Pretend and imaginative play is not only crucial to a child’s development, it’s also fun for everyone in the family. BestBuy.ca has a great selection of pretend play toys, and one that is always popular with the kiddies is play kitchens. Most of the families I know have some sort of toy kitchen nestled away in their homes. Kids are like a moth to a flame when it comes to toy kitchens; perhaps it’s the familiarity to “home”. So, let’s dive in and take a better look at one of the toy kitchens. Here’s my review of the KidKraft Vintage Toy Kitchen.
A Lot of Adult Assembly Required
Many friends had warned me that these kitchens could take some time to assemble. The average seemed to be between 2.5 to 3 hours. I can validate that my friends are indeed speaking the truth. It took my husband and me approximately 2.5 hours to assemble the kitchen. But after seeing my son play with it and how excited he was, it was all worth it. We mistakenly assembled the kitchen while our son was still awake, so I think that without toddler disruption two people can get this kitchen up and running in under 2 hours. Because the assembly took some time, I decided to videotape it on fast mode for your viewing pleasure.
The box itself is quite heavy, approximately 30 pounds. I suggest that when you unpack the box, you clear up your workspace as much as you can before getting to work. There are a lot of pieces and parts, and it can get overwhelming if you have a cramped workspace. For easier assembly, I grouped and organized all the parts. This will make it a lot easier to find the parts as you work your way through the instructions.
I highly suggest having a second person to work with—one can go through the manual (getting parts together) while the other can get into assembly mode. Don’t get me wrong, I could have absolutely put this thing together myself, but it would have taken me 4 hours. The reason why it took so long to assemble is because of all the details to this kitchen. Every handle, knob, and screw parts needed some assembly (as mentioned earlier, having my son around during assembly didn’t help much either).
The Look and Feel
I am what you would consider a “minimalist mom at heart”. We have a small space, so the size, look, and feel of the kitchen was important to me. The white vintage design incorporates nicely with the rest of our décor, and the make is of very high quality. So, if you are looking for a quality piece that looks like furniture for an adult space and a toy for your kids, the KidKraft Vintage Toy Kitchen is a good choice.
There are a lot of doors to open and close, which is something my son LOVES to do. The materials are nice and sturdy, so it can withstand some fairly hard slamming. There are a total of 5 doors, 3 working oven knobs, and even a detachable play phone handle. The little oven even has a sliding piece that comes out, just like a real oven.
Imaginative Play—Great for Child Development
What I like about the kitchen is that it promotes open-ended imaginative play. Once we had it fully assembled, one of the first things our son said was, “put snack in fridge”. He pretends to call grandma and grandpa on the play phone, and he loves opening the doors and placing things in and closing the doors shut. At this point in time, he uses the kitchen more as a storage unit for all his trains and dinosaurs (another win for the parents, as it’s become additional storage).
The kitchen appeals to multiple ages. Our son is almost 3 years old now, and he loves to help out around the house and build things. He’s been developing these skills over the last few months, but we are starting to see him flourish now. I can see this kitchen being great for kids between the ages of 3 and 6 years old. Perhaps, as he gets a bit older, he’ll pretend to cook stuff on it. We have yet to get him any pots and pans for the kitchen, so for now it’s become a handy home for his other toys.
Overall, I think that the KidKraft Vintage Kitchen is a great addition to the toy family. We’ll get a lot of use out of it, and it even looks great in our living room. In addition to the kitchen, I would also suggest these fun food and cooking playsets to go along with it. Try the Melissa and Doug Kitchen Play Set, or the Melissa and Doug Food Group Wooden Play Set—both available online at www.BestBuy.ca.