The Best Accessories for Your Play Kitchen

You don’t need a fancy toy to make a play kitchen engaging. A box of old dishes and a few cookie cutters can get a kid making pretend meals. But if you want to add to an existing play kitchen, or buy one that’s more elaborate than the average wooden pretend-food-maker, we’ve gathered our favorite accessories for giving kids a more realistic experience. Whether you’re looking for a place to store all those imaginary groceries or a set of fancy dishes to serve them up on, we’ve got you covered.

1 Melissa & Doug Stainless Steel Pots and Pans Pretend Play Kitchen Set9.7Check Price
2 Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House! Grocery Cans Play Food9.5Check Price
3 ELitao Cookie Play Food Set9.2Check Price
4 Melissa & Doug 22-Piece Play Kitchen Accessories Set9.1Check Price
5 JaxoJoy Deluxe Pretend Play Food Set8.5Check Price

Our Testing Methodology in a Nutshell

For this guide, we checked out a dozen play kitchens and evaluated them with our two testers (a 3-year-end 7 and a 4-year-old). We asked the kids to play with each kitchen in turn and noted how easy they were to assemble, clean, and store.

During the process, we also spent some time observing the kids. With every new activity—assembling an obstacle course of plastic blocks, setting up a tea party, even just snacking—we took note of how easily they could manipulate the equipment and how engaged they appeared to be. We observed them as much as possible without being obtrusive: Sometimes it was hard for us to resist taking over or telling a kid what to do next.

Melissa & Doug Stainless Steel Pots and Pans Pretend Play Kitchen Set


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Why Should You Buy It

The Melissa & Doug Stainless Steel Pots and Pans Pretend Play Kitchen Set for Kids (8 pcs) is sturdy, safe, and well-made, and it will look good in almost any kitchen.

It also includes items that other sets don’t have, including a colander, a pot with lid, two pans, two wooden utensils, and a rack to hold them all together.

The pots and pans are just the right size for little hands, too. This set comes with everything you need to get started with imaginative play, and it’s the best gift we found for kids ages 3 and up.

You can also expand your child’s kitchen with other great M&D items, such as the Melissa & Doug Kitchen Accessory Set.

This company’s toys are sturdy, safe, and imaginative, and they’re designed and tested with preschoolers in mind.

We’ve been recommending the company’s toys for more than 30 years because we believe that Melissa & Doug creations are the gold standard in early childhood play.

Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House! Grocery Cans Play Food


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Why Should You Buy It

The 10 cans in this set look different from one another and have removable lids—and they’re sturdy enough to use as pretend food or props in dramatic play.

Like other Melissa & Doug products, the grocery cans are sturdy and well-designed, and the lids fit perfectly. The cans are also colorful and come in a variety of designs, so your child can sort them by color or use them to make a more varied grocery display.

This set encourages kids to sort and group items, learn their colors, and think about their favorite foods. If you have a little one who enjoys role-playing, we recommend pairing this set with the Melissa & Doug Let’s Play House! Grocery Basket with Play Food set, which comes with a basket, food, and accessories.

For a few extra dollars, you get more pieces that let kids expand the play. In our experience, the Melissa & Doug toys are usually the best-designed and most sturdy pretend-play items on the market, and their products typically offer the highest quality in terms of construction, materials, and design.

We’ve found that their kitchen sets, in particular, are incredibly sturdy, and their play food is the most realistic we’ve seen. Many of their products are also gender-neutral, which works for families with multiple children of different genders.

ELitao Cookie Play Food Set


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Why Should You Buy It

The 16 pieces of the Elalo Toys Kitchen Accessories Set include all the essentials you need to set up a realistic kitchen scene for your kids’ play.

It includes a variety of realistic-looking donuts and cupcakes, a sturdy tray, chocolate, chocolate sauce, three different ways of making cookies, and a cupcake stand, all of which are made of high-quality, nontoxic paint.

The set also includes a recipe card that you can fill out with your own details.

