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~* Chef Kai *~ Kai, although he rarely wants to actually eat food, is fascinated with the different textures of it and very much enjoys food based sensory activities, for example chopping or mushing food up, or helping me or Daddy cook, blend or stir. Because of this, me and my fiancé came to an agreement that Kai's main birthday present for his birthday in January would be a toy kitchen. We knew that he would get a lot of use out of it, and began looking around in advance. Most of the toy kitchens that I came across were made from plastic, which I try to stay clear of. After googling 'wooden play kitchen' I came across this, which I knew was perfect, if a little expensive! After weeks of putting a little money by, we had enough to buy Kai this, and I am so glad that we did. ~* Price *~ The retail price for this kitchen is £89, and this is the price that we paid. Delivery was free. I think for a well made, wooden toy kitchen this is a reasonable price, and this is the cheapest wooden toy kitchen that I was able to find. ~* Measurements *~ Height: 2ft 1 inch Width: 2ft 6 inches Depth: 1ft 2 inches ~* In Use *~ The kitchen arrived flat packed, so I left my fiancé to put it together! It took him around forty five long, tedious minutes, but then again he is not the best at DIY so it might take some people a lot less time! After he had put it together, I added a few bits and bobs such as containers, a pretend sauce pan and fruit. It did not come with any of these things with it, but we already had the containers so I only needed to buy the sauce pan which is actually quite easy to find. The kitchen once it had been made up was really impressive looking. It is big and bright enough to catch your attention when you walk into the dining room (where we keep it), but small enough not to take up that much room and it does not look out of place. It is very modern looking and it looks a lot better than the plastic ones - it just looks more sophisticated, which is an odd thing to say about a child's toy but if you could see it you would know what I mean! The material is excellent quality - you can tell that it is good quality wood as it is absolutely solid. The kitchen is quite realistic looking and it has everything a normal kitchen has - shelves (Kai's favourite part of it at the moment) a cooker, a hob and a sink. The cooker door opens and closes and once the child has put their food etc in they can sit and watch their food 'cooking'. The little detailing such as the dials , which rotate, and tap have entertained and fascinated Kai no end! He loves fiddling around and playing with this kitchen and he loves putting food on the shelves and organising it. It didn't take him very long to get the jist of how to play with it, we started by doing some pretend mixing and cooking and I often chop up real, soft fruit and vegetables with him with a blunt knife and put it in his pretend sauce pan so he can 'cook' it, and he usually eats a little when he thinks he's done. After showing him how do to these things he was soon doing it by himself - pretending to pour water into the saucepan from the tap, mixing it up and 'cooking' it! The only slightly 'bad' thing I can think of is that Kai sometimes struggles to get certain foods, for example apples, to stay on the shelf as they roll off due to the smooth surface and there's nothing to keep them in place. Kai can get very anxious about little things like this, but up to now he has simply tried and tried again until the object stays in place, which is wonderful to observe and I always step in and help him if I see him getting a little upset. The kitchen is easy to clean. I use a wet wipe and it doesn't take very long. It is lovely watching him with this kitchen and he plays with it everyday. ~* All In All *~ An excellent toy kitchen. It is well made, nicely designed and Kai adores it.
