on April 20, 2010
I bought this kitchen for my two-year-old daughter this past Christmas, so she's been able to play with it for about four months now. Unfortunately, I think I wasted my money. I'm probably going to sell or give this one away and get a different kitchen. :(
It is an adorable kitchen and seems sturdy. The problem is the functionality. The kitchen has a narrow depth. Only 13" compared to Melissa and Doug's 17.5". This means there is not much counter space, but the worst part is that the kids really can't use the oven or dishwasher. Basically, they just have to throw food/pans/etc. in the space and shut the door. The oven and dishwasher do not have shelves. And because of the narrow depth, things like the Melissa and Doug cookie sheet have to be sat vertically in order to fit in the oven or dishwasher. Even the PBK pans we have need to be sat in the oven vertically. My daughter does not even use the bottom half of this kitchen. What a waste!
It would have been better if they got rid of the laundry and divided that extra space equally between the oven and dishwasher and added shelves. But they didn't, so here with are with this cute kitchen that doesn't really serve it's purpose.
on December 13, 2009
Assembly info: It took 1 person about 2 hours to assemble. The pieces, including the screws and bolts, were very well labeled and organized.
The kitchen itself: Countertop is 19 3/4" from the floor. Kitchen is primarily MDF wood with some plastic (handles, knobs, faucet, sink bowl, water dispenser & phone). The chalkboard is real. The sink bowl can come out but there are 2 latch pieces underneath to keep it attached to the kitchen.
I also looked at real wood kitchens but at almost double the cost of this one, it wasn't feasible. Two kids can easily play together at the kitchen. I love that there are cabinets to store the food out of sight. A few parents mentioned that counter space for prepping food was important so I factored that into my search. I'm happy this kitchen does not make any noises because I wanted the kids to creatively come up with their own. Overall, I think this is a great toy. The kids have been playing with it every day.
on January 22, 2010
This kitchen is super-cute, and gender neutral (yay!), with some great features like the microwave, water dispenser, extra shelving, clock and chalkboard. It is, however, very small -- the Melissa & Doug pizza and cucake pans will fit in the oven, but not the cookie sheet. I'd trade the washer for more storage or fridge space or a bigger oven. It is light and tippy, so you'll need to latch it to the wall somehow (oddly, the little silver feet seem to make it much more tippy -- if you assembled without those, you might be better off). Some other weird features: 1) the phone has no buttons/numbers; 2) neither the stove nor the dishwasher has a shelf, really cutting down on their usefulness; 3) the fridge has one shelf, which comes out all the time and bonks the little ones on the noggin (I put a little sticky felt piece in front of it to stop it from sliding out). A second shelf or basket would be nice. I am trying to figure out a way to "hack" it to add these features.
Also, this is NOT easy to put together. There are 27 steps, and more than 50 pieces with a million screws, and you can't use a power screwdriver on most of them. I am moderately handy, and it took me about 6 hours (including an hour to unwrap all the little pieces and check for missing pieces). Don't wait until Christmas eve.
Finally, if you are buying now, Target currently has play hotmitts on the dollar aisle that match *perfectly*.
on July 28, 2010
As other reviewers have noted this is a really fine looking kitchen, seems very sturdy once assembled, and definitely big enough for two kids. The dials make very satisfying clicking sounds, and I love the fact that there is a washing machine, dishwasher, and shelves to store dishes and "food."
There are some quality issues with the manufacturing, though. The "wood" is MDF with a paper wood-grain covering, and when the material was cut during manufacturing the edges of the paper woodgrain material were jagged (they need to use a finer toothed saw or run it at a slower speed!). The kid doesn't care, of course. More troublesome was that three of the parts arrived damaged, and it wasn't the fault of the shipper; the damaged parts were deep in the box's interior, so it seems like it had to have been damaged at the manufacturer (in China). One of the damaged parts was the big blue countertop, which had suffered a crack that caused the paint to chip and flake off in a very prominent location. The catch to the oven door was broken. Many of the screws did not go in quite straight, though once tightened it all seemed reasonably square and solid.
Fortunately, although the factory's in China, Kidkraft's customer service is American. When I called, an actual human answered the phone on the first ring, confirmed they had replacement pieces in stock, and immediately shipped them. I'm just glad I assembled it a week *before* my kid's birthday!
