If you are looking for a portable and eco-friendly alternative to standard toy kitchen sets take a look at these cardboard kids kitchens. Kids play kitchens are a must have toy from a developmental perspective. I have written several articles as to why this toy is so great for language development and learning. So I won’t go into all of that again. If you would like to see the benefits and which skills can be developed please read the following articles:
I was inspired to look into cardboard kitchens because my kids are obsessed with cardboard. They love creating their own things, from cars to marble runs and everything in between. I was pleasantly surprised to find that you can actually get ready made cardboard kitchen sets for kids to play with.
These are great if you aren’t the DIY type (although I will include some links to DIY cardboard kitchens), don’t have many large cardboard boxes lying around, want an eco friendly alternative or want something that can be folded up so it’s not always taking up space.
But remember, these are made out of cardboard, so they won’t be as sturdy or durable as a wooden or plastic kitchen.
Unfortunately the selection of pre made cardboard kitchens is quite limited. So if you are looking for something very specific you might be better off trying to make it yourself.
5 Fun-Filled Cardboard (or DIY) Kids Kitchens!
Build a Dreamhouse Pop n’ Play Kitchen
This is probably my favorite cardboard kitchen. It’s a great size and can be folded in minutes. It comes without any color. So it’s a blank slate. Your child can get really creative and design the kitchen of his/her dreams. Decorating the kitchen could even become a family project!
This kitchen comes with a fridge (door opens and closes), cabinets (lower cabinet doors open and close), stovetop, and countertops! This is much more than most of the other cardboard kitchens come with (as you will see if you keep reading).
Set up is extremely easy! Watch just how simple it is.
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Flatout Frankie Little Kitchen
I would consider this more of a stove/fridge combo than a full play kitchen. As you can see in the picture this is pretty much just a cardboard box that has burners on the top. Both sides have doors that open. One side has an oven door. On the other side there is a fridge door.
Making something like this wouldn’t be too difficult, but if you are not crafty, Flatout Frankie will only set you back about $22. However, I have noticed that it isn’t always in stock. So if you want this particular one you may have to check back from time to time.
Cocorico Cooker Cardboard Play Kitchen
Similar to the Flatout Frankie, the Cocorico Cooker is simply a cardboard box that has been decorated to look like a 2 burner stovetop oven combo. It also has nice pictures of a plant, clock and fishbowl.
Both this and the Flatout Frankie Kitchen are so simple that your child will have no choice but to get creative. Perhaps she could find another cardboard box to turn into a sink and add to the kitchen set. These small cardboard kitchens could be the starting point of a DIY kitchen!
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Pop-It-Up Kitchen with Toy Storage Box
This kitchen is a bit different from the other cardboard ones because it is covered in printed polypropylene to make it look like a kitchen (so not quite as eco friendly as the others). But the inside is made of cardboard. The items seen in the picture do not come with this kitchen. These need to be purchased separately.
The Pop-It-Up Kitchen is unique because it also doubles as a toy storage box (or an oven, washing machine, or whatever else you and your child can think of). Once all of the playing is done the kitchen accessories (pots, pans, plates, utensils, play food) can all be stored in the box!
DIY Cardboard Kitchens
If you are crafty you could try making your own cardboard kitchen. If your kids are a bit older, make sure to get them involved in the building process as much as possible.
Here is a very detailed DIY cardboard kitchen. You can purchase the full instructions to make this kitchen here.
Here are the steps for another DIY kitchen (it’s free).
You can also head over to Pinterest. There are many ideas for making your own cardboard kitchen there. Take a look at a few pictures to get an idea and then come up with your own!
Although my kids have a standard play kitchen and use it all the time, the next time we have a few decent sized cardboard boxes lying around so I am going to suggest making a kitchen. My kids are almost 7 and 9 so they will love being able to do a lot of it themselves. This could turn out to be a great rainy day project!
What are your thoughts on these cardboard kids kitchens? Would you purchase a pre made one or would you attempt to make one on your own? If you have made your own I would love to hear all about it!
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.