We think this set is the best choice for kids and parents who want to build a realistic kitchen display.

It’s also a convenient and thoughtful gift for birthday parties and holidays.

Melissa & Doug 22-Piece Play Kitchen Accessories Set


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Why Should You Buy It

The Melissa & Doug 22-Piece Play Kitchen Accessories Set (which we tested with an easy-to-assemble plastic play kitchen) adds realistic details to a play kitchen, such as a pot and pan, spatula, serving spoon, place settings for two, a timer, and wooden salt and pepper shakers.

It also includes an olive oil bottle, oven mitt, towel, and salt and pepper shakers made of real wood. The accessories are sturdily built and will last for years. However, if you have a different kind of toy kitchen, the accessories will fit other types of play kitchens, too.

The pieces are also smaller than most of the other sets we looked at, making them a better fit for younger kids ages three and up.

JaxoJoy Deluxe Pretend Play Food Set


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Why Should You Buy It

There’s nothing more exciting for a little chef than having a wide variety of foods to choose from. The JaxoJoy Deluxe Pretend Play Food Set provides all of the basic food groups, as well as a slew of realistic toy foods, from fruits and vegetables to meat and eggs, milk, juice, drinks, pizza, burgers, french fries, bakery items, bread, cake, donuts, cookies, and even ice cream. It’s an impressive 122 pieces, and your children will feel like they have their own little food store at home to entertain them for hours on end.

All of the pieces are expertly crafted using BPA-free plastic and are safety tested in accordance with CPSIA and ASTM standards. You don’t have to worry about the toys breaking, and they’re also easy to clean if needed.

This set will bring out your kids’ imaginations to play in the kitchen, at a picnic, or even shopping for food. Boys and girls love to imitate their parents, and with this set, they can pretend to go shopping, cook up a meal, and serve you breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Their imaginations will run wild with this vast variety of foods to choose from. The bold colors and realistic designs make playtime much more fun. With bottles and cans, as well as condiments and spices, your son or daughter can whip you up something special as they get creative in the kitchen or set up a picnic for the whole family to enjoy, just like home!

This set makes a great addition to play shopping carts and kitchens, enhancing creative time with endless hours of fun. Boys and girls will love doing everything they watch you do as they learn what each item is, enhance their reading skills and let their imaginations run wild.

Go Through These Factors Before Clicking “Add to Cart”

After conducting our research, we’ve determined that doll-kitchen accessories should meet the following criteria:


We looked for toys with safety warnings to avoid any toys that could cause choking or other injuries.

Kitchen items that require an adult to attach and detach pieces are best, because they allow kids to experiment without making a huge mess. If accessories do come apart, they should not be small enough to pose a choking hazard (this standard also means no magnets).

Play Value

The accessories should offer several ways for kids to play. We liked sets that came with multiple characters and props so kids could reenact different scenarios; if a set only included one character and one activity, it had to offer a lot of variety.

We also looked for accessories that would work with different brands of toy kitchens and play sets. Some sets only fit one brand of kitchen, which limits their play value.

Some sets have very specific activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What should I get for my play kitchen?

A play kitchen should include a stove, a refrigerator, and a sink.

2. What do you get for a girl who has everything?

A girl who has everything may not be easy to shop for, but some possibilities include jewelry, perfume, clothes or a gift certificate to her favorite store.

3. What are the best accessories for a kitchen?

Some of the best kitchen accessories include oven mitts, apron, pot holders, kitchen timer, can opener, corkscrew, spoon and fork set, knife set, cutting board, and measuring cups and spoons.

4. What is the best kitchen set for kids?

There is no definitive answer for this question as different kids have different preferences. However, some popular kitchen sets for kids include the Step2 Grand Walk-In Kitchen, the KidKraft Uptown Espresso Kitchen, and the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Kitchen.

5. What is the best kitchen brand?

There is no definitive answer to this question as different people have different preferences. Some brands that are popular among kitchen enthusiasts include Viking, Wolf, Sub-Zero, and Thermador.

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