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Has anyone else had trouble finding a kitchen for their children? I actually can't believe how much companies get away with charging for such rubbish! Little Tikes Indoor/Outdoor kitchen has been the only kitchen out of five that I have brought home and have been really happy with. We bought this kitchen for £135, from Argos-considerably more than a lot of the other kitchens out there, but cheaper than others. I do think the kitchen is a little overpriced, but I guess I was paying partly for the good 'Little Tikes' name. After the other kitchens, I was more than happy to do this. This kitchen is so realistic, and an added bonus is that it's made with neutral colours. The majority of the kitchen is made with a really sturdy, hard plastic. It features everything a little chef would need, with a fridge, oven, stoves and a dishwasher. It also comes with a coffee pot that magically empties and re-fills depending on which way you tip it. The kitchen comes with a tap-although it doesn't twist as stated in the specifications we read before purchasing it. The outside environment comes with a patio, a fabric canopy (which was a pain putting together), a picnic table- complete with a little bench, a microwave and a cupboard. The bench isn't attached to anything, so it's perfect for little people to sit on if they're just sat down in general. Underneath the barbecue is also a toy gas bottle. Size wise, this kitchen ticks all the right boxes, particularly if you have more than one child wanting to play with it at the same time. It is large enough for two (or possibly three) children to stand side-by-side and play. Its measurements are: L 94cm, W 66cm, H 114cm This kitchen is recommended for 3 years and upwards, although my daughter is currently 19 months old, and she plays happily for hours with it. My friends daughter who is five thinks its fantastic-so we should get a few years use out of it at least! Unlike the other kitchens we had purchased, and then returned, this kitchen is an adequate height for the age it recommends. My daughter can just about reach the microwave and cupboard. Accessory wise, I think this kitchen is brilliant. It came with: -A refillable coffee pot -Fridge magnets -A chefs hat -2 plates -A pan -2 cups -Tongs -A hotdog in a bun -Corn on the cob -A beef burger in a bun -A tub of ketchup -3 removable flowers -A telephone The kitchen was pretty easy to put up- although at times the instructions were a little vague. Including time to put on the stickers, it took me and my husband about an hour to put up. The indoor/outdoor kitchen is fantastic. It has different sound effects for the kitchen (pan boiling, stove being lit, microwave beeping), and sound effects for the outside barbecue. The sound effects for the indoor kitchen are pretty realistic- but the barbecue sounds are very very loud! The kitchen requires 3 x AA batteries to operate the indoor sounds, and the barbecue requires 3 x D batteries. As well as the sounds, the barbecue also lights up with realistic looking flames. I would recommend this kitchen to anyone as it looks so realistic. It was ten times sturdier than any of the other kitchens we tried- plus both of my children will be able to play with it together without me forking out for a second kitchen. My only negatives would be that the oven and dishwasher doors are a lot flimsier than the plastic used on the rest of the kitchen, the phone falls off its holder all the time, and that it no longer comes with storage bins. However, these are nothing major. On a plus side though, it comes with a one year guarantee. Well done Little Tikes!!!
This week has been a trooper for me, not only did my baby boy turn 1 (sob!) but I've had numerous pressents to wrap, balloons to inflate, trips out to plan and I've lost count of how many trips to the shops I've had to make in order to give him the greatest first birthday! Suprisingly for me I've been really organised, I think this is due to the fact I'm a stay at home mummy nowdays so although I wouldn't say I have a lot of 'free time', I have had lots of opportunities to research great toys for my little boy online. With the huge wealth of toy shops retailing online, argos catalogues, magazines etc I felt about a month before his birthday, I was ready to purchase my son's 'main' birthday pressent. I knew I wanted to get my little boy a toy kitchen. Now I know he's very young and probably doesn't understand that his new favourite toy is indeed a play kitchen, but I know my son and he's very alert, independant and insanely in to everything that isn't his. Particularly anything that is in the kitchen in our home. Since we moved house my son Joshua is lucky enough to have a huge playroom to play in, the difficult thing is it's open planned so attached to the kitchen, and being a rented property we can't securely attache cupboard and drawer locks to keep him out and the contents in! This has been the bain of my life recently, he's always pulling things out, trying to open the washing machine etc and he's obssessed with the oven buttons-in all, it's a total nightmare. With his growing obsession for pulling my pans out of the drawer and smashing them on the floor, I knew he needed a kitchen of his own! I looked in to a huge amount of brands for this. When I was little I had a kitchen to play in, and the amount of photographs that adorn my parents house of me playing in it is insane. It was my favourite