Exploring the World of Kitchen Play Sets: A Comprehensive Guide for Older Kids (Ages 5-12)

Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef's Pretend Play Toy Kitchen

As parents, we often associate kitchen play sets with the formative years of our children, typically between the ages of 2 to 4. However, what many may not realize is that the benefits of these imaginative playsets extend well into the older age group of 5 to 12. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the importance of choosing the right kitchen play set for your older child and explore some of the best options available in 2020.

The Overlooked Benefits of Kitchen Play Sets for Older Kids

While toddlers are undoubtedly captivated by the charm of pretend kitchens, older kids between the ages of 5 and 12 stand to gain a multitude of benefits from engaging with these play sets. At this stage, children are becoming more aware of their surroundings, developing an understanding of the foods they consume, and learning about the intricacies of food preparation. A well-designed kitchen play set can play a pivotal role in nurturing these cognitive and imaginative skills.

Best Kitchen Playsets for Ages 5-12

Let’s explore some of the top kitchen play sets that cater specifically to the older age group:

1. KidKraft Ultimate Corner Play Kitchen with Lights & Sounds

KidKraft Ultimate Corner Kitchen Set


Touted as an ultimate choice, this play set boasts a myriad of features, including a fridge, freezer, microwave, oven, dishwasher, laundry, sink, and stove. The Espresso Theme adds a touch of sophistication, and its 21-inch counter height is tailored for taller children, providing hours of immersive play.

2. KidKraft Retro Kitchen and Refrigerator – Best Playset for a Girl


kidkraft retro kitchen for girls


For those seeking realism in a play set, the KidKraft Retro kitchen and refrigerator offer a lifelike appearance that enhances role-playing experiences. The modular design allows for versatile setups, accommodating different room spaces for added flexibility.

3. Farm to Table Playset

KidKraft Wooden Farm to Table Play Kitchen


KidKraft’s Farm to Table Play Kitchen Set is a delightful toy that combines play value with education. Beyond the usual pretend fruits, this set introduces an interactive element by producing sound effects simulating chopping. With a beehive of light and sound features, it provides a holistic and engaging play experience.

4. Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef’s Pretend Playset – Best Wooden Set for Taller Toddlers

Melissa & Doug Wooden Chef's Pretend Play Toy Kitchen


The Melissa & Doug Chef’s kitchen stands out with highly interactive features, including turning dials, a rotating microwave plate, and a functioning ice dispenser. Its realistic design and ample storage space make it an ideal choice for older toddlers looking to create imaginative 5-star meals.

5. KidKraft Large Playset – Staking a Claim for the Biggest Toy Cooking Set

kidkraft large kitchen set with sounds


As the name suggests, the KidKraft Large Kitchen is a substantial upgrade from the Uptown series, offering an interactive design with doors opening and closing on all pretend appliances. With a microwave, oven, freezer, refrigerator, sink, and ample storage space, it provides a comprehensive platform for endless hours of role-playing fun.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Toy Cookware for Older Children

To ensure your child maximizes the benefits of a kitchen play set, consider the following factors:

1. Extra Tall Play Kitchens: Opt for play sets designed with extra height to accommodate your growing child comfortably, promoting accessibility and engagement.

2. Counter Height: Ensure the counter height aligns with your child’s hip, facilitating effective role-playing without uncomfortable bending.

3. Appliances and Accessories: Look for sets with at least five interactive appliances, including oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and sink. Additional features like dishwashers, laundry machines, and interactive elements contribute to prolonged interest.

4. Creativity and Extras: Encourage creativity with accessories such as pretend foods, tableware, and groceries. The more accessories, the greater the potential for imaginative menu combinations, providing extended fun for your child.

In conclusion, the world of kitchen play sets for older kids is rich with options that not only entertain but also contribute to their cognitive and imaginative development. By carefully considering the features and factors mentioned, you can select the perfect kitchen play set that will provide your child with countless hours of educational and imaginative play.

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