We had had our minds set on getting him a little wooden play kitchen for a long time but often the higher prices and seeming lack of availability around Christmas put us off. The nicest one we found was a wooden one from Asda, priced at just £40 but there never seemed to be any available. We also looked at the Great Little Trading Company, and although gorgeous, their kitchens were just out of our price range.
Which is when we turned to eBay. I'm quite an experienced eBayer, and love nothing more than having a good old search to bag a real bargain. There were some really tatty, un-loved play kitchens on there, and the wooden ones especially showed their age. For £56.00 we won this lovely Little Tikes kitchen, which was a year old and hardly used. The lady we bought it off also very kindly included a whole bin bag full of play food, pans and lots more accessories. It just needed a good clean and it looked as good as new. New, this kitchen retails at around £140, so I think we got a pretty good deal, plus we have given a wonderful toy a new home where it will be loved and used a great deal.
The kitchen itself features two sides- an inside kitchen complete with dishwasher, oven, sink, hob, microwave, a fridge and cupboards. There's a cute window which looks to the outside part, which features a BBQ and a picnic bench with sun canopy over the top. I probably wouldn't recommend this kitchen if you're limited for space, as it is quite big (H 114cm, W 94cm, D 67cm).
Of course, you don't need to have a play kitchen to be able to do food and cooking role play, but we find it makes it all the more fun. The skills and language Little One is developing from the role play aspect is quite remarkable, and sorting plastic foods into their different colours is another game we have started to play. We are all really enjoying this kitchen, and yes, it takes up a whole corner in our sitting room and perhaps doesn't fit in with our decor, but we don't mind as he's having so much fun.
NB: We purchased this play kitchen ourselves and I was not paid or sponsored to write this post, we just really like the kitchen! As always, all opinions expressed and photos are my own.