Buying Guide for Pretend Playsets for Kids
Why buy a pretend playset?
Kids who like to “help” you in the kitchen may love a kitchen playset of their own. If your child becomes transfixed while you’re shopping, they may love interacting with a faux supermarket. Let your child step into independent learning and imagination with playsets that allow them to practice everyday tasks like cleaning or getting ready for the day. With a brightly colored, interactive, and safe playset, your child can have hours of fun.
What should you consider in a pretend playset?
- Features: Plain playsets are a thing of the past with the many lights and sounds toy makers can offer today. Look for a playset that offers lights and sounds for a realistic experience. Pressable buttons and working door or cabinet handles are also great for encouraging coordination while teaching kids about storage and organization.
- Accessories: The best playsets include safe accessories that match the theme of the playset. Storage is also important in a child’s playset. You can teach your child that everything has its place. That way you’re not finding little pieces all over your house, potentially creating a hazard for younger toddlers or babies.
- Safety: Ensure that your child is within the age range recommended by the toy manufacturer to avoid choking hazards. Most playsets are accessible to kids ages three years or older, but if you have a younger child in the home, try to avoid sets with small accessories. Playsets with storage in high areas are also helpful to avoid younger siblings grabbing items accidentally.
How long will my child’s pretend playset last?
Most playsets are made of heavy-duty plastic, wood, or MDF. These materials are made to last, as long as they’re kept up. Keeping the pieces organized also helps with the longevity of your child’s playset. After your child has grown out of their playset, you can donate it to another family or a charity. It should last long enough for another generation or two of play.
Our Picks for the Best Pretend Playsets for Kids
Melissa & Doug Freestanding Wooden Fresh Mart Grocery Store
Perfect for children ages three to six, this adorable playset brings the fun of grocery shopping right into your home.
Pros: This playset comes with the ultimate grocery and checkout experience for your little one. It comes equipped with a conveyor belt, a bagging area, a card machine, a scanner, and a cash drawer. There are shelves for each customer to browse while the other side offers a space for the grocer to ring up the groceries. It’s great for kids of most ages, and it teaches them many useful social skills throughout creative play. Although it’s made of lightweight MDF, it’s sturdy and durable.
Cons: There may be slight flaws in the framing.
Bottom Line: If your kids love a shopping experience, this play supermarket is tons of fun. It comes with everything your kids need to have a realistic yet imaginative time playing, and it comes from a trusted name in children’s learning toys.
Step2 Best Chef's Kitchen Playset
With realistic lights and sounds and a true-to-life set of 25 kitchen essentials, this play kitchen provides hours of fun for your budding chef.
Pros: This kitchen playset includes an oven, refrigerator door, lots of counter space, and a kitchen window. There is extra storage like a recycling bin and hooks for hanging cups and utensils. Its sound effects are fun, realistic, and work as they should. Plus, this kitchen playset doesn’t take up too much space in your home, yet it has enough elements to keep your children occupied for hours.
Cons: The compartments are small.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a solid kitchen playset that will last a long time, this may be the one for you. Budding chefs will love the realistic elements, and parents will love the middle-of-the-road size and price tag, too.
Melissa & Doug Wooden Get Well Doctor Activity Center
With realistic details and bright, happy colors, your children can use their imaginations, creating empathy for others by playing the role of caretaker.
Pros: This office setup for future doctors and nurses is a great addition to your children’s space. It includes a waiting area, an exam room, a sink, and a reception space. There are plenty of other details like a credit card reader and two x-rays that can help your child’s social skills and possibly ease their fears of a doctor’s visit. Parents who are not handy can put this together with ease. Once assembled, the playset is very sturdy.
Cons: This playset is not durable.
Bottom Line: If your child’s name will someday end in M.D., this may be the best playset for your children ages three and up.
KidKraft Laundry Playset Children's Pretend Wooden Stacking Washer and Dryer Toy
Your little ones can have tons of fun with the doors and dials while exploring practical skills for everyday life with this cute laundry pretend playset.
Pros: This stacking laundry playset is brightly colored, and it has realistic details for kids to enjoy. It includes a washer and dryer, a play iron, and a laundry basket. It has a chalkboard on the side which adds an additional level of fun. For parents, this playset comes in sturdy packaging, protecting each piece to prevent damage.
Cons: The hinges may not be sturdy enough for rough play.
Bottom Line: It’s never too early to start training your little ones to clean and load laundry. With this playset, they can do just that and have fun while doing it.
Little Tikes First Bathroom Sink with Real Working Faucet
This interactive toy with a real working faucet can help kids explore the fun of morning routines with tons of fun accessories.
Pros: This interactive bathroom playset is a great choice to help prepare your child for bathroom etiquette as well as boost your children’s confidence with hygiene and self-care. It features an electric pump to make water run in the sink while the hair dryer blows air to make it as realistic as possible. There are 12 bathroom accessories included to provide the ultimate experience.
Cons: The water feature may leak.
Bottom Line: If you want to surprise your little ones with a realistic bathroom vanity playset, look no further. This one offers a ton of bang for your buck.
Give your child the world of imagination and allow them to be creative through a playset, whether that’s for cooking, shopping, or taking on the role of a doctor. There are plenty of options that provide a fun experience for your little one to learn and grow.