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The Hape Play Kitchen ($117.59) is ideal for small spaces. Uncluttered and compact, it has a two-burner stovetop, oven, and sink — no bells and/or whistles.
Its simplicity leaves plenty of room for changing imaginative play over the years by incorporating new accessories.
Years - Kitchen - Fun - Daughter - Sibling
Three years later, the kitchen continues to hold up, and it's fun to watch my daughter, and now her 18-month-old sibling, grow with this toy.
When my first child was born in 2015, my family lived in a 350-square-foot apartment. We didn't have much furniture and decided to incorporate baby stuff into the existing pieces we had until we could move to a bigger space. Unfortunately, this meant that we didn't have many things for our daughter to use for stability while she was in that not-quite-walking phase.
Year - Piece - Furniture - Hape - Gourmet
When we moved the following year, the first official piece of "baby furniture" I bought was the Hape Gourmet Play Kitchen. I'd been coveting it for some time because I knew the developmental advantages of having a pretend play station. I liked that it wasn't particularly gendered in color and matched my minimalist sensibility. Uncluttered and compact, it came with a two-burner stovetop, oven, and sink — no bells and/or whistles.
At 21 inches wide, 13 inches deep, and 28 inches high, it was just the right size for my newly walking toddler to gain confidence in complex upright activities such as standing and using her hands.
Assembly - Kitchen - Husband - Hour - Tools
Assembly of the kitchen was relatively painless. It took my husband less than an hour and required only standard tools, in addition to the parts included in the box. "It's fairly involved but not complicated," he said, fists on his hips and chest puffed out to indicate his Super Dad status.
Once built, I could easily place the pretend kitchen near our real one so my toddler and...
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