Eco-friendly play kitchen sets are, in my opinion one of those must have childhood toys. Kids LOVE them and they serve multiple fun and educational purposes. When I was a kid I incorporated menu making, dolls, clay, and more into my play kitchen and used it for years.
Each year, as I update this play kitchen guide and my ultimate green dollhouse guide I get tons of questions from readers surrounding materials used to make the products I share. Most readers say they want zero plywood and zero lead in products – even if the rest of the product is eco-friendly. Being that this is what readers are talking about, I made a guide about play kitchen safety – how to choose a safe and eco-friendly play kitchen set or dollhouse that discusses these issues.
Secondly, this year, I’m attempting to post only ply-wood free play kitchen sets in this guide, or sets that use eco-ply. If it has any eco-ply though, I’ll point it out, as some people don’t like it. Lastly, if you really want a play kitchen set that’s perfectly eco-friendly according to your standards, you may want to consider making one. Then you can include (or not) any materials you see fit.
Tips for choosing the best play kitchen
- Look for sustainable wood not plastic.
- Look for child-safe non-toxic, lead-free finishes.
- If you can buy local it’s better for your carbon footprint than having a very large kitchen set sent to you. You can check with companies to see how they package and ship as well. Many green companies will flat-ship.
- Most play kitchens will need to be assembled, so make sure you have some basic building skills and tools around.
- Play kitchens can be costly, but one you get what you pay for and two, kids can be tough on toys. Going with a cheap play kitchen set will cost you more in the long run. An heirloom quality kitchen can also be resold or passed down in the family.
- When considering your budget, also leave some space for goodies like play food and play dishes. Most play kitchen don’t come with this stuff, and your child will want accessories.
If a green kitchen play set is on your child’s wish list this holiday season, following are the best of the best green and safe options.
Camden Rose is king when it comes to gorgeous green play kitchen sets. All of their sets are eco-friendly, safe and full of fun features kids love.
One good deal, if you’ve got the cash to spare is the kitchen plus accessory set (shown above) offered by Rosie Hippo. This kitchen set comes with a bunch of goodies, including Sweet Set, Linen Bag, Apples, Pears, Cucumbers, Eggs, Tangerines in a Mesh Bag, Carrots, Grapes, Cherries, Cooking Utensils, Tableware Set, Assorting Cutting Fruits and Veggies on a Tray, Canned Food Set, Towel Set and Wooden Bowl.
Camden Rose Affordable Sets – under $300
Camden Rose makes the bling kitchen sets above, but now they also have a few more affordable options as well, such as the little stove (shown above) and the table top kitchen (shown below), that are just as safe and beautiful, but smaller and more budget-friendly. The Little Stove is made with cherry and ash wood, with birch knobs.
The Table Top Kitchen features a counter top walnut sink bowl, faucet and stove-top burners packed into a simple, contemporary modular design, available in Curly Maple w/Walnut accents or Cherry w/Walnut accents
I recently wrote a post about all the cute and affordable play kitchen sets offered by PlanToys. They have so many options to choose from and they’re a great green company.
This is a great little test kitchen – meaning, if your child like this kitchen you’ll know it’s fine to spend more on a longer-lasting play kitchen set. Eco-friendly, inexpensive and cute! Learn more.
While expensive, this is truly a wonderful play kitchen, made locally and safely with real materials and awesome features. I wrote all about this kitchen a while back so check out the link below to learn more.
Made with real beach wood and child safe paints in Germany, this little table top kitchen is easy on space and your budget. The kitchen top can be set on a table edges or steps or taken to a play date.
Less expensive eco-friendly play kitchen sets
You’ve got some various options for less expensive play kitchens. Look on Craigslist or eBay for sellers or check out child consignment shops and thrift store. Consider looking in your local newspaper. This time of year it’s easier to find folks who are selling an item like this. If you’re buying used, make sure the kitchen is in good working order. Painting a kitchen to freshen it up is easy, but if doors aren’t working, the wood is splintered, or it’s unsteady, it can be an unsafe purchase.