I sent out a Twitter yesterday mentioning we’re in the process of researching play kitchens. And almost every single person told me to get this one. So, unless someone tells us there’s an even better option out there, that’s the one we’ll be ordering. (Although, check this one out! Sometimes I have to remind myself that these toys aren’t for me.)
Speaking of kitchen stuff that’s not for me, check out this cute wooden hamburger from Oompa.
Toby Joe and I are also in search of a Kettler bike (or something similar). One of the local mamas here told me that’s the one to get. Emory loves bikes! We’ll be out walking and his new thing is to announce every bike we pass by. And let me tell you, there are a LOT of bikes along Bedford Avenue. If he spots one bike, he states as much. Another? He’ll raise the pitch of his voice a bit. The amount of excitement in his voice is proportional to the number of bikes in any given area. So, whenever we pass by the Bedford L subway stop, his BICYCLE! meter skyrockets. You can hear us coming a block away.
We want to get him a bike of some sort. It’s getting tiring prying some other kid’s bike from his hands at the playground. But I’m overwhelmed by the choices! Where does one even begin?
I wish I could “Mom Down” hundreds of Amazon reviews. Plus, I’d rather not spend nearly 200 bucks on a tricycle.
My son really likes the Radio Flyer Deluxe Steer & Stroll Trike that we bought at Target. It has similar features to the Kettler but is about half the price. Have fun with whatever you choose!
Do you guys have an adult bike with a baby seat available? Even if you don’t feel comfortable riding that way in Brooklyn, maybe at your parents’ house? Emory’d probably flip out from excitement. I still have memories from riding on the back of my dad’s bicycle. (It was the 70’s so everybody was helmetless, of course.)
Ooh! Also! When ge gets a little bigger…I’ve seen attachments that hook little kid bikes to the backs of adult bikes that allow the youngster to feel like s/he is pedaling along. Again something probably more suitable to low-traffic & park areas.
I heard Keith McNally has a play kitchen coming out soon. But then again, I heard that Gerry Smith has a tricycle in the works as well. Don’t trust the rumors I guess…
we bought my little boy (14 months) a fisher price laugh and learn kitchen. It has a little ice box, sink and stove. It has a couple of different settings so you can have it sing, play music, or make real noises (sounds like water is running in sink, makes sound when ice box opens, sounds like pan clanking when you put it on stove) anyways we bought a grocery cart and little foods and my son plays like he’s shopping and I also use it for his snacks. He likes goign in his OWN kitchen to retreive his afternoon snack :)
Mihow — you should look closely at some of those Oompa kitchens. One of them was $80 and only 17 inches high!
Really though, as a mom of older kids, I’ve learned that there are some things that are worth spending more money on than others. My kids’ play kitchen was plastic and cost $30 or $40. It lasted through both kids (4 years apart) and was sold intact at a garage sale when my youngest outgrew it. When my daughter was 2 or 3, we got her a 3 story wooden Barbie house. We spent about $80 or $90 on it. That house has been a home to Barbie, Polly Pockets, and My Little Pony. My daughter is 10 now the High School Musical kids are living there.
So unless you are planning to have several more kids or open a home daycare (aack!) I wouldn’t spend so much on the kitchen or the bike. He’ll outgrow either before he wears them out, even if they’re cheap.
Just my 0.02. :)
Melissa: No joke. I hate that. That’s the thing with buying online. If you’re lazy (like me) or you run out of time a lot (like me) you don’t read the fine print and there’s no scale reference online! I bought some pillow blocks that I thought were going to be pretty large and they were wee little things. Annoying.
I think I am drawn to Oompa because most of the stuff on there looks like it was made in Santa’s workshop.
Missy: I have very fond memories riding around in one of those things with my dad. I think we’ll probably do that for my folks house as you suggested. Although, Toby Joe is currently read to throw every bike in the trash after what happened to Natasha Richardson. Life is fragile. But we will go slow.
