Recently I had been on the hunt for a play kitchen, which I believe to be a classic toy that every child should own. What we had for the first 3 years of my son’s life was an old flimsy plastic kitchen (probably lead-laden). And while my 2 kids very much enjoyed using it daily, it is made of plastic and is so flimsy that every time my 10-month old daughter (who has just learned to walk) tried to lean on it for support, it quickly toppled on top of her.
I wanted to find a good quality wooden kitchen sturdy enough for my wobbly walker – but not just any kitchen. One that was a classic (you know, how they used to make them), durable enough to withstand the most rigorous of play for at least a couple of generations. Actually, I would love to purchase only high quality wooden toys for our two children from now on, replacing most of what we currently have (which consist of batteries and plastic). My new personal mantra is “Never buy a toy that isn’t durable enough (and safe) to pass down to my great grandchildren.”
That’s when I discovered this fabulous online store, Heirloom Wooden Toys – heirloom quality toys you’ll feel good about giving. Heirloom Wooden Toys has a plethora of engaging, high-quality, safe, sustainable WOODEN products and everything with a lead-free guarantee. Their motto of “Quality Delivered with a supporting foundation of attentive personal service” couldn’t ring truer. I’m completely sold on their products, whole heartedly believe in what they stand behind, and couldn’t have been more proud to partner up with them for a review and giveaway.
Like their motto, the customer service is impeccable. Through the chaos of children crying and dogs barking in the background, Kitty patiently helped guide me through their products and was quite knowledgeable (I highly recommend speaking to her before purchasing your own kitchen). To tell you the truth, I would have been happy with any of their kitchens, but she made sure we received one that met all of our desired criteria.
Though I know that children most often prefer the modern style kitchens with bright colors and lots of features that companies such as Guidecraft and Kidkraft produce (which Heirloom Wooden Toy also carries), I really preferred the natural route – pure imagination, completely devoid of paints and plastic, and made in the USA. Willow Toys and Elves & Angels are the two lines of handcrafted wooden play kitchens that fit my criteria. Both with lifetime guarantee!
Both of the manufacturers’ beautiful wood grain kitchen sets are actually extremely similar:
- made of solid northern white pine
- smooth, rounded edges
- chunky turnable knobs
- realistic removable metal sink
- counter sunk screws covered with caps
- heavy duty hinges
Willow Toys kitchens, however, have fiberglass peek-through window on the oven doors and do not contain plywood. Elves & Angels uses a formaldehyde-free birch plywood backing and a protective (food-grade) linseed oil finish. Their kitchens also contain cute little integrated hutches for more storage space.
I can’t praise these kitchens (and Heirloom Wooden Toys) enough! It showed up like this and took no time at all to easily fit the pieces together. The instructions recommend two people, but my husband did it by himself with no effort.
The first thing we both noticed was the divine scent of fresh pine! My children have been thoroughly enjoying that kitchen several times a day (even washing dishes with real water). In fact, it’s the centerpiece of their lives at the moment.
My son tells me every day how much he likes this kitchen.
One thing I was actually surprised about was that this kitchen takes up less room than our old flimsy plastic kitchen – perfect for those with limited space. Though two can definitely play simultaneously, I think it’s best suited for one child.
In retrospect, I should have probably chosen the Sylvie style, as it has a bit more counter space for my two kids and a divided cupboard/oven area underneath, adding more storage space and a more realistic appearance. None the less, I am exceedingly satisfied. My husband will go back and add some finishing touches – perhaps a side towel hook, side chalkboard or whiteboard, a divider between the cupboards, and a wooden or metal rack in the oven.
I would recommend that anyone purchasing these natural wood kitchens purchase an accompanying refrigerator. Not only would it complete the set and add more storage space, but it would also expand the area of play and allow for more children to comfortably play together. And while you’re at it, get some accessories to compliment your new kitchen set.
Now let their imaginations soar (while mommy has peace of mind)!
If these kitchens don’t inspire you, take a look at some of the other wonderful pieces Heirloom Wooden Toys carries. They offer a vast selection of thousands of toys, so you can certainly find something for any child at any budget (they have great wooden cars under $4!). Musical instruments, classic wooden sleds, furniture, games, decor, costumes, doll houses, lofts, swings, educational toys, and much more. Here are a few of the toys we’ve personally been eyeing:
Shipping is FREE on orders over $99 and $5 on all others. And if you are not satisfied with your purchase, return them within 90 days for a full refund (whether your kids have played with them or not)!
**Win** Aa $75 Gift Certificate to Heirloom Wooden Toys!
To enter, visit Heirloom Wooden Toys and leave a comment on this post letting me know something you would love to buy with the gift certificate.
This is required and must be done before the extra entries or your entries will not be valid!
(For 1 Extra Entry Each. Leave a SEPARATE COMMENT for each.)
- Become a FAN of Heirloom Wooden Toys on Facebook + POST the following on their wall (copy and paste): Stopping by from A Nation of Moms to say that I’d love to win a $75 gift certificate! http://bit.ly/hudmFC
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- Join our Blog Frog Community + Post something on our forum (either start a new topic of discussion or post an answer to a previous one).
***Giveaway closes December 9th @ 11:59 pm EST and winner will be chosen via Random.org. Open to worldwide.***
Winner is will be emailed after the giveaway closes and also announced on this blog under the featured “Recent Giveaway Winners” section. Winner will have 72 hours to respond to my email, or another winner will be drawn. We never share your email with third parties.
Disclaimer: The sample product(s) reviewed was provided free of charge. NoM was under no obligation to review it if we so chose, nor was NoM under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely that of NoM, and are completely honest and without influence. NoM has reviewed this product(s) because we like it and think it would benefit our readers. To view our full policy, please click here.