Comments 15


We recently purchased a toy kitchen set for our daughters Pumpkin and Peanut. And when I say cute, I mean this thing is freaking cute.

I was stifling the urge to elbow her out of the way so I could play with it.

These things didn’t exist back in the Stone Age when yours truly was growing up. Can you blame me?

When my husband and I were first searching for a play set online, we came across a myriad of them. Picnic. Supermarket. Tea party (we already had one). Baby food. Sushi.

Then we came across a BBQ set ( which was definitely also worth an elbowing). It came with a “grill” and spatula, tongs and other accessories. There was an apron included and oh! Let me tell you about the food—a hot dog which could be removed from its bun AND which came with a squiggle of ketchup. A hamburger which could be taken apart–bun, meat, cheese. Ketchup and mustard bottles. And so on.


We seriously considered ordering it until I asked, “Do you think it’s too boyish? Should we get more of a kitchen instead?”

I couldn’t believe I was saying those words out loud, but it seemed right at the time. I just couldn’t visualize my daughter in front of a (albeit imaginary) smoking grill serving up a hot dog and hamburger while wearing a Kiss the Cook apron. So instead we focused on a kitchen where she would be in front of a (albeit imaginary) hot stove, also serving food.

Maybe I’m being a bit too theatrical, but I don’t know why it made such a difference to me how she prepares her adorable plastic food. Are we still reinforcing stereotypes from the 1950s in the form of plastic?

My daughter won’t know the difference. All she cares about is having fun, which she is in spades. And I’m happy about that. I hope looking back that she won’t think I was placing her in a box.

And who knows? Maybe she’ll be the next Julia Child. Or the first female president…

…man, that kitchen is cute, though!

Image credit: Original image | Original image




  1. I think you can have an equally bad message if you DON’T get something that can be considered gender specific. You made the right decision.

    I had an easy bake oven as a kid. I just wanted to make my own mini cakes. They were awful, but I really wanted it and my mom didn’t hesitate. Although maybe her and dad had a few conversations in the other room.

    Either way, anything that’s not a TV and can engage the young mind should be explored. To hell with the rules, be they the ’50s or the ’10s.

    • Funny you mention the easy bake oven. I had wanted one as a kid too, but my mom said no. I think she was afraid I’d burn the house down. Nice to hear you got yours! I’m sure you’re a much better cook/baker now 🙂

      • Now that I’m all grown up, I use a much bigger light bulb to bake with. My electric bill is daunting as a result.

        I remember that once the packets of cake mix ran out, so did my interest in the toy.

  2. Definitely not! We bought a play kitchen for our daughter as well. In my opinion everyone needs to learn to cook, so if we have sons, they will be encouraged to pay with it as well. It’s not like we’re going to go out and buy a play tool bench for a son–I’d actually prefer to get it for my daughter (everyone needs to know how to use basic tools, in my opinion, too). Girls should be bought “girly” things sometimes just to point out to them that there’s nothing wrong with cooking, or there’s nothing wrong with liking pink, etc. I try to make sure we have an even mix of typically “gendered” toys out at all times. We have the dolls next to the toy tractor and the play tool set is next to her play purses and jewelry. I sometimes dislike that she plays with the typically girly stuff, but I remind myself that SHE chose it so I need to show her that that’s OK

    • I’m really big on letting my girls pick out stuff they like (now that they’re old enough to). They choose seemingly random things at times, but if they’re happy, I am too. I also agree that we all eat, therefore we all need to know how to cook, at least at a basic level. 😉

  3. haha I have a niece and deciding what to buy for her gives me a headache at times… Sometimes I even get confused in clothes! Kids must have loved the tiny toy set ha?

    I think playing with this tools just makes them understand what they pay more attention to in the game… Its fun they are after!

  4. I find myself doing the same thing when you hunting for my 2 year old 🙈 I don’t think there’s anything wrong in buying ‘girly’ things for girls, the problem begins when you insist it’s the only type of toy they can have..

  5. I don’t believe that buying girly toys for girls and boyish toys for boys affects them in any way when they get older. I remember when I was a kid I wanted to do all the stuff my mother was doing, which involved cooking, cleaning etc so the toys I chose or had chosen for me reflected that.

    • I agree Courtney! I think I was just having a moment…as mothers, sometimes we can be guilty of projecting onto our kids… But it actually worked out, because she loves imitating me, watching me as I cook 😀

  6. I think I’d have made the same choice, not for gender reasons but because kids are likely to spend more time cooking in a kitchen than at a BBQ when they’re older (and to see their parents doing the same). That kitchen IS cute, and thank goodness not pink. I’d have bought it for my (hypothetical) son as well!

    • Jen @The Haute Mommy Handbook says

      Good point, May. And I was absolutely against a pink kitchen too!

  7. Hahaha, I always loooooved playing with plastic kitchens, and now I can hardly make a sandwich 🙂 There’s nothing wrong with buying a girl “girly” – or “boyish,” for that matter – toys if she wants them.


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