The Step2 LifeStyle Dream Kitchen is a compact play kitchen with traditional styling. The green faux-granite counter top, together with both faux-wood and dark grey appliances create a homey, country look. The trim on the top edge and “the window with a view” adds to the cosy kitchen feel.
The unit comes with some sounds built in. The keypad on the microwave and stove beep! and the front stove burner makes boiling and frying noises. There is a little phone and working light above the sink. Kitchen accessories like dishes come with the set and importantly a sink with a faucet for washing up accessories (imaginary washing up – like when Hubby says “Sure I’ll help with the dishes on Sunday”).
The Dream Kitchen is big enough for group play, with ample storage space provided. Parts are mostly made in the good old US of A. Let’s list some main features quickly.
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Step2 LifeStyle Dream Kitchen Features
- Traditional and real world styling – muted gender neutral colors
- Good amount of storage space – 7 drawers and cupboards – lots of doors to open and close
- A light above the sink that can be switched on and off
- Microwave, stove top, phone and oven makes noises (Yay!) – and has doors that open and close
- Over 30 accessory pieces included – pots, dishes, vegetable basket, phone etc.
There are plenty of doors and drawers to explore
Putting Together the LifeStyle Dream Kitchen – a Dream or a Nightmare?
Putting this play kitchen together should take an adult anything from 1 and a half to 2 and a half hours roughly. It’s usually easier and faster if you have someone to help you figure stuff out and help with the build. Preferably another adult should help you, but the kids can help (or hinder) you if they want to.
It is a good idea to read the manual first. It will give you better plan for the overall assembly. Also try and sort through all the different pieces beforehand and lay them out in an orderly fashion. This will prevent having to look for stuff later (now where’s that damn piece, I KNOW I had it earlier!)
You will need 2 sizes of screwdriver – one of them smaller than the other for the assembly of the electronic parts . An electric screwdriver will save you time with assembly. The screws are designed to pierce the plastic on their own (i.e. self-drilling).
Before applying one (of the many) stickers that go on the set, make sure you clean the spot and rub it dry with a clean cloth. Stick the stickers on the different parts before you begin to assemble those parts. Apply pressure from the center outward when sticking them down.
You will need 12 batteries in total to fuel the electronic features. 6 AA and 6 AAA.
Cooking sounds & storage – just like real life
When I Grow Up I Want To Be a Chef!
The LifeStyle Dream Kitchen has a lot of little bits and bobs for the kids to play with. Drawers and cabinets open and close for little chefs to put stuff in, or look for ingredients and utensils to cook up a storm (or strudel). They can then tidy up afterwards by washing the dishes in the kitchen sink. The appliances all open and the ice maker on the fridge looks like a real life one, so it is possible to stick a cup in there and actually pretend to get ice.
The control panels on the microwave, oven and phone beep when their buttons are pressed. Boiling water and frying pan sounds activate when a pan is put on the front stove plate. There is also a knob or two to twiddle and a light above the sink that can be switched on and off.
The play kitchen can be moved by two people without too much difficulty (or get Clark Kent’s alter ego to help if you have to move it alone). You can move it into the kitchen so that your little one can “help you cook” every once in a while (to give them a dollop of inspiration).
There is enough counter space and appliances to keep more than one kid busy at a time. In other words, it’s friend friendly. We recommend you add more accessory pieces for even more fun.
Electronics have a pleasing, realistic look
Quality, Safety and Cleaning Tips
- The recommended ages for this play kitchen ranges from about 2 years up to about 6 or 7 years.
- There is a lot of storage space (although I found the drawers to be quite small) and the whole set once assembled (correctly of course) feels very solid. The beige, brown and green styling makes the set accessible to both boys and girls.
- You may find that the included accessories is not enough to keep the young ones busy – especially when they are having friends over for an imaginary dinner party. The included pieces are enough to get started, but you’ll probably want to add some extra pieces at some point.
- Remember to clean the areas where you need to apply stickers before you stick them down. You can use either a damp cloth or some rubbing alcohol for this purpose. Put pressure from the center of the sticker outwards when you stick ’em down.
- Use a cloth that is slightly dampened with water or a mild detergent solution to wipe down the play kitchen when you feel it needs a cleaning.
- Inspect the play set every now and again for damaged or loose parts. You will probably need to replace the batteries every 6 months or so if the set sees daily use (which it probably will!).
Final Thoughts on The Step2 LifeStyle Dream Kitchen
The Step2 LifeStyle Dream Kitchen is an attractively finished, durable kitchen play set. The kitchen is finished in muted colors, making this compatible with both boys and girls. If you or your little chef prefers a set with brighter colors, another set may be more desirable.
The interactive electronic features and sounds plus decent storage and counter space make this a good buy to keep kids busy and having fun.
There are a few drawbacks though – no coffee pot, the drawers are too small to store all accessories and some of the doors don’t close all the way. Minor things, sure, but a little more attention to detail from the manufacturer could easily have made them a non-factor.
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