Melissa & Doug Grocery Store

Toy Guides

Best Kitchen Play Sets for Toddlers

March 20, 2023

When it comes to pretend play, kids and toddlers love to mimic the adults in their life—especially when it comes to household activities like cooking up a meal in the kitchen or grocery shopping and bagging up their items. If you’re looking to foster this type of play, bringing a kitchen play set into your home can open up a whole world of fun. Beyond being fun, play kitchens foster engaging, skill-building play while developing children’s confidence. And when paired with play food accessories, it can open up a dialogue about food groups and balanced nutrition making them a win-win for parents! 

Best Play Kitchens, Play Sets, and Accessories 

Kitchen play sets are a great way to give children a safe, designated area to explore their imagination and act out these roles. They’re also a wonderful thing to have in your home when you’re looking for a rainy day activity! Whether you have the space for a full kid-sized kitchen or are looking for smaller food-themed play sets to encourage curiosity and creativity, we have plenty of options below for budding chefs of all ages. 

Our Classic Chef’s Play Kitchen 

Melissa & Doug Chef's Kitchen - Charcoal

This classic kid kitchen comes in three colors: Charcoal, Cupcake, and Cloud. Kids will love the realistic details like the refrigerator that dispenses "ice cubes," appliances with dials that turn, a microwave with a turning plate, and a sink with a moving faucet and handle. This easy-to-assemble set also includes a grocery checklist, movable hooks, and ample shelving and storage for easy cleanup and engaging in role-playing activities. 

And you can’t have a play set without a fully stocked kitchen! Add the kitchen accessory play set, wooden play food, play food cans, and fridge fillers to enhance the make-believe meal-making! Looking for something more upscale? This stainless steel pots and pan play set features shiny cookware even mom and dad would envy.

(TIP: Encourage positive behaviors by having them “clean up” the kitchen after playtime with the Spray, Squirt, and Squeegee Play Set). 

Food Play Sets for When You’re Tight on Space 

Melissa & Doug Slice & Stack Counter

If you’re tight on space, no problem! Your child can still experience plenty of imaginative food play with our space-efficient Slice & Stack Sandwich Counter or Top & Bake Pizza Counter. These sturdy wooden counters allow children to create made-to-order sandwiches or pizza with all the toppings and fixin’s they could want. Both sets come with play money and ways to serve up their delicious creations to “customers”, like a sturdy red tray for sandwiches and a pizza box for packaging up “fresh” pizzas to-go. It's a deliciously fun way to encourage counting, sorting, and fine motor skills, as well as imaginative play and storytelling.

More Play Sets for Imaginative Food Play 

Melissa & Doug Metal Toy Shopping Cart

If you have even more room in your house for imaginative play, our Fresh Mart Grocery Store set comes with a companion collection of accessories with everything kids three and older need to stock shelves and get shopping! Kids can act just like parents or grandparents with role-play items like an apron, conveyor belt divider bar, shopping bag, play money, cards, and coupons. Add the mini grocery wagon and fun-to-fill grocery basket to get playtime rolling. 

Melissa & Doug Star Diner Restaurant Play Space
Additionally, our Star Diner food play set features a wooden diner play space with a kitchen on one side and booth seating for two on the other. This wonderful set lets kids cook and serve up diner favorites from the kitchen side, and enjoy a meal on the booth side. It also includes fun realistic details like a drink dispenser and milkshake maker in the kitchen with a mixing rod that can be pushed up and down—and the booth side includes a jukebox with a spinning dial and coin to drop in the slot!