thing in the world for years and I still think fondly of it now and I'm in my mid twenties! I wanted to make sure that Joshua was going to look back and have the same fond memories so I really took my time and effort in picking the right one. I'm a huge Fisher Price, Little Tikes fan, as is my son. As a parent I find their toys inovative, creative and always able to offer a fabulous way of encouraging and stimulation my sons development. Thats why I was pretty sure in the back of my mind it would be one of these brands that I would purchase. I did look at others, but another thing I find great about these particular 2 brands is that their manufacture is clearly thought out, there are never sharp edges or rough surfaces, in fact all their toys seem to be smooth and soft to touch. Everything seems to be very child friendly and as discouraging of an accident as you can get with a toy. I didn't have a price range in mind because Joshua is my first child and I've not looked at the recent costings of toys this size. All I knew was that I expected about £100 to buy something magnificant! As I began to trawl through the website I realised how £100 for a good kitchen may be a little shy of the real figure! The choice out there is amazing may I say! I saw play kitchens I would have absolutely loved to buy my son but seeing as I thought my partner would probably explode if I told him I spent £400 on a 'toy', I decided that if I won the lottery he could have one of those but for now it had to be more modest compared to that particular kitchen! I finally decided I best liked the look of the Little Tikes Inside Outside Kitchen. At £129.99 from Toys'r'us online (although it now seems to be retailing for £139.99 in most other places) I was happy with the cost and the look of the product. Yes it was a little more than expected but the cost meant I got free delivery which was a bonus and also I felt it provided so many opportunities for my little boy that it was justifiable. Although as I said I purchased it from the Toys'r'us website, a toy of this size will often only come directly from the manufacturer which heavily increases the delivery time scale. I was glad that I ordered this a month before Joshua's birthday because it only arrived 7 days before hand, my advice would be to order early for whatever the occasion. The delivery was easy, although slow due to the order being processed by toys'r'us and then passed to Little Tikes directly. However it was straightforward. The box on delivery was much larger than expected, the dimensions were 79x50x176cm so make sure you have somewhere large enough to store it! The kitchen itself is fabulous in every single way-except one-the actual assembly of the product! As a female it may suprise you gentlemen out there to know that I am very handy when it comes to putting things up etc! In fact my partner is hopeless and it's always me that gets stuck with the technical, diy jobs around our house! I don't mind though because it means at least I know it's done properly! However this kitchen was a bit different. Luckily I had my father in law round on the evening before Joshua's birthday so he helped me with the hard work. It took over an hour and a half to assemble this which I wasn't expecting at all. And that time was very hard work. Although I wanted the kitchen to be put up correctly, safely and made sturdy I never expected the things we would have to do to get it to be that. The kitchen comes mainly in 2 parts which you technically slot together. The sink unit, outside unit etc all fall on one side each so the instructions tell you to assemble each side seperately then slot together to create the whole unit. This was much easier said than done! The only way to keep it held together once you've done that is by driving a nail through the top and bottom at a slanted angle. Although the outside of where this is supposed to happen is weakened for the nail or screw to go through, the inside and the other side of the connection area is not. So in fact unless you put some serious muscle behind it then your not going to be able to get it to hold together. This was what took the time up, our screws kept bending with the shape of the plastic rather than going through it. Eventually we managed it though but it was no mean feat. Once fully assembled there is a whole double sheet of stickers to put in the correct place, the instructions tell you where. That was very easy and all of a sudden the kitchen had come to life! Rather than looking like a plastic nightmare it looked like a cosy little kitchen! By this point I had been putting it up for nearly 2 hours so I was very relieved to find all that was left to do was add the batteries (3x AA and 3XDD required). The complete product looked very sweet. The great thing about this kitchen and what drew me to it was the fact it's almost two in one. One side is the inside of the kitchen, all homely looking and the other side through the window is an outdoor scene with BBQ and table and chair. This meant that my son had two different role play scences to explore. The kitchen itself comprises of a long sink unit with modern tap and draining board. Next to that is a 2 'hob' style cooker top with button which creates various cooking noises when pushed. There is also a rotating switch that gives the child the idea they are adjusting the heat! Above this is a microwave for all those food items that you no doubtedly will end up purchasing to go with