At some point around the time that your child turns 2 or 3 you will find yourself shopping for a toy kitchen. The draw of play kitchens is not to be underestimated and both my children have spent many a happy hour playing with them.
It’s a question often asked on the Mumsnet forums – which play kitchen is the best? Well, to help you narrow down the choice, here’s my review of the latest offering from the Great Little Trading Company – the Cavendish Play Kitchen.
Beautifully designed, it comes in a pleasing American Diner style colour palette of red and blue. It’s counterpart, the Portobello comes in pale pink, should you be of the mindset that your child must have things in pink.
First things first. This is a flat pack product which comes in a smallish box, with the pieces wrapped carefully in bubblewrap. The instructions are printed on one sheet of paper and of the diagram variety.
By virtue of living close to an Ikea, as you can imagine, I am quite the expert at flat pack construction and so I set to with gusto. The kit comes with an Allen key but you will also need a small Philips screwdriver.
All went well until I reached the kitchen shelf, whose pre-drilled holes were just out. Matters were resolved by use of a drill and two new holes were created, though no doubt had I asked, I could have had a new shelf shipped out to me to replace it. Shelf issues aside, the instructions were clear, but execution fiddly. You will need two people, one to hold the pieces and the other to wield the screwdriver.
As you can see from the pictures, this is a very attractive play kitchen. Once put together it is sturdy and stable; the door works easily, and the knobs turn with a pleasing clicking noise. My son was immediately drawn to the clock, salt and pepper rack and the utensil hooks and he spent some time exploring those before he even realised there was an oven and dials to investigate. The kitchen comes with salt and pepper pots with removable lids and three wooden kitchen utensils. You can also purchase a number of very attractive looking saucepan sets from Great Little Trading Co to go with it, which mix and match.
Also known as ‘destructo-boy’ or ‘Bam-Bam’, my son will find a weakness in any toy almost immediately. I’m happy to report nothing has been broken or pulled off, and believe me, he has tried. Further trials have revealed that the kitchen sink is removable and also doubles as a hat and casserole dish.
Another bonus to this kitchen, compared to others I have experience of, is how light it is. I can pick it up and move it to another room with ease, no help required. Given my son likes to be in whichever room I’m in, being able to move his favourite toy is useful. It’s just the right size for a toddler, big enough, with enough features to be interesting and not so big that it dominates a room. The very fact that it is such a lovely design and colour is a bonus in itself, meaning I am not silently resenting it taking up space in my house. The finish is good, with no rough edges and the paintwork is pristine. There are no flimsy or easily breakable parts at all.
If you wanted a bigger kitchen with more features, perhaps for a slightly older child then there are several other models available. You could try the Superstar Play Kitchen featuring microwave and washing machine or the Superchef Kitchen with fridge freezer.
This kitchen is priced at £95 with free delivery and can be ordered through the Great Little Trading Company website. The perfect gift for a toddler, this kitchen is good value for money, and likely to be played with for some time to come.