This Christmas added a whole new element to our play kitchen fun. Wooden food. Wooden utensils. Wooden appliances. (Or one appliance, in our case. We eat toast, that makes sense. We don’t have a Keurig or a stand mixer, so those just didn’t seem to fit.) We do a lot of shopping on Amazon.com and if you start to search for wooden play food and accessories you will quickly find many brands touting many claims… and many comments claiming allegiance. So here is a basic review of what we have found.
The most common Melissa & Doug toys have mixed reviews. Some call them the cheaper version of the other wooden toys, some others rave on their bigger size (less choking hazard for little siblings) and bright colors. We have a cookie kit (cut out cookies, tray, icing pieces, knife) and a basic pantry kit (tuna can, soup can, salad dressing, cracker box, etc). The reason I am sharing what we have specifically is because one issue is that they are not sized the same. The pantry kit is smaller (as to fit in a kid kitchen) and the cookies are about the size of a small cookie (more adult realistic). All are wood.
We have a few sets of Plan Toys. They include some meat that you can cut up, a breakfast set, and some various lunch fixing sets. They are smaller than Melissa & Doug. They are also very light, as I have read that they are made of rubber wood and use non-toxic paint. The items seem to be very basic, as in that there is not a lot of paint detail to each specific item. Besides the comments on items being very small, I have yet to hear anything negative. (The little detail of the salt shaker [on the left] making a noise from hidden beads is a cute plus!)
We also have two sets of Hape Food Toys. One is an appliance (which gets the most use since toast is one of Little W’s favorite foods right now) and one is a salad kit. Everything is wooden except for the salad mixing bowl, which is plastic and not made to hold real food, and the carrot slices & lettuce leaves, which are felt. Like Plan, besides hearing that the items are very small, I have not heard complaints. The colors seem more vibrant, and all of the little appliances I have found are the bright green color. (Theses are not the exact kits, as I am missing various plates, ect. But my girls were sleeping and this is what I could find!) Also, as where the Melissa & Doug package had a ready-made bottle of salad dressing (and cookie mix), Hape has the fixing for homemade dressing (olive oil, vinegar, pepper).
Here is the difference in size and quality between Hape and Plan veggie slices. Plan is the top strawberry slice and first row. Hape is the second whole row and the pepper slice. It seems the rubber wood Plan uses sucks up more of their paint than whatever Hape uses.
Sizes of Hape toast and veggies beside Plan bread and veggies, on my hand. This is a good test to see how small these pieces really are. (Plan bread does fit in the Hape toaster, too.)
Differences in the sizes of cutlery. First is Melissa & Doug, second two are Hape, and the little knife is Plan. The red knife looks like a butcher’s knife in Little W’s hand.
And finally, my favorite little toy out of all of the sets. Oh so cute. This is Plan. (It also gets lots of play, because it “cracks”.)
So, it seems like both our Plan and Hape sets fit together in size, while the M&D are a bit bigger. All get played with as of right now. Personally I love the Plan toys, they seem very simple and are light yet the quality is great. But I see myself purchasing many cute things from various sources in the years to come. (There are also Haba Toys that look so cute, but we don’t own any yet!) What are your favorite food toys to buy? Do your little ones like to play with one type over another?