When I purchased Melissa and Doug Stainless Steel Pretend Play Kitchen Set for my 7 year old niece, it was without too much thought or extensive background research – after all, it was just a pretend set. But it is 3 months now and I am indeed impressed enough to write about it.
I love working in the kitchen myself, and my niece Cynthia is an eager observer and has had her own set of kitchen play sets since she was four. Melissa and Doug Stainless Steel Play Set was the fifth, (or was it the sixth?) one set that she’s had, and she simply loves it. To begin with, the stainless-steel finish gives her a feel of having the real thing, she proudly mimics my actions on her pots and pans.
This Kitchen Play Set is an 8 piece stainless-steel set that includes a dish with a lid, a frying pan and a colander. There are a pair of wooden serving and cooking tools that fairly compete with my own cookware set. And the best part about the set is the storage rack that allows the child to be imaginative in how she stacks up her set. There is a lot of care and imagination that appears to have gone into creating this set, the perfectly spaced holes in the colander and the elegant rack speaks volumes.
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Highlights of the Melissa and Doug Pretend Play Set:
- Fantastic quality and finish: It would be difficult to call it a 'Play Set' really, except for the size. The stainless steel is thick and built for endurance. The set has riveted handles that fitted perfectly and can handle rough use.
- Perfect Size: Bigger than most of the other Pretend Kitchen Sets available in the market, but not big enough to be cumbersome for a child.
- No toxic material or paint: A big plus as far as I am concerned. One of the issues that I had with Cynthia’s earlier sets, was my constant worry as to whether the plastic used was safe. With the Melinda and Doug Set, I simply have no fear on that count. Stainless steel is as safe as it can get. An added benefit is that the child is super happy that she or he has a set just like the one "Mama has".
- Storage Rack: This side accessory impresses a lot more because it seems to unearth a hidden organized streak in your child. I was indeed pleasantly surprised to see my niece neatly putting away her Play Set every time and admiring her handiwork each time. Of course, I was always called in to give the mandatory feedback, which I always did with deadpan seriousness – the kitchen set is sophisticated enough to warrant that.
- Easy to clean and maintain: The stainless steel allows for good cleaning with water and dish wash detergent, even if your child has decided to play outdoors with her friends. There are no residual stains or scratches and the set looks as good as new.
I found the Melissa and Doug Pretend Play Set perfect for gifting as well. It’s so close to the real thing and made of steel, which is obviously safe. The price at around $20 is just right and value for money.
Of course, as with all good things, we do have a couple of pain points as well. The noise levels can be a bit hurtful at times, especially when your little one is at her creative best. I have found my own little solution for that. Give her some real food to play around with, and the banging about will certainly come down two notches.
We keep our pretend clay set in an easily accessible shelf in the kitchen, not in her toy storage. The amazing finish and quality allows it to sit on the shelf with equal finesse along with my regular cooking utensils. Only the size can tell them apart. My niece and I enjoy spending time together and this Play Set is a fantastic way for us to bond even when I am busy in the kitchen. Needless to say, I look forward to many more fun-filled hours of whipping up make-believe delicacies and oodles of fun and joy! Great Product!
Owner and Food blogger on The Cookware Geek. She loves cooking, baking, traveling, playing with the cats, and knitting. She believes that eating delicious meals doesn’t require a culinary degree or a Michelin-star chef in your kitchen.