Other reviewers are not kidding when they say it takes 2+ hours to assemble. I consider myself an experienced veteran at putting together flat-pack furniture and it took me more than two hours, *without* the "help" of the kid. Everything is extremely clearly labeled though -- it's not difficult, just a long process. You need a #1 Phillips screwdriver in addition to the provided hex wrench.
I wish there was a rack inside the oven and maybe in the dishwasher too, but really it's a very fine kitchen playset, suitable for boys and girls, without annoying electronic noises.
on March 12, 2011
We purchased this kitchen for our 2year old daughter as a Christmas gift, we've had it a few months now. Overall, we have really enjoyed the kitchen, my daughter and other kids who come to play have had a blast and it gets used every day.
The first issue we had was when assembling the kitchen, we found that the pre-installed hinges on one of the doors were backwards. So we contacted Kid-Craft via their website and found it very easy to request a replacement door. They shipped quickly and the new door was perfect. Otherwise, assembly went well. All of the pieces were well packaged, and labeled. The instructions included good pictures, but no descriptions.
Since we've begun using the kitchen we've had a few issues. First, almost immediately the "clickers" inside the knobs broke. (they are supposed to make noise as you turn them) We disassembled one to see what the problem was and basically it's a tiny plastic tab that broke off so there is no way to fix it. We have not contacted the manufacturer for this problem because we figured they would likely just break again anyway. Secondly, there are short panels below the oven and dishwasher that continually are loose. I finally took them apart and filled the holes with wood glue and reinstalled them. So far this seems to have solved the problem. The sink bowl also comes out very easily. I have been meaning to attempt to use some glue or something to attach it permanently to the kitchen. And finally, one problem that we have is that the kids open the doors on the bottom and then stand on them. We have to watch carefully that they do not try to climb on the kitchen. It does have a high possibility to tip, so I strongly encourage anyone with this product to use the included wall anchor.
Other things that I do like about the kitchen are the colors, ample storage for kitchen toys, size is good for a couple kids to play together, assembly was fairly easy (oh I also recommend using a better allen wrench than what is included, and you need a stubby screwdriver to get into some of the tight corners) I look forward to having our kids play with this kitchen for years to come!
on June 30, 2010
We bought this kitchen for our son because it was such a fabulous deal on Amazon and we felt like we got the biggest bang for our buck. Here are my pro/con lists:
~~Nice finish, bright colors, overall an attractive design
~~Lots of things to do to keep little ones busy
~~Perfect size for a three year old (might be a little small for an older child)
~~Sturdy, metal hinges, nice closures
~~Mostly wood, very little plastic
~~I like the fact that the stove, for example, is raised like a real stove and not just painted on, and the fridge even has pretend in-door-water
~~The idea of throwing a washing machine into the kitchen is cute and adds an extra activity (although my son prefers to store food in it)
~~All the knobs work and make little clicking noises
~~Assembly is a bit insane. You get this box that is not too large, but you have to take everything out and assemble piece by piece. It took my husband and I 2.5 hours and we're pretty crafty about assembling furniture. A lot of the little screws are in hard-to-reach places. Thankfully all the pieces are numbered and all the screws are labeled so it's pretty straightforward. Also be warned it is a two-person job - not because it is heavy, but because a lot of parts need one person to hold something steady while the other person tries to attach it.
~~Packaging: the little chalkboard was broken when I took it out of the box, one screw (the one that holds the peg on the fridge door) was missing and a couple of the wooden pieces have chips in them. I am hoping that I can get this rectified without a lot of hassle.
~~It would be nice if the dishwasher and oven had a shelf in them. It makes them a little less realistic that stuff just kind of gets dumped into a hole with a door on it.
If I had to do it over again would I buy the same kitchen? Yes, I would.
on December 30, 2009
I bought two of these kitchens for grandchildren in two states, and was amazed at the quality. It is very gender-friendly as both my grandson (3 1/2), and his little sister (22 months) play together with it. My other little granddaughter who is 19 months old loves hers too! I actually put one of them together by myself, and was so thrilled that all pieces were marked and all the hardware was packaged and labeled. In other words, it is "idiot-proof"! I am a 57-year-old grandmother with carpal tunnel, and still managed to put it together in 4 hours, taking my time -- and even with two toddlers "helping"! :) I would highly recommend this item. It is sturdy and well-made, and the grandchildren love it!! I purchased the wooden food; wooden Cookie Set; wooden pots and pans, and multi-colored wooden bottles of condiments (all made by Melissa and Doug) as accessories.
