Guidecraft has been producing quality wooden products since 1964. We already own several items created by guidecraft including the fraction action board, the ring sorter, the geometric puzzle board, and an order version of the pull along snail. We absolutely love Guidecraft items and when I heard that we had been selected to test out the Hideaway Country Kitchen I knew we would love it! This complete unit contains a sink, a stove ,an oven, a dishwasher, functioning knobs, and an adjustable clock.
To say we love this kitchen would be an understatement. I adore this toy. I love love Love LOVE it. I love the simplicity of the design. There are no distracting characters or logos. I love how sturdy the unit is. I have never worried that it'll topple over on children. The pieces are large and securely fastened for young learners. I love how it is a complete kitchen in a single unit. Most of all I love how it's compact design folds up to a depth of only SIX INCHES! This size allows for easy storage under beds, in closets, or even in the trunk of a car for a trip to Grandma's house.
I don't think any parent needs lessons in the importance of dramatic play. All of my children have engaged in various forms of dramatic play, both alone and with others, without any guidance or encouragement from me. It seems to be ingrained into their very being. The Hideaway Country Kitchen can foster that play by encouraging social interaction, language development, and developing a distinction between fantasy play and reality.
My product testers were eager to get started using this product. The kitchen arrived on the day of a neighborhood gathering and we set it up for all the children to enjoy.
Understandably, the real appeal was for the toddlers and preschool-aged children. Older children were attracted to it's sleek design, but quickly abandoned the play kitchen for more age-appropriate items. The two to four year-olds enjoyed extended play sessions and even returned to the kitchen after exploring other parts of the house.
Both boys and girls were interested.
Like all things in "preschool-land," after a couple weeks the kitchen began to collect dust as Margaret cycled onto other toys. I usually rotate toys in and out in our rooms and this kitchen was SUPER easy to put away. A few simple steps and it folded down to nothing. Here James is ready to demonstrate the kitchen's current storage space:
Under my love seat! I am truly impressed!
So what did my product testers think of this item?
|Well, I didn't actually play with this kitchen but I think it looks pretty neat.|
|I think it should have come with dishes and play food.|
(Um, as if we don't already have a zillion of those items, but point taken)
|Mama, I really like that kitchen and I want you to tell the blog that I like the clock on the kitchen.|
The Hideaway Country Kitchen is designed for ages three and up and can be purchased from Guidecraft for $200. In addition to this kitchen and the items I listed above, Guidecraft offers high quality children's furniture, specialized wooden blocks, other dramatic play items like a puppet theater, and various art equipment and furniture.
Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS homeschool review group, I received this item free of charge in exchange for an honest review on this blog. I received no other compensation.