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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Lemoore, CA, USA.

    Default Play Kitchens: Wood vs Plastic

    Hi, got a question for ya'll. I posted this on the Toddler board, but wasn't sure if that is viewed as much as here. Sorry, this is long.

    DH and I are slightly at odds over the playroom. I got a used (off ebay) Little Tikes Country Kitchen while DH was on deployment for DD. She loves it, however, I wasn't thrilled with the aesthetic aspect of it. So, I looked around and found the Step 2 Lifestyle kitchens and fell in love. So many cool sounds and stuff to play with, very well thought out. Her current kitchen's only sound is a "ding" when she opens the microwave door. The Step 2 is at least green and tan tones, which goes with our color scheme in most the house. I was worried about price (they range from $130-$199), but was surprised when DH said he didn't mind the price as much as the fact that it was too much plastic, too gaudy, too big, and just plain too much altogether. He then said he'd rather see a wooden play kitchen in the playroom. He likes the scale better and likes the heirloom quality to it (fears the plastic will look dated soon). He mentioned that he liked the wooden kitchens at Pottery Barn Kids, but wasn't thrilled about the pink color used on the trim since ds (6 weeks old) will eventually be using it. I actually thought it was pretty cute too, but am having a hard time letting go of all the cool features the kids could play with on the Step 2 ones.

    The overall look is important to DH because in the future, as in the past, we may not be able to close the door to the toys. We used to own a small home in San Diego and had the toys in the open in the family/kitchen. We have sinced moved to Phoenix and currently we are moving into a large 5 bedroom home that will have a den which will be dedicated as a playroom. However, we will only own this home for 2-3 years and then be transferred again (DH's on an exhcange tour with the Air Force, he's a Marine). So, we might be back in San Diego again, in which case we might be struggling to buy a 3 bedroom home again. If that happens, and we don't get a 4th bedroom, the toys will be back in the family room or living room again.

    So, should I jump on his band wagon of wooden set, or wear him down for the cool features of the Step 2? Will the kids even care? DD is coming up on 2 1/2 years old and DS is 6 weeks. I do want something gender neutral that will hold their interest as long as possible.

    Step 2 Lifestyle kitchens:

    Like: Overall colors, cool features and sounds, like moms (microwave), has plenty of storage for items
    Dislike: Size, plastic

    Pottery Barn Kids:

    Like:Size, wood/heirloom quality, classic, cute white retro look, refrigerator has ability to put magnets on it, oven door has nice large viewing window and opens downward like real oven, clock, cupboard has cute gingham curtain and hooks for cups (though dh says this piece may be too much as far as space...I want it for storage)
    Dislike: Would have to paint the pink parts (to antique red, blue or green probably), would have to replace the pink gingham curtain, DH dislikes 3rd piece that has shelves, clock's second hand is pink even if do repaint (very minor)

    Land of Nod:

    Like: Size, wood/heirloom quality, classic, cute white retro look, refrigerator has ability to put magnets on it, cute red gingham curtain and hooks for cups, color parts are gender neutral (red), DH likes size and style slighly better than PBK
    Dislike: The way the oven door opens from the side (not downwards like a real one), maybe too small for my liking (not enough storage...maybe could put small shelving nearby though)

    What do you all think? Which one should I get for the kids? Thanks for your input in advance...

    Mom to
    DD 03/01
    DS 07/03
    DS 09/07
    DS 07/09

  2. #2
    sarasprings Guest

    Default RE: Play Kitchens: Wood vs Plastic

    I really, really want wood, but we got an old little tykes one (basic and small) free at a garage sale and it fits perfectly in our kitchen. So now, DH wants a wooden set and I want to keep our freebie.

    Just wanted to let you know -- I asked about the pinkness of the Pottery Barn set and a salesperson said that they are coming out with a stainless steel set "for boys" for Christmas.

  3. #3
    muskiesusan is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    Default RE: Play Kitchens: Wood vs Plastic

    We have a wood kitchen I picked up on clearance at TJ Maxx last year. I knew we would keep it in our kitchen, so I wanted something nicer looking than plastic and lucked out by finding such a great deal. I think in the case of something like this, the less sounds the kitchen makes, the better for the imagination. Nick actually plays better and longer with toys that don't do that much in terms of sounds and lights. So, given the choice, I would go with wood. Plus, I think they hold up better than plastic (no stickers to pull off, color fading, etc.).

    BTW, the stove door opens down like a real one, and I wish it didn't. Nick was constantly trying to stand or crawl on it, which would make the stove tip. He doesn't do it now, but it would be easier for him to reach into the stove if it opened from the side.


    WAHM to Nicholas 10/01/01

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Ohio, United States.

    Default RE: Play Kitchens: Wood vs Plastic

    I could go either way on the wood versus plastic, but, FWIW, I had a wood kitchen set as a child, loved it and it still looks like new almost 30 years later. So, there is something to be said for going with the wood.

    There are lots of other wooden kitchen options out there besides the PBK one too. If you do a google search, you'll come up with lots of hits. Also, I've noticed that local toy stores tend to carry wooden kitchens.

    Here are a few other options:
    Mommy to Justin (13 years) & Ashlyn (8 years)

  5. #5
    nohomama Guest

    Default RE: Play Kitchens: Wood vs Plastic

    Here are more links for wooden play kitchens.

    I have others bookmarked but many of them are German made and VERY expensive. There are a number of ebay sellers who make play kitchens but none of the ones I have bookmarked has had anything for sale for awhile now. If you periodically search for "wooden play kitchen" on ebay you may come up with something a little more unique than some of the more run-of-the-mill choices.

    I like the Land of Nod kitchen a lot. I understand not liking that the oven door doesn't open down as it would on a real oven but I think that kids care less about those kinds of details than adults do.

    As for whether a wooden or plastic kitchen would be more engaging, I've watched Lola play happily with both. I think the choice is really an esthetic one. I think your kids will like whichever you and your husband choose to get them.

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