Last year our small wooden kitchen needed replacing with a slightly bigger version so both my son's could enjoy being little chef's. From an early age I have encouraged the role play of cooking it is fantastic for your child's use of imagination and can fill hours with so much enjoyment. I have always been a sucker with wooden toys they look so nice, are so sturdy and my boys love them too. Whilst searching the internet I found a gem with this Country Wooden Toy Kitchen by Millhouse. It looked lovely and after checking measurements would fit perfect in their smallish bedroom. The Kitchen This wooden kitchen comes with a cooker, hob, sink and shelves below the sink. The design of this particular kitchen did strike me as a little different to others I had seen with the inclusion of shelves and the whole feel of it felt rustic. As I have mentioned the cooker is perfect size for my two boys to play round and perfect size for their room. It measures roughly 77cms in width, 65cms in height and 36cms in depth. Standing at the cooker on your right hand side you have four black hobs with four red plastic dials down along the side of them. The hobs are perfect size for my son's wooden pans they already have and the dials for the hobs twist. Below the hob is the cooker which has a silver coloured door. The door has a realistic perspex panel in it so your child can watch their food inside just like adults do with theirs! Inside the cooker is a shelf allowing for two creations to cook. As with this entire kitchen a lot of thought and care has been put into it. This shows in the little feature of the anti finger trap door hinge. The door closes softly and fastens onto two velcro pads. The door doesn't come with a handle which in my eyes from experience is good as it is one less thing to drop off in time. The door instead comes with a small cut out hole to put fingers in and pull open. To the left of the cooker is a Belfast style sink and open shelves below it. The sink comes with a single grey tap that has rotating blue and red hobs on the side. On either side of the kitchen are large oblong cut out holes to carry the kitchen. Although it is very heavy and I can't see you carrying it about too often! Overall the look of the kitchen is gorgeous. It is painted a lovely shade of red with the natural wood coming through in places and a touch of white and silver on it too. I feel it is a nice unisex kitchen for any young child. Assembling the kitchen and its quality On arriving I could tell this product was going to be one of good quality. The parcel was extremely heavy and I struggled to move it from my door way. But these days nothing defeats me and I managed to get it moved and got it upstairs. The country kitchen comes flat packed like most things these days. Assembling the kitchen wasn't difficult and can be done by one person lucky for me. On opening the packaging I saw it only comes with two bolts which to begin I was a little concerned about but putting it together really is that simple. The pieces clip together making it very simple. Once together the product is extremely sturdy and I was very impressed with it. The kitchen is made from durable beech effect wood which would explain the heaviness of the product. Just feeling the wood and looking at its thickness you can see it is good quality. Even the back of the kitchen is made from solid wood rather than the thin chipboard our previous small cooker had. The kitchen is painted in child friendly satin paint. The paint effect looks lovely and to be honest looks very realistic without an over the top shine like many products you can get. I have found this kitchen very easy to keep clean the boys love to give it a dust from time to time. Having two young boys my eldest five years and my youngest three and a half the kitchen has been put through its paces especially with my youngest. So far it is doing very well and everything is in tacked and looks like it did when it was first purchased. I can see this kitchen lasting well. As well as been beautifully made and an extremely fantastic product it is also been made in the Uk! This has to be an added bonus doesn't it. It is actually made in Lincolnshire which isn't too far from when I live just over the Humber Bridge. Millhouse has been going for over 30 years and begun in a garden shed in Lincoln and developed from there. Our opinions From the moment my son's saw this kitchen their faces lit up. Straight away they were in there with their pots and pans and food. The kitchen doesn't come with any accessories but that wasn't a problem for us as my boys have a basket full of the stuff. For my youngest son it is the simple things that keep him happy. I gave him a kitchen sponge of mine and he was happy stood at his sink pretend cleaning his pots just like mummy you see! My eldest on the other hand has pans on the go cooking up his delights usually a casserole and stocking his shelves up of all the food they own. My eldest son is near enough five now and still loves the role play of playing with a kitchen. The use of his imagination is fantastic and I love to sit and watch him. My youngest is still a little repetitive with his play but I hope he will get their (his development is at least six months behind it always has been). I feel this kitchen is perfect size for two young children and they play happily alongside each other for quite some time. I know this kitchen will last them for some time to come especially my younger son who tends not to grow out of his toys as quickly. We recently had a family member round who is nine and we found her enjoying playing with the kitchen. Granted you wouldn't buy it for a child of this age and it is best suited to a young child but it just shows how much fun a kitchen can be. Cost At the time of buying it I paid a total of £80 which included postage from the Millhouse ebay store. I really did get a bargain at that price. I can't believe what a fantastic, well made product we have. Looking now it must have been on special offer as it is priced at £146 now which after searching for wooden kitchens online I would say was a more realistic price to be paying for such a lovely product. I would still be happy to pay that price as it brings so much enjoyment to our house and I can see it lasting for a few years to come yet.