#1 - is a <i>real</i> kitchen just for girls?<br>
#2 - tabletop model! Our house is smaller than yours and although we could have crammed a big kitchen in somewhere I wanted something small. I made ours, it is really simple and basic, but I got the idea from ones I saw online. Etsy comes to mind but I am sure there are others. Then not only does it not take up much space but he can use it whereever he wants.<br>
#3 - tabletop models are much less expensive, you can make food for pennies practically (I made ours from thrift store wool pants!) or you can go really open ended and give him a basket of stones or sea shells or wooden acorns, and you can get dishes and pots/pans at the thrift store too.<br>
#4 - doing the real thing is great but not always possible or practical, plus imaginative exploration is a really important way children learn about the world. Developmentally children <i>need</i> to pretend. And, it's just plain fun.
SageR, you are awesome. I really appreciate your input- making one seems daunting to me, but am SO willing to give it a go. That's a great way, I think, to put to use some of the hand me down things we have, too.
If you think you're going to want a play stand for them, too, I would get that and one of the burner sets that can sit on that. I think that may be a great use of your space and end up with two very versatile toys for the price of 1 (depending).<br><br>
And, if kitchens are just for girls, then why are there so many male chefs? Ideally, our children are playing independently and exploring their own creativity. Can't do that spontaneously if they have to ask mom and dad to actually bake something in the "real" kitchen.
Well in my house #1 was easy b/c Dh LOVES to cook, as do many of his male relatives. So around here, cooking is nothing girly. Maybe you could point out famous male chefs?<br><br>
And as for #3, ours has gotten nearly constant play for 6 years. First our eldest, then our little one. And the eldest still doesn't want to "give" it up to her, but he has to be on his knees to use it! LOL.<br><br>
And then there is the resale value...<br><br>
Oh, and I saw one at Ikea today, too. I think it was $134. Ikea also has nice small utensils and cooking implements.
We got a kitchen for ds when he turned 3- the whole family, inlaws, aunts & uncles pitched in $20 or less and some bought/made pots and pans and spoons. He just got the one thing for his birthday, all set up in its spot. He plays with it every single day, as does his little sister.<br><br>
Before we did that we made him a burner with a shallow wooden crate and a sharpie spiral burner. That worked pretty well- space saving. Then when we were done cooking we flipped the box upright and put toys away in it.<br><br>
The family going in on the gift had a second benefit of ds not getting overloaded with gifts that made noise, flashed lights, talked, and advertised licensed characters only to fall apart after a few good days. We did the same thing for his 4th bday with a two wheel bike.
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Melaniee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14746209"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh, and I saw one at Ikea today, too. I think it was $134. Ikea also has nice small utensils and cooking implements.</div>
I dig the Ikea kitchen b/c it's simple and realistic. When we go to the store, he needs a minimum of an hour of time with it.