Encouraging Imaginative Play: Play Kitchen Inspiration

Imaginative play based on their own life experiences must be one of the most loved forms of play for toddlers and preschoolers. At 15 months, AJ’s has adopted a small doll of Immy’s as her regular companion – she loves to cuddle and kiss it, push it around in her wooden trolley, and pretend to feed and put it to bed. And she has recently started to show interest in role play using our wooden, play kitchen. Both of my girls have loved this type of play from a young age and at five and a half Immy still plays in the home corner area of our playroom.

We didn’t start out with a wooden kitchen, after all they can be quite an investment, but given how popular our DIY cardboard kitchen and buffet unit were with Immy for the sixteen months before we upgraded I am so glad we did. If you have the space I would definitely recommend a play kitchen as a fabulous addition, and if you just aren’t sure whether your kids will play with it – you can always go the DIY route first like we did.

Here are some DIY kitchens from cardboard boxes that might just inspire you to make one of your own…

Childhood 101 | DIY Cardboard Kitchens-Play Kitchen Inspiration
(Clockwise from top left)

Childhood 101: DIY Kitchen for Under $10 and DIY Kitchen Buffet

Teach Preschool: Pizza Box Kitchen (a stove top and sink from pizza boxes! Who would have thought!!)

Kid’s Play Space: Stove Cooker

Or if you are looking for a more permanent DIY version, I love both of these re-purposed cabinet projects…

Childhood 101 | DIY Kitchens-Play Kitchen Inspiration

Paint on the Ceiling DIY Play Kitchen :: A Little Learning for Two Play Oven Stove

And finally, if you are ready to purchase a commercial play kitchen for your kids Feels Like Home offers some great advice to consider before making the investment.

Childhood 101 | Imaginative Play-Play Kitchen Inspiration

Do you have a play kitchen in your home?


  1. Thanks for sharing our little cooker:-) I love the round up and inspirational ideas you have here! Childhood 101’s under $10 cooker looks incredibly slick and professional – I am super impressed – and the pizza boxes are gold! Love home corner ideas:-)

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