Thanks, all for your suggestions and stuff. Maybe we’ll skip the kitchen and get him the easel instead. He apparently loves drawing at school on that thing.
(Note to self: Start rummaging through Toby Joe’s trash)
OK, I’ll admit it. We have both a Kidkraft kitchen and the Kettler bike. Simone got the kitchen for Christmas when she was almost two. Hers is the pastel version. We’ve had it now for over three years and both kids still love playing with it. Shepard probably more than Simone. It has held up beautifully with only minor wear. Santa got ours at Costco for around the price you’ve found. I will say Santa should have looked at how many pieces were involved in putting it together. We were up half the night that year! (BTW, I’ve ordered other items from Baby Age through Amazon and they deliver quickly. No problems.)
Simone received the Kettler trike for her second birthday. Again, it has now been used by two How kids and has had no problems and my kids aren’t gentle. I do have a few things I wish I could fix and who knows Kettler might offer parts to help. I love the handle for the parents on the trike. I wish it was longer and I am only 5’5”. You can imagine what you brother thought of the handle. If you are ‘driving’ you have to pop a wheelie, so you are stooping even lower. (does that make sense?) The pedals spin whenever the trike is moving. So if you are doing the pushing, there is no place for his feet to rest except the moving pedals. I think you can buy a footrest attachment but only for certain models. Even with my complaints, I would still totally recommend it. Very sturdy trike.
Oh, and as for Missy’s suggestion and not to fan Toby’s fears, but we were at a bike store recently looking at new bikes and asked about adding kid seats. The bike store we were at won’t sell the ones that attach to the back of the parent’s bike. Guy that owned it (young, no kids) felt they were too dangerous. The only thing they sold were the bikes that attached for older kids and the pull behind carriers that have a roll cage and five point harness straps.
I love that kitchen. One of my friends has a similar one (she bought it at Costco). I’m thinking I should get one for my son (16mths) as well since I have to return the baby doll I bought him (I’m pregnant and wanted him to practice being gentle on something) but his dad flipped out about it – just going back to your blog from yesterday. Obviously this topic is a bit of a struggle in our house – I have 2 brothers and a sister and we all shared toys – cars, trucks, dolls throughout our childhood.
By the way… off the topic but still something by KidCraft. If you’re ever shopping for a toddler bed (don’t know if Emory is already in one), I just got this one http://www.justkidsbeds.com/KidKraft-86921-KK1285.html
and my son looooves it and the freedom of not sitting behind bars anymore. He even plays on it during the day and it has the cutest little seat area at the footend.
Hey Michele– I have no useful advice on the trike but just wanted to let you know that a friend of mine has the red kitchen and while it is very cute, it’s a bit on the cheap side quality-wise. Just a bit hollow or something. The other one you linked to (on Oompa toys) has been on Ellie’s Wishlist forever (hint to the grandparents!) but THIS is the one most of my neighbors seem to absolutely adore (check on Amazon as well–many of their vendors sell it for less). It’s supposed to be great for small spaces as well:
Good luck shopping!
Have you heard of the Scuut? Just heard about this wooden, pedal-less bicycle and thought you might want to add it in to your analysis to confuse yourself a bit more. Apparently kids transition better to two-wheelers when they scoot with a Scuut first. Who knows. Em might be a tad young to do it well. If I had unlimited funds (and storage space), I’d get a Kettler now and a Scuut next spring. (My son is 28 mos, FYI).
Retro kitchen is so cute! And that French kitchen is great, too; my cousin’s 2yo has it and likes it.
Actually, my cuz’s kid has the one that KidKate linked to, I think. The more things to open and close, the better!
I have fallen in love with the one KidKate linked to. Uhoh. (But I wonder if Em will love it as much as mama does?)
You guys rule for helping out. We’re definitely going to jump onto the Kettler. I need to think more about the kitchen. Maybe it will come down to which one is easier to assemble. :]
And we’ve also added an artist easel to the mix because he apparently really enjoys the one they have at school.
