Looking for a fun and engaging way for your kids to play outdoors this summer? Consider adding a playhouse with a built-in kitchen to your backyard! Playhouses with kitchens provide the perfect space for children to let their imaginations run wild. Kids can roleplay cooking up cuisines in their own little restaurant or cafe. These playhouses promote creativity, imaginary adventures, and social interaction.
Benefits of Playhouses With Kitchens
Playhouses with built-in kitchens offer many developmental benefits for kids. Here are some of the top reasons to consider adding one to your outdoor space:
Play kitchens allow kids to engage in pretend play which enhances creativity and imagination. As they roleplay chefs, servers or customers, they build storytelling skills. The open-ended play fosters cognitive development as children problem-solve scenarios and engage with others socially.
The multi-sensory act of “cooking” toy food, stirring pots and operating toy appliances boosts fine motor skills. It also builds early math skills as they count ingredients and plates.
Social and emotional skills grow as kids take on roles and cooperate together. They learn to share, communicate and express empathy during social dramas.
Sandbox kitchen combos let kids’ dig up “ingredients” to cook. The sensory, tactile play with sand and water promotes discovery and scientific learning.
Outdoor playhouses encourage physical activity, energy release and vitamin D absorption from the sun. Kids using their playhouse kitchen burn energy and stay active.
Finally, the pure fun and excitement of operating their own little kitchen set sparks joy and builds confidence. Kids stay engaged in productive play for hours.
Key Features of Playhouse Kitchens
Playhouse kitchens mimic the appliances and environment of real home kitchens. Here are some key features to look for:
- Kid-sized toy oven, stove, sink and refrigerator
- Play food items like plastic fruits, vegetables and plates
- Cabinets, countertops and kitchen tools
- Extras like a toy microwave, dishwasher or blender
Electronic playsets may have lights and sounds when buttons are pressed. Look for durable appliances and accessories made of wood, plastic or steel.
Best Outdoor Materials for Durability
Since playhouses live outdoors, they need to withstand all weather conditions year-round. Wood and plastic are two popular construction materials with pros and cons.
Wood playhouses made from cedar or pine offer charming cottage-style appeal. However, they require more maintenance such as annual staining or sealing. Cedar offers natural weather and insect resistance. Pine is affordable but more prone to splintering.
Plastic and resin playhouses withstand heavy rainfall, snow and moisture better than real wood over time. Look for UV-protected plastic that resists sun damage and fading. Modular resin panels snap together for quick DIY assembly.
Other considerations for outdoor durability include:
- Adjustable height options to grow with your child.
- Structurally reinforced flooring, roof and walls.
- Weatherproofing features like vinyl windows and metal roofs.
- Mildew-resistant materials.
Choosing the Right Location
Picking the right backyard spot ensures your kids get the most use from their playhouse kitchen. Consider these factors:
- Open flat yard space for easy assembly and access
- Near a patio, deck or home entrance
- Partial shade areas to prevent overheating
- Within view from inside for supervision
Also check for potential hazards like overhead trees, slopes or power lines. Leave enough room around the playhouse for circulation and mobility.
Top Playhouse Brands With Kitchens
Ready to start shopping? Here are some top-rated backyard playhouses with built-in kitchens to consider:
Step2 LifeStyle Custom Kitchen Playhouse
This spacious playhouse measures 58 square feet and resembles a real home kitchen. The L-shaped layout has separate full-size appliances including an oven, stove, sink and refrigerator. Your kids will love the electronic lights and sounds like a real kitchen!
There’s also overhead cabinet storage plus a microwave and cordless phone accessories. A large service window and front door boost social play. Optional accessory packs include cookware or customization kits.
Backyard Discovery Monticello Cottage
With 70 square feet of interior floor space, this playhouse has room for multiple kids. The kitchenette comes equipped with an oven, sink, refrigerator and microwave. There’s also a cooking surface that resembles a gas range.
Kids will enjoy the cottage architecture with flower boxes, a Dutch door and play phone. Add on the optional wood stove accessory. There’s also a 27 inch height extension kit allowing up to 9 feet of headspace as kids grow.
Little Tikes Ultimate Cook Kitchen
This outdoor play kitchen is designed for upright or front-facing play to engage kids’ imaginations. The detailed cooktop has clicking control knobs and sizzling sounds. There’s also a built-in kitchen sink and fridge.
Kids will love playing cashier at the checkout counter. An attached side table folds down for meals. Little Tikes uses molded plastic that handles weather extremes in backyards.
Cedar Summit Gourmet Luxury Kitchen
For families wanting a premium wooden playhouse, this handcrafted cedar kitchen has it all. The spacious design includes stainless steel toy appliances like an oven, stove, sink and refrigerator.
Kids can plant and harvest toy vegetables from the built-in raised garden bed. Shutters really open and close. Cedar naturally resists rot and insect damage. Assembly takes two adults several hours.
Shopping Considerations and Safety Tips
Here are some final factors to weigh when choosing your backyard playhouse kitchen:
- Assembly time and difficulty level
- Appropriate design and size based on your child’s age
- Weight limits and maximum occupancy
- Price range and budget
Always supervise young kids during playhouse use. Review all safety guidelines and keep the exit clear. Teach children to use gently and share.
Securing and Anchoring Properly
To prevent tipping or collapse, properly secure your playhouse on a flat surface:
- Use all anchoring hardware included
- Anchor into concrete or earth with ground stakes
- Add sandbags or cement blocks on corners
- Secure to deck or patio with lag bolts
Check stability by pushing on corners and roof. Avoid potential pinch points and watch for hazards like detachable parts or exposed nails.
A backyard playhouse with a built-in kitchen can bring kids hours of imaginative fun and learning. As they roleplay restaurants, stores or homes, children build creativity, social skills and independence. Sturdy toy appliances withstand energetic play.
Top-rated playhouse brands like Step2, Backyard Discovery and Little Tikes blend indoor-outdoor durability with cute cottage designs. Look for weather-resistant materials like wood or plastic. Consider the location carefully and always anchor securely.
A backyard with a playhouse kitchen is the perfect place for family memories. Bon appetit!