View Full Version : Need advice pls - Play kitchen vs. house for 17 month old?

First-time mom
07-26-2011, 10:39 PM
My DD is 17 months old and we just realized that we really need new toys for her. We live in a small condo and have been trying to limit the amount of stuff b/c of our space constraints, but we realize that she needs some new toys to keep her entertained all day. I've read positive comments about play kitchens and play homes, like the FP Laugh & Learn home, and I'm thinking we can rearrange our space a bit to accomodate one of those new toys.

Would you recommend the kitchen or the home for the 17mo age group, keeping in mind our space issues? I'd appreciate any recs for one over the other, plus specific brand recommendations.

I'd also appreciate any other tips on good, engaging toys for my DD's age range that are easy to accomodate in a small space. Thanks!

07-26-2011, 11:55 PM
I think I would do a play kitchen, as you would get more use long term for it! We got DD a play kitchen at 23 mos- after researching a bit, we went with a Step 2 Lifestyle kitchen that was at Costco for about $115. It came with play food, and pots/pans/dishes. It also has areas to store the above items (something that we noticed when comparing other kitchens. We have it in a corner of our LR. DD liked it, but it is at the age of 3 where she really begin her creative play with it, fixing things to serve to mom and dad!


07-27-2011, 12:12 AM
She's a bit old for the Laugh and Learn home - she'd like it, definitely, but it's more for 12-18 months I think. Maybe one of those collapsable (not inflatable) tent houses?

I found 17 months is a little too young for a kitchen. She'll love it but won't use it for cooking, more for stuffing toys into and opening and closing doors. But it's definitely something she can grow into. For a small space, I like the Educo one or the Ikea.

Also you'd get a lot of mileage out of a small dollhouse or art desk.

07-27-2011, 12:58 AM
Welcome to the boards!

We have both a Learning Home and a play kitchen and they're both great, but if I had to pick one I'd go with a kitchen since it will probably get played with much longer. We have this one, which is really compact and great for small spaces. It's also wood and has a neutral color scheme so it doesn't hurt my eyes. It's pretty small but just the right height for toddlers and my nearly 4 year old still plays with it a bunch too. I store a plastic tub of play food underneath it.
Educo My Creative Cookery Club (http://www.amazon.com/Educo-My-Creative-Cookery-Club/dp/B000A6L6WK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1311740862&sr=8-3)

Other ideas:
Play tent with detachable tunnel (http://www.amazon.com/Pacific-Play-Tents-Lady-Tunnel/dp/B00009IMAT/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1311741834&sr=8-3) if you have space (we leave ours out all the time but it can be put away when not in use):

Pounding balls--we have something similar to this (http://www.amazon.com/Early-Years-E00500-Earlyears-Pound/dp/B00000J03J/ref=sr_1_7?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1311741965&sr=1-7):

Busy Poppin Pals (http://www.amazon.com/Playskool-Busy-Poppin-Pals-Colors/dp/B00005N9EE/ref=sr_1_3?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1311742282&sr=1-3)

Plan Toys Walk & Roll (http://www.amazon.com/PlanToys-Plan-Preschool-Walk-Roll/dp/B000RMPQKU/ref=sr_1_1?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1311742530&sr=1-1)

Doll & Doll stroller
Doctor kit

07-27-2011, 08:02 AM
I'm in a similar situation. DS is just going on 16 months and doesn't have many toys that are engaging enough. He LOVES to play in the kitchen cabinets and drawers, though, so I just bought the KidKraft Vintage Kitchen in White. (http://www.amazon.com/KidKraft-53208-Vintage-Kitchen-White/dp/B004A2QTRC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1311767958&sr=8-1) He'll get his own utensils, pots and pans and food and will have a ball! It also looks rather nice, so I'm happy to have it in our living area for several years. Win win!

07-27-2011, 09:19 AM
welcome to the board!

i agree that the laugh and learn house is a younger thing.... at this point, go STRAIGHT FOR THE KITCHEN!!!! (is anyone surprised that this is my advice? ;))

i was going to mention the educo kitchen already mentioned. everything is included that a 17 month would "need" -- less (in terms of playfood/accessories) is more at that age. (me saying THAT is the surprise, i guess...oh well, live and learn! we have an ENORMOUS kitchen stuff collection that my 3.5 year old still finds too much) it's also well sized for your space but still has enough to "do." play kitchens definitely have the potential to grow with your child! enjoy!

the dr. kit i got at toys r us on a whim (black friday i think-- it was 3.00 i think? the fisher price one in the turquoise bag) was a HUGE hit with my child and for the space it takes up i'd say it's an ESSENTIAL toy. dolls/doll stuff gets less use around here.... my kid isn't naturally mothering like some kiddos. (which breaks my little dollloving heart, but i'm getting over it) :)

art supplies are huge around here.... i had to scale back my expectations at first,and make it all about process--but eventually children really blossom into "creating" and i think exposing them to different materials and letting them explore art is important and enjoyable (and sometimes messy and involved, but soso worth it!)

my kiddo could never get enough books. i know that age is usually more a "board book" time....but we let our daughter flip through "real" books starting at 15 months ....she would sit for nearly an hour just looking. of course we'd do lots of reading at other times, so she was used to good book behavior ;)

enjoy! things are really going to get fun now!

07-27-2011, 10:13 AM
I agree w PP that the learning home would be past it's prime with your DD. We got one when DD was a year and I think that was even too late, probably would have been good when she was crawling. DD still plays with it some but it doesn't get much love, she's 18 months now.

This stuff is obviously hit or miss but the biggest hits here are:
Ikea play food and pots and pans. We have a small play wonder kitchen but she doesn't really play with it yet.
Baby doll and stroller
Books, any and all
Play hut pop up tent. Its like this, but we only set up the tall piece and short tunnel

First-time mom
07-27-2011, 09:26 PM
All, thanks so much for the advice and recommendations, I really appreciate it! We're going to go with the play kitchen based on your tips, now just need to decide on a brand/model. I also appreciate the info about other toys, will definitely look into those as well!