When I was little my dad (a master in the wood shop) made me the loveliest stove set that I played with up until we lost it in a house fire in the 4th grade. So I totally recommend the wooden ones over the talking plastic numbers. I found one similar to mine and it’s made in America. Who couldn’t love that?!
p.s. They have totally awesome other toys as well.
I keep going back and forth on Ellie’s Wish List between the Educo French Kitchen (the one I linked to above) and the French Kitchenette (the one you linked to in your post). I think I have finally decided on the Kitchen version, as it looks like it will “grow” with her, while the other looks more like it would suit her right now. Good thing we have another six months till her b-day so I can flipflop a few thousand more times!
Let us know what you end up with and how you like it! I just got Ellie a high chair and little Maclaren stroller for her doll b/c she has been enjoying “putting it to bed” so much. Now I’m on the hunt for a good doll crib!
We have an easel as well (yes it looks like a daycare exploded in our house). We have this one by Melissa and Doug: http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Doug-Deluxe-Standing-Easel/dp/B0002AUWKG. Love it because you can raise and lower where the board and trays are so they can grow with it.
My two centsworth, the kitchen making noise is a disavantage.
First, from a teachers point of view the noise takes away from the whole creative, imiganitive aspect of role playing.
Secondly, from a mom’s point of view, do you really want to listen to fake sizzling and water running?
I have experienced both and the kids preferred the smaller older noiseless kitchen to the more modern one.
My opinion on trikes is whatever is handed down is best. I’m cheap.
Sorry, just another two cents. My son has the kitchen that KidKate linked to, and he loves it. I worried that it would be too small, but it fits very nicely in our kitchen, so he can cook right along with me. He’s a tall kid, too, but it still is tall enough for him. The food that you can buy on Oompa is just adorable, too.
Last time I comment on this, I promise. I asked my sister where she got Simone’s Kettler, and she sent me a link to the site. They have this great chart for comparing the features of the different models so I thought I would share: http://www.mytoybox.com/kettler-comparison-chart.html
BTW, they’ve changed the push handle since we got ours so you might not have the height issue.
Wow, you guys. I am so appreciative of all the help. If there’s anything I can do for you, please let me know. No joke.
I am learning so much too–bookmarking all the links for later!
A previous commenter left a not about a little wooden bike…it is actually spelled Skuut, and you can check it out here: http://www.skuut.com/
We saw one at the park the other day, and I fell in love with it. I asked the parents about it and they said their son (who is 3 now, but has had it for about a year) really liked cruising around on it. I am hoping to get my daughter a Skuut sometime later this summer or fall (she turns 2 in June).
Anyone have any opinions on Stokke-like high chairs? We are looking at the “Euro” chair from the One Step Ahead catalog (much less expensive), but aren’t sure yet.
Ok. My girls have a version of the kitchen you linked to on Oompa. They love it. Yes, it is small but it is really quite cute.
Michelle, you were asking about the Stokke chair? We got one as we didn’t have much space in our old house for a traditional high chair. I say go for it. It is really worth it. Plus you can adapt it as the child grows and it is strong enough for adults to even use it as a stool once the kids outgrow it. Check it out!
Thanks, Meshbetty for the Stokke advice. We actually ordered a variation of it today, it is a Keekaroo chair and is a bit less pricey. Hopefully it works out as well. Link: http://www.keekaroo.com/herihich.html
Mihow, I saw a beautiful handmade play kitchen on our local Craigslist site. It probably isn’t realistic for you because of shipping costs, but I thought you’d like the look of it just the same: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36192264@N05/sets/72157615082337668/show/
My parents bought my daughter the following kitchen for Christmas.
It’s great!! She plays with it everyday. It’s very sturdy wood (I didn’t want plastic). It’s nicer than most people’s real kitchens!!
MB: Thanks! I did see that one, and it did stand out as a contender.