this! Continuing to the right hand side of the kitchen is a small white door unit hiding a double cupboard for storage and below this is the coffee pot holder/heater. Under neath this is the fridge with it's long single silver drawer and two shelves insides. The front is magnetic and it comes with 4 fruit shaped magnets to go on the front! To the left of this is a white pull down door with sticker that looks like an over and next to that another door which I assume is supposed to be the dishwasher-both which provide storage space. On the side of the kitchen is a hook for the telephone to invite your childs friends round for tea! (no it doesn't actually work, just role play!). The backing of the kitchen unit is designed to look tiled and grooves in all the shelving units mean that when toy food etc is inside it wont just slip out which is very useful in preventing frustrated toddlers! The Outdoor scene on the other side is equally as cute with plenty to explore! Through the window which features a flower box with three removable pretty flowers there is a sun canopy covering an attached wooden looking plastic picnic table. This also comes complete with removeable matching chair! Next to this is the BBQ itself! The plastic underneath looks like a stone floor which is very sweet and is designed to show a gas canister for the BBQ itself. It's battery operated and when you push the front red button is lights up and rotates inside as if it's really cooking the food! It comes with two BBQ tools to cook with which can be hung on the front when not in use. This kitchen also comes with a chef hat and 27 other accessories. Included in this are the realistic looking coffee pot which appears to have real coffee in it and this disappears when poured! It fits perfectly in to the coffee pot holder which is located above the fridge. Also supplied is two plates and two cups and numerous items of cutlery. There is also a cooking pan for the hob, the telephone and a burger in a bun and a hot dog too for the BBQ. This was something I really liked about this particular kitchen-knowing it came with a starter kit of food/cutlery etc so I didn't need to look for an initial set. I wanted to wait and see what interested my son and let him lead me to what to buy afterwards with regards to more food or more plates etc. Once up and free standing the kitchen itself stands at 94x66x114cm so it's quite big but not overwhelming. It also says on the box it's age 3 years plus but as I said my son is one years old. I always use the age recommendations as a guideline and I did fully check that there were no small parts that he could choke on. Plus I'm always in the playroom with him and due to the fact I am confident with the way Little Tikes manufacture their toys I felt safe about giving my son this kitchen. On his birthday he was like the cat that got the cream! He was so excited with his kitchen and he's not stopped playing with it since which is great and has diminished any remaining fears I had over the cost. It's also seemed to quell his interest in the actual kitchen in our house because now he has his own! Since he had this I haven't found any building blocks, door stocks or any items of clothing in my cookery drawers or found him attempting to eat a washing tablet. It seems his own kitchen is just what he needed! Hurrah all round if you ask me! Watching my son play with this it's clear he doesn't fully appreciate what it actually is. However it provides him with something amazing that I hope he will play with for years to come. His current interests in the kitchen are doing things like putting things in the cupboards or the fridge and shutting the door, only to open it again immediately and find it's still their. He claps with enjoyment at this. He's also noticed how the magnets stick to the front of the fridge, he loves to pull them off and watch me put them back on and he can't work out why they only stick to that part of the kitchen. He also enjoys sitting on the picnic bench having his juice and snack in the afternoon and of course he's obsessed with pushing the noise making buttons on either side. Sweetly enough he's also realised that the flowers in the window are removeable and he loves to pick them out and toddel over to me and give me them one at a time. This I think is perfect practice for his twenties when he will no doubt be buying flowers to ease all those broken hearts he's going to leave behind him! I would rate this kitchen 5 stars out of 5 stars. It's not the most expensive on the market but it's still a hefty amount of money for a toy. However when I measure it up it's deffinately worth it because I do think Joshua will use this for years so we will hopefully get our moneys worth out of it. The fact it comes with a starter kit of food items was brilliant too as it meant I saved a bit of money as I didn't have to immediately buy one. It's basically a ready to play with toy. The assembly is the only thing that lets it down, it's not easy although the instuctions are very straight forward it's just not an easy thing to assemble. I guess that is why it's so sturdy though and I would rather that than it fall on my son while he's playing with it. If your in the market for a play kitchen this Indoor Outdoor Kitchen is the way forward. I love watching my son play with it and liekwise he's in his element when he's playing with it himself! For more details visit www.littletikes.co.uk Overall-Worth Every Single Penny.
