Affordable Play Kitchen Set: Wooden Toys Make Great Green Gifts

Today’s Works for Me Wednesday is a themed edition: Toys that are actually worth buying.  At first I was going to write something about how kids don’t really need toys to be happy, or how I made Audrey a doll out of a cornhusk, but then I decided to take the topic a bit more seriously.  So what do I think is worth buying?  A toy kitchen. 

At first I resisted buying a play kitchen for my daughter.  I didn’t want to clutter up house with plastic, and wooden ones are expensive.  I even considered making her one, but that project floundered in the idea stage.   I never had a toy kitchen, can’t she live without one?

This all changed when I ran across this Alex Wooden Cook Top Playstove in a consignment shop for just $12.00.  I snapped it up, took it home, and Audrey gathered up the pots, pans, and food she had received as gifts in the past.   If you bought all this stuff new, it would cost just $56.00, which is a still a bargain for a play kitchen.  While none of these products is advertised as eco-friendly, I like knowing that everything is made from wood, metal, or cloth–no plastic.

Here are the contents of Audrey’s kitchen:

Alex Wooden Cook Top Playstove $29.  It’s small and portable.  I love that it doesn’t take up valuable square footage in our main living space.  We can easily move it around the house so she can cook wherever the mood strikes her.  If we set it on her toy chest or on the coffee table, it’s the perfect height if she wants to stand while whipping up her favorite dishes.

    Melissa and Doug Food Groups Set $17.  Audrey got this set of wooden food for Christmas last year.  It’s colorfully painted and comes in wooden crates for easy storage.

  • Ikea cookware set $10.  The sieve that came with this set fell apart right away, but the rest of the pieces are sturdy.  They look like real pans . . . in fact, I’m sure they could be used as real pans, as they’re just plain stainless steel.

  • Apron and potholder made from a dishtowel by my creative friend.  Audrey loves wearing the apron and handling her “hot” pots and pans with the potholder.

Audrey cooks elaborate meals on her  toy kitchen almost every day and doesn’t seem to miss some of the features you’ll find on a more expensive contraption.  The fact that her kitchen set provides her with hours of independent play time makes everything well worth the investment.

Don’t forget to enter our giveaway for your chance to win an adorable onesie and matching hat!


  1. I love that wooden kitchen set! How cute!

    We have those IKEA pots and pans too and they’ve been well-loved. They were cheap and are still going strong.


  2. Found your link on Rocks In My Dryer! I have been thinking it’s about time for my little girl to get her own play kitchen, but have also been reluctant due to space issues and not wanting more plastic “stuff” in my house. This fits my budget, too! Thanks!!

  3. Adorable. My boys loved their kitchen and play food when they were young.

  4. That’s really great! I hadn’t seen just a cooktop version.

  5. Kitchen sets are always a best bet!! My kids loved theirs.

  6. Plan Toys has a nice cooking set too, though it’s a little pricier. (

    The only reason I’ve resisted getting a play kitchen is that we have two coffee shops near our house (one in walking distance) that have nice wooden ones so my 2-year-old son can play with those almost every day. (This has also enabled us to skip buying a train table.) But that cooktop looks cool!

  7. We got one of those plastic ones as a hand-me-down when my oldest was little. The kids LOVE it, but it is falling apart. This may be a good replacement, thank you.

  8. Toy kitchens are wonderful. I did have one and loved it. Mine was a loaner and I remember that the fridge was made from a trunk stood up on its end. It was a great thing. My husband made a little kitchen for our daughter (now daughters) last Christmas out of a over fridge cabinet that we took out of our kitchen. I searched and searched before we decided to make one and the Alex was one that I liked as well.

    I made my link back to the Christmas post with photos of the kitchen and the same Ikea pot set – isn’t that the greatest set!

  9. So funny because at this moment there is a major feud going on over ownership of the toy kitchen. My son is convinced it’s his because it’s always been here and he plays with it so often that we have been storing it in his room. It actually was a gift to my daughter when she turned 2 and she decided (at the age of 7) to re-claim it. Obviously it gets played with a LOT. lol. Definitely worth it.

    One of our favorite add-ons is a little set of wooden vegetables that are in pieces and velcroed together. There is a wooden knife and cutting board for kids to chop their own vegetables. Countless hours of fun with this. I think it’s made by Melissa and Doug.

  10. Love that cooktop!

  11. Thanks for the recommendation! I’m looking at buying one of these for my daughter for Christmas.

  12. All of us need more possibilities in order to help save our earth. Great hearing about this.

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