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My little girl and I were wandering the aisles of The Entertainer shortly after Christmas last year. We had a £20 voucher and were looking for something nice to spend it on. I was thinking of something nice and small, but my girl had bigger and better things in mind - a big pink kitchen had caught her eye! I tried to remove her but she wouldn't budge so in the end I decided to get the kitchen for her.
* Size *
The kitchen is about a metre and a half tall, and about half a metre wide which makes it a fairly good size. It is also lightweight but quite sturdy - I can easily pick it up but my daughter has never moved it.
* Price *
To my surprise the kitchen was selling for just £19.99. However it is usually £49.99 (although I have never seen it being sold at this price) and I have seen it since selling for £24.99, which is still a pretty good price I suppose.
* Packaging *
The kitchen comes flat packed in a big cardboard box. It fitted into the boot of my car but others might not be so lucky.
* Setting up *
The kitchen came with instructions but was very easy to set up without them, it only took me around 5 minutes. There is also a set of stickers included, which you have to stick on the kitchen yourself. I did this myself as I figured my girl would make a mockery of it. I would have liked the stickers to already have been in place but older children might enjoy to place the stickers themselves (there are a number of random flowers which you can decorate the kitchen with).
* Looks/Design *
It is made by a company called Faro and it's 2 main colours are a light pink and a dark pink. It's very girly looking so little boys won't be too impressed (however there is a boyish version available in blue and red)! The age recommendation is 3 years plus, however my girl was 2 years old when we brought this kitchen and she loved to play with it - I have not really seen anything that could be a potential hazard.
Whilst Barbie probably wouldn't have been my first choice, it does look really cute and you can't really tell it's Barbie until you get up close. I also love the fact that it matches all of her other pink stuff - playhouse, trampoline etc.
* What's included *
The kitchen comes with plastic utensils - salt and pepper shakers, 2 cups, a big spoon, a pot with a handle, a bowl, 2 plates, a pot with lid, knives and forks. They have all been used a lot and are still in good condition.
Something which I wasn't expecting was that the tap actually works! You can remove the whole sink to tip the water away too. The tap needs filling up with water and works like a pump - you push down on it and the water spirts out. Great for 'washing up'. The only real downsides to this is that the stickers on the kitchen can get wet and peel off, or get ruined. Your carpets might get a bit wet too!
The oven can be opened and closed, and has a shelf inside to 'cook' things on. Our oven door wouldn't shut after a few months and eventually fell off! (it now stays off)
There are also 4 buttons on the top of the kitchen which can be turned to 'adust the temperature' and 'turn the cooker on' and make a clicking sound. The problem with the buttons is that they are easy to pull off and once my daughter realised she could take one off, she took them all off and I didn't see them again for about a month! Nowadays the kitchen has no buttons at all.
Next to the sink is a 'cooker' and next to that is an area to prepare 'food'. There are also 2 shelves in the middle of the kitchen and 2 cupboards either side of the kitchen to store the utensils. The 2 cupboard doors are constantly falling off and I have to keep clipping them back into place.
There are 2 hooks which hang over the kitchen (to hang the big spoon and pan with handle on) but if pulled with little force these can come off - they are easily clipped back into place but I still find it extremely annoying. There are also 2 holes in the kitchen to neatly store knives and forks away.
* Overall *
Well I have totally mixed feelings about this kitchen - on one hand my daughter has played and enjoyed her kitchen an awful lot, but on the other hand it's bad quality and has so many flaws.
Like most play kitchens this kitchen really encourages her imaginative play. She loves role playing and copying things that mummy does in her kitchen. She enjoys using my oven mitt to get 'hot' things out of her oven and making dinner for everybody. She particularly enjoys making us tea which involves putting the cups under the sink, tipping the salt shaker over them, stirring them with a folk, putting them back under the sink and then serving them!
As there are only 2 plates and 2 cups included in the kitchen she quite often uses bits and pieces from her other sets. There is no play food included either, so she just pretends - again using her imagination.
If you're not too fussy and can get hold of this kitchen for a cheap price then it's probably worth it, but if you are looking for a quality kitchen I would pay the extra and go for something else. My daughter has enjoyed her kitchen whilst it lasted but unfortunately it just didn't last very long and we have both grown rather frustrated with it. It's now on it's last legs and is overdue a date with the bin man!
The Kitchen set comes with loads of accessories too, from jugs, shakers and plates to utensils, the Grand Chef Kitchen has everything a little chef could ever need!