For a while now Toby has enjoyed cooking with me, baking the odd cake, cookies etc, and whilst visiting crèches and friends houses we often find him playing with the play kitchen, making a cup of tea etc. We thought long and hard about what to buy him for Christmas and decided on his own cooker. I spent ages researching which one to buy, I thought we'd spend about £60 but my husband was flicking through the Argos catalogue and saw this one by Little Tikes, it's called 'inside outside' and he fell in love with it at once, (well he never stopped talking about it!!) We had some Argos vouchers to spend so used them as part payment, as this particular kitchen was for sale at £120, using vouchers was a bonus. We decided to construct the kitchen before Christmas as we wanted to ensure it was fixed together properly, and as we had lots of family round for the day, building a kitchen would not be a good move. What do you get? ><><><><><><>< Basically this is a kitchen with a difference, most play kitchens offer you a sink, cooker, fridge, cupboards etc, but this one gives you a large fridge, (with magnetic door,) cooker, dishwasher, sink, coffee maker and microwave on one side and a barbeque, picnic table and stool, and sun canopy on the other. There is a dividing window above the sink, where flowers are placed. As well as the main structure you get a few extras to play with, these include - a phone, kettle with moving liquid in (similar to those baby milk bottles where the milk disappears) 2 of each - plates, saucers, cups, knife, fork, spoon. Chefs hat, spatula, tongs, frying pan, flowers for the window sill, four fruit shaped magnets, and play-food - sweetcorn, burger, roll, hotdog and ketchup. This is quite a good selection of extras, but you may wish to buy other things to get more learning out of the kitchen. Construction ><><><><>< Inside the box there were several large plastic parts as well as a couple large plastic bags which contained all the smaller bits and fittings. The instructions were well laid out over 6 A4 pages, with good diagrams and descriptions. You need a hammer and screwdriver to help you with the build, also a pair of safety goggles, we didn't use these!! Not compulsory I'm sure, but just be careful!! The large sections fitted together well and only needed a few screws to hold it all in place. Once constructed we applied all the stickers, these were easy to fix in place and made the kitchen look more realistic, we started with these in one corner and worked our way round the whole unit, they stick well, if you make a mistake you can peel off and realign before applying more pressure to stick properly. You will need 3 AA batteries for the burner in the kitchen area, and 3 D batteries for the barbeque, these can be inserted easily after construction and replaced easily if they run out, this will only depend on how annoying the noises get as some can be quite irritating! You will also need some sand to put in the seat, this gives it some stability. Opinions ><><><>< My husband and I were very impressed at how easy this kitchen is to build, it took us exactly 1 ½ hours from start to finish, we were going to build it after Toby had unwrapped the box, but as we had relatives round, we were worried everyone would want to help and it wouldn't be put together properly, so several evenings before Christmas we decide to build it then store it in the shed until Christmas eve. I bought it into the house Christmas Eve and wrapped it up, this proved to be more difficult than the build. Christmas Day Toby had opened all of his other presents and the kitchen was the last one, he ripped the paper off and his eyes lit up, he was so excited at what was sat before him. He didn't know which bit to look at first, opening all the doors and pressing all the buttons. We put the chefs' hat on his head, and my mum had bought him an apron, so we put that on too, he proceeded to make tea, cook dinner and arrange the extra food he was given in the cupboards and fridge. It was such a success, Toby didn't want to play with any of his other toys and wore the hat and apron for the rest of the day until he went to bed. Since Christmas Toby has played with the kitchen on a daily basis, pretending to cook breakfast, make cups of tea and coffee and phone people to invite them round for food. Our neighbour loves his barbeque, I heard Toby the other day pretend to phone him up and say "I have barbeque like you" Overall I can safely say that this kitchen is a hit with Toby and I'm glad we spent the extra money on it. I love spending time with Toby, pretending to make things and playing with all the buttons etc. My favourite bit is the barbeque, it has a lid which you raise up, and when you press the button it makes a whirring noise. A light comes on at the base and a small fan blows some small pieces of fabric to represent flickering flames. This continues for approximately 1 minute then stops; as it stops itself it prevents the batteries from running low too quickly, and eliminates the noise from winding the adult up and having to turn it off themselves once the noise got on their nerves. As it's made by Little Tikes you know you are getting a quality product which is strong, sturdy and will last a long time. Toby and I do lots of cooking for real, and this helps him learn new skills that he can take back to his kitchen and use when making food for his toys. There are lots of learning opportunities with this product, which include, role play, counting, sorting, carrying out simple tasks, (following instruction) as well as reading words and numbers on the stickers and language and communication. As I write this, Argos has bought out a new catalogue and currently do not sell this kitchen, however you can buy it from Amazon and other Little Tikes suppliers. If you are looking for something a little different, then I highly recommend this 'Inside Outside' kitchen. Nicola x (17th Jan 09)
The deluxe kitchen features a magic coffee pot, a magnetic refrigerator door, and a hob with electronic sounds. The realistic outdoor environment includes a stone patio, a stylish fabric canopy, a picnic table and bench, and pretty flowers.