What We Like
Comes with 21 accessories
Easy to assemble
What We Don't Like
Hard to clean
Offers little storage
Too small for multiple kids to use at once
Every child should be encouraged to explore new foods, and with a toy like the Step2 Cozy Play Kitchen, they can run their own kitchen and dream up their own dishes. With pots, pans, dishes, utensils, and a coffee pot, this set is a good start for pretend play and it allows toddlers to start thinking about how a kitchen works. The set doesn’t offer much storage or counter space, but it is nice and compact. Keep reading to see how our toddler and 5-year-old responded to the toy.
Set-Up: Not much to it
As far as set up goes, this play kitchen is a cinch to get together. The bulk of the kitchen set is one piece, so you just have to pop the counter into place and then snap and screw a handful of accessories—like hooks, knobs, and the faucet—into their designated spot. Though step-by-step instructions are included, we found they weren’t really necessary.
The assembly process took us less than 30 minutes.
The last part of the set-up is putting the stickers on the plastic. It’s good to pay attention to this step since some of the stickers—like the oven and fridge door handles—look the same, but are a little different sizewise. Pay attention to the distinction between burners, as well, though rest assured that if you put the wrong one on, you can peel it off, so long as you do so quickly after placing it. Once pressed into place, these stickers are fairly set, though we don’t underestimate the ability of tiny fingers to pick and peel them off. All in all, the assembly process took us less than 30 minutes.
Design: Compact, but maybe too small
Step2 makes some wonderful products, all with a sturdy design that’s meant to outlast the manhandling of busy toddlers. The Cozy Play Kitchen is no exception, and the lightweight but durable plastic survived not only the banging of a 5-year-old preparing his imaginary dinner but a 2-year-old who repeatedly tipped the set over onto hardwood floors. Neither the wood, nor plastic playset, nor child sustained a scratch, though, so we call that a win.
The sturdy construction and thick plastic also means opening and closing the oven, fridge, and cupboards went smoothly, and it would take a lot to damage them. Stickers are the main decoration on the toy, and while they look nice initially, we don’t see them lasting past a few rounds of cleaning. Of course, the kitchen will still function just fine without the stickers, though more imagination will be needed to pretend there are burners on the stove.
The main design downfall is the set’s tiny size.
The 21-piece set of thick plastic utensils, pans, dishes, and a coffee pot also helps to fuel playtime. The items can withstand a lot—even kids who decide to forgo the “play” part of play eating and choose instead to chew on their fork.
The main design downfall is the set’s tiny size. While it’s great for cramped playrooms and apartments, it doesn’t offer much space for more than one child to play, and if they’re unwilling to share space, that may present an issue.
Entertainment Value: Good for a rainy day
Even though we don’t find the Step2 Cozy Play Kitchen as compelling as other pretend kitchens on the market, it’s still a fun thing to have around. This proves especially true if you buy a pile of fake food or create your own from empty boxes and paper. In fact, when paired with a food-focused art project, this toy becomes even better. On a recent snow day, our two young kids cooked a feast and served it to us as we sat down with a real cup of coffee, enjoying a moment of peace as the play kitchen held their full attention.
The lightweight but durable plastic survived not only the banging of a 5-year-old preparing his imaginary dinner but a 2-year-old who repeatedly tipped the set over.
Will it keep a toddler entertained for long? That really depends on the kid and how much pretend play they want to do. If your child likes to delve into their own little world like the 5-year-old in our life, then this small kitchen may be enough to keep them happy for a solid hour. If you have a wild 2-year-old who would rather throw the dishes than make a fake sandwich, though, well that’s another scenario. That said, our toddler did enjoy “cooking” small rubber animals and “washing” his cars in the play kitchen sink.
Age Range: Toddler and preschooler friendly
If your child is 18 months or older and steady on their feet, they’ll probably be into this kitchen. Because it’s lightweight, it’s easy for little ones to topple the toy over if they’re using it to stand or anchor themselves. Otherwise, it proves heavy enough that it won’t fall over from basic play.
While there’s nothing preventing a kid over the age of 5 from playing with this toy, it’s fairly short and compact, so they may tower over it. Of course, older kids could bend down and work with their younger siblings and friends and who knows, it might just become a favorite shared activity.
Ease of Cleaning: Like cleaning an actual kitchen
One of the main problems with the Step2 Cozy Play Kitchen is that it’s tricky to clean. With so many crevices that collect dust and grime, the set can get dirty even when real food isn’t involved. Also, because it’s covered in stickers, you can just blast it off with a hose outside. Instead, you’ll want to dampen a washcloth and pay close attention as you wipe down the plastic.
Price: Fair given its quality
At $65, the Step2 Cozy Play Kitchen isn’t a cheap toy, and for roughly the same amount you can get something bigger. Where the set does shine, though, is in its quality construction and the fact that it comes with included accessories. It’s so well made that it proves durable even with the most tornado-like toddlers thrown into the mix.
Competition: As many play kitchens as there are cooking shows
Step2 Fun with Friends Kitchen: The Fun with Friends Kitchen also comes courtesy of Step2 Fun. It costs roughly $20 more, but the slight increase in price makes a world of a difference. For starters, it has actual counter space, more room for utensils and condiments, pet feeder bowls, and a pretend microwave. Its larger size also means more kids can play at once.
American Plastic Toys Play Baker's Kitchen: At approximately the same retail price, this brightly-colored kitchen is much larger and offers a unique shape. There’s a toaster, storage area, counter space, and microwave. The set also comes with 22 cooking accessories that’ll help keep your tots busy.
Cute Stone Kitchen Playset: This toy set-up from Cute Stone doesn’t appear to be as sturdy as the Step2 kitchen, but it does have some features worth noting. For starters, there’s a sink that actually hold water, so kids get the real dishwashing experience. There’s also more shelves to put things on and the pot on the stove gives off faux steam. At $50, it’s also cheaper than the Step2 Cozy Play Kitchen.
Great for small spaces.
If you have room in your budget and home, it’s worth getting a larger play kitchen with more storage and space for multiple kiddos to play side by side. If you’re working with limited square footage, though, the Step2 Cozy is a great option—just invest in a basket to keep all of their kitchen accessories in one place.
- Product Name Cozy Play Kitchen
- Product Brand Step2
- MPN 810200
- Price $64.99
- Weight 14 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 11 x 20 x 38 in.
- Warranty 3-year warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship
- What’s Included Play kitchen and 21-piece accessory set