on January 12, 2010
Though it has a lot of features, there aren't any sound effects (other than the clicking the knobs make when turned - which my daughter loves). I couldn't believe how hard it was to find a kitchen that didn't scream GIRL (I have a daughter and a son) that was wood while not being a million dollars. I got this for my daughter for Christmas and it has been a huge hit! It's not solid wood, but we haven't had any problems with breakage thus far (and don't anticipate any). It takes awhile to put it together, so make sure to give yourself the time and not stay up until 5 am on Christmas morning putting it together like we did!
Overall, it's a winner. Everyone who has come over and seen it has been very complimentary. It does have some plastic parts, but it's not ALL plastic and we were ok with that.
on December 15, 2009
Assembly took 2 1/2 hours, by myself with toddler "helping".
Everything labeled and no missing parts. Instructions very easy to follow.
Kitchen is sturdy and well constructed. Very happy with the quality of the wood.
I think the washing machine with the round door and the water/ice dispenser on the refrigerator are nice modern touches to a very classic looking kitchen. All the knobs turn and click. The doors open easily but also latch and stay shut when they should.
My daughter has spent hour playing with this kitchen and always seemed very entertained.
on February 22, 2014
My niece went straight to this like a fox if an actual chicken were boiling on Christmas morn. I thought at 19 mos. she would be too young to be engaged, but no, she knew exactly what to start doing, and still loves it like the day she got it, spending hours' sessions cutting vegetables and doing what she does when she helps mommy. She loves to put things in the microwave, salt things (I don't know where she picked that up) on the stove, and store things in the fridge and oven. There's so much to do. Get some extra pots and pans, utensils, there are some great fruits and vegetables I got at Target, 2 halves stuck together by velcro, and she squeals with delight whenever she cuts one in half and the other end goes flying. Some Play-Dough, chalk, a SHOPPING CART, have all been wonderful accessories I don't know how she could have lived without. She's barely speaking yet, but she knows her way around this kitchen. She may put the milk and relish in the microwave, but it doesn't matter, she's thoroughly engaged every second. She loves to make soup and serve it to onlookers, she's improved on how to hold a spoon, blow on hot soup, but she gets so much out of feeding others, and then she'll stop to answer the phone, it's the cutest thing I've ever seen. I was initially afraid of reinforcing stereotypes, since she was too young to express that she wanted this, but our instincts were correct, it's the toy she never knew she always wanted. It took 2 grown men 3 hours to put it together, it was easy to follow the instructions, but it was screw-intensive. They made good and sure this is never going to fall apart. Ever. Most screws are at least 3" and take 5 minutes to screw in, you have to position the socket which takes nimble fingers and do all of the screwing with one Allen wrench. I suggest you have a good quality Allen wrench if you want a less painful experience, and get one for everyone who's helping. Passing the wrench back and forth absorbed most of the time, but the other helper can be looking at the directions and preparing for the next step. It's just that each screw takes so long to get all the way in. Were we not in the middle of nowhere in a vacation rental on Christmas Eve, I would have run out and bought 2 decent Allen wrenches after the first 5 minutes. Overall, really well designed and sturdy. I do wish there was more counter space. I wish there were shelves in the oven and dishwasher. These are important components that I'm surprised were left out and it's the only reason I would lower it's rating. She's so young that it doesn't bother her, but if she were more kitchen savvy, I know she would be put off. It forces you to throw everything in and leaves no room for teaching about organization and putting things in their proper place. I wish the phone were on a magnet cradle if it's not going to have a cord, which isn't such a bad thing, and I wish there were some hooks on the side for an apron, broom, other little things that need to be hung. I can see a lot of improvements that could be easily implemented, and would have been if the designers had just spent a day with my niece. I can see these are things we will be adding ourselves. If I could deduct half a star for those reasons, I might, but the look and the size of it are so perfect, combined with how much she loves it, and I had to round it up. It's not too big, and it's not too small, and it will look great in any room. It's not perfect, and yet it was. I'm so happy we went this route. The beige canvas/wood shopping cart at Pottery Barn Kids is an absolutely essential addition. As are the kitchen and grocery accessories.