Written by: Tena, a resident toy expert and mom at Step2
So, yes, I work for Step2 but I also have a preschool aged son at home, and even if I didn’t work here, I imagine I would own an item from each of the following categories. At Step2, we’re known for our play kitchens, kid’s furniture and art desks and we also have some products that are just plain fun and cool. Based on the items that have become Step2 toys my son cannot live without, I compiled this list for our first annual Step2 Toy Guide.
Choosing the best play kitchen for your toddler and family can be a daunting task. All Step2 play kitchens are durable and have various electronic and storage features. For our household, these were important factors in selecting the right kitchen. These kids kitchen sets encourage imaginative play, sharing and social skills development; all known factors in helping our little loves to become happy and productive adults (I find this to be my primary hope and dream for my little guy).
Below are four favorites with details to help you select the right one for your toddler or preschooler.
Best Chef’s Kitchen is a perfect starter play kitchen if you’re space constrained but still want a lot of play value and bang for your buck. We actually own this kitchen and I love that it matches our real kitchen perfectly.
This kitchen is age graded 2+ and retails for $79.99.
Parents give this product a rating of 4.4 stars of out of 5 and it features a fun electronic burner with realistic sounds, lights, and comes with a 25-piece accessory set.
This toy kitchen is 35.8” tall x 34” wide and has a depth of 11.5.”
Step2’s Lifestyle Custom Kitchen is the next step up in terms of size and value. This play kitchen is a great option for those growing toddlers who need a little higher counter top and more storage space.
This kitchen is age graded 2+ and retails for $104.99.
Parents give this product 5 stars and it features a 20-piece accessory set, granite-like counter top, an electronic burner and microwave with realistic sounds.
This play kitchen is 41.5” tall x 28” wide and has a depth of 14.”
Refreshed in 2015, the Step2 favorite Lifestyle Dream Kitchen offers all the bells and whistles one could want and need when choosing the best offering in play kitchens.
Age graded 2+ and retails for $164.99.
Rated 4.5 stars it features a whopping 37-piece accessory set, 5 electronic features (play phone, burner, overhead lights, oven, and microwave) and is a proud recipient of the highest rating from the Canadian Toy Testing Council.
This kid’s kitchen stands