and asking grandparents to find accessories, if they wish.

She shows such a strong interest in MY kitchen, I hope she likes a play one. The responses here seem to indicate this is as good of time as any!

Enjoy!
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#12 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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DD got hers at 25 months, but before that we had one we were borrowing from my MIL that she loved to "wash dishes" in. Until recently, she would only wash dishes, but has now started cooking. So, I say get it for her, jsut don't expect a HUGE reaction (my 25mo was more like okay, let me start washing dishes, nothing else.)

Mama of three.
 
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#13 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 02:40 PM
 
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I dont think you can really ever go wrong with one but.. DD got hers when she turned two she liked it but overall it really just sat unused untill she was 4 shes about fivce now and it gets tons of use.

Wife to DH since August 01 mom to a bubbly girl October 2002 and our newest gal March 2010
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#14 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 03:27 PM
 
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Our daughter got one at her first birthday and it has been a HUGE hit. She plays with it more than any of her other toys. She is 15 m/o and has recently started to "cook" for me. she'll bring me spoons and make me taste for HOURS at a time it seems LOL
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#15 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 04:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devster4fun View Post
I was about to post this...my DD was born 4/25/06! One day apart. I really think Xmas will be a perfect time for this gift. We're saving for one and asking grandparents to find accessories, if they wish.

She shows such a strong interest in MY kitchen, I hope she likes a play one. The responses here seem to indicate this is as good of time as any!

Enjoy!
My daughter was born on 4/21/04 and got her first kitchen for Christmas when she was 20 months old. It is the only toy that she plays with every day
My mom bought her the mini kitchen from Magic Cabin which we sold and upgraded to a bigger kitchen this year.
At 3.5 she still plays with it every morning. She makes her brother breakfast
threesisters.com has some great food items and dishes. Every occasion she has got something small for her kitchen. She also made 2 aprons and a potholder to use...

just my experience with the kitchen thing

Michelle, vegan mama to my two sweeties, L, 4/21/04 and C, 10/29/06 married to my Bryce for 20 years.

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#16 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 04:13 PM
 
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Here she is playing with it on Christmas Eve, 2005 age 20 months:

http://i20.tinypic.com/2vlsgns.jpg
http://i23.tinypic.com/2cfwhtf.jpg
http://i21.tinypic.com/20k85uh.jpg

Michelle, vegan mama to my two sweeties, L, 4/21/04 and C, 10/29/06 married to my Bryce for 20 years.

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#17 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 04:15 PM
 
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We got DD one at 2y/o thinking she'd love it. Not so much. She just wasn't into pretend play yet. Seriously, I think we really jumped the gun with her 2nd birthday. She got quite a few really nice toys that just weren't age appropriate (for her!) or conducive to her personality and sensibilities. I've put a lot of things away and am shaving them for a time when she's more ready. That way they'll be fresh and she'll hopefully get a lot of use out of them at some point. Trust your gut. I let all those gorgeous wooden toys romanticize me.: I had all these sweet little day dreams of how DD would play with them, but had I thought about it a little more pragmatically, I would have gone for other toys.
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#18 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 04:36 PM
 
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I think it depends on what your dd likes. DD had a hand me down play vanity/hairdresser thing. It had a sink to wash hair. As soon as she could walk (11months ish) she was all over it playing wash the dishes. She never knew it was anything but a kitchen sink with drawers.
She is now 3.5 and has a real play kitchen. She loves it and cooks, washes dishes etc.
My little sister is 13 and still plays with dds play kitchen. I mean she "is babysitting and playing with dd" and happens to enjoy the kitchen.
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#19 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 05:16 PM
 
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I think what helps with us is when we resist the urge to buy A LOT of stuff and have her too overwhelmed. She has just a few gifts for occasions and that makes them more memorable and she can focus on just that.

That has been a learning experience for me because I always want to buy more than we need and we end up planning on more toys than 10 children could possibly play with in a year...Then my paypal account balance limits me..to like 3 things

Michelle, vegan mama to my two sweeties, L, 4/21/04 and C, 10/29/06 married to my Bryce for 20 years.

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#20 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 06:43 PM
 
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WE had a kitchen for ds at 2 yo and 6 months, great purchase. Two would have been too young for him.
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#21 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 07:16 PM
 
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My mom is getting dd one for the holidays (and we're getting her the food). She will be 18.5 mos. There's a plastic one in the sandpit at the park and she LOVES it.
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#22 of 24 Old 10-21-2007, 11:40 PM
 
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DD#3 is 17 months, and for about 3-4 months, has totally been into kitchen play!! She looooves ccooking for me.

Busy Mama to three beautiful girls and loving wife to my hubby
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#23 of 24 Old 10-22-2007, 12:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by baileygirl View Post
laohaire- we cross posted....where did you get the mac and cheese box? I am looking for something that would be safe for a child under 3.
Got it at Target. I just spent a while trying to find the product on their site, but I can't find it. It's a terrific set; it comes with a pot with a lid - material is something like enamel; it's NOT plastic - a wooden box painted to look like a macaroni and cheese box, a wooden spoon, a stainless steel fork, and a green plate to eat on (I don't remember the material of the plate, but I'm positive it's not plastic). To be perfectly honest, the fork and plate got upgraded from Toy to Actual Eating Utensils in our house. Cost was $10.

I love Target - they have lots of good stuff like that (we also bought their wooden kitchen, and it's TERRIFIC).

Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.

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#24 of 24 Old 10-22-2007, 07:03 PM
 
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I'm not sure since kids can be so different. We gave our dd a small play kitchen for her 2nd birthday (in April, too)and she loved it. I guess I'm not much help...I bet she'd like it, and if not, she'll grow into it
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