DIY | A Manly Play Kitchen

I believe toys shouldn’t have gender roles. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with boys playing with dolls or girls playing with legos. Did your husband change diapers, give bottles and  rock babies to sleep?? I know mine did! And can girls be architects when they grow up?? I know one of my good high school friends is an amazing one.

Imaginative play is one of the most stimulating types of play for children, and is essential for proper development. So some of the best toys you can get your toddler are ones that aren’t limited to a specific use and allow them to create their own worlds.

This type of play is still a bit beyond Jarvis (some posts on types of developmental play in toddlers coming up soon!) but I like to be proactive. I’ve come across all sorts of DIY play kitchens on ohdeedoh, and wanted to make one of our own! We found an old entertainment center on a yardsale page and got right to work! 

Although this was primarily my project, hubby helped out quite a bit with some of the woodworking! Thanks, hubby!

Sink, stove, fridge/freezer on the left and oven to the right, pantry around on the left side.

play kitchen-15


missing the doors and shelves (sorry, bad iphone picture)                  
play kitchen-2 (2)
 painting the magnetic layers on the doors and then the chalkboard paint
(the smaller door was on the entertainment center to begin with, the longer door we cut from plywood to fit)
(sorry, bad iphone picture)
play kitchen-1 (2)
Added a hardy board backing to the whole thing, wood glued the shelves in, the ‘countertop’ is covered and ready for painting
(Do you like how we turned our front mud-room into a paint booth??? It’s too cold to paint in the garage!)
play kitchen-11 (2)
Blue finished, painted the countertop and backsplash, then covered in a poly layer for protection. (sorry, bad iphone picture!)
And onto the details…. It cost us about $150, which ended up being more because I decided to outfit it with some cute acessories. The basic entertainment center, paint, trim, and necessary accessories ran about $80, then the cute orange accents and other add ons cost a bit more! But it is still well under the $300- $500 you would pay for most wooden kitchens of this size! One of our good friends made a trip to Ikea in Minneapolis (8 hours away!) and took my list of supplies with them, THANKS VanDycks!!
play kitchen-3 (2)
The burners are silicone coasters from Ikea and the knobs are pulls from Ikea as well. The orange spoon rest is from a local kitchen store. The pots and pans sets and all the metal tools are from a Target Christmas sale set. We added wooden trim along the painted counter to simulate a backsplash.
play kitchen-2
Towel rack and hooks from Ikea.
play kitchen-3
Freezer and refigerator are all stocked! Both the doors are magnetic chalkboards. The hinges are reused from the original center and the pull handles are from Ikea.
play kitchen-5 play kitchen-4
The oven door was original to the center, although we added a new hinge at the bottom. Hubby cut a hole in the center and we added a piece of plexiglass. The handle and baking set are from Ikea, the towel from a local kitchen store. We have plans to add an ‘oven rack’ but are having trouble finding a metal rack thin enough… I will update once we figure that out!
 play kitchen-6 play kitchen-7
The towel rack along the front is Ikea and the towels and measuring cups are from a local kitchen store. I have not be able to find a basket to fit this bottom shelf, so I have plans to make a fabric one myself, I’ll update when I get it done!
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The faucet is a garage hook from Ikea and the knobs are from there too. The sink is a little metal bowl that removes so he can play with water for real. The utensil holder we already had and the orange utensils are from a local kitchen store.
play kitchen-9play kitchen-10
The side shelves we turned into a pantry. It’s somewhat bare right now, but thanks to a great-grandma, there are some wooden pantry boxes headed this way. I also have two small wire baskets in the mail for pantry storage. The broom is from Hobby Lobby.
play kitchen-11
So that’s about it!! We are super proud of it and hope that Jarvis enjoys it for many years to come.
 play kitchen
Forgot to add this adorable picture of the bit helping daddy work!

26 thoughts on “DIY | A Manly Play Kitchen

  1. That is a really great kitchen.

    “having trouble finding a metal rack thin enough”

    Look at cooling racks for baked goods, or maybe really small BBQ grills.

  2. This is so creative!! THX for sharing the details, as my mind would blow a fuse if I tried to figure it all out. As for the oven rack, have to tried a wire cooling rack? I know they come in a variety of sizes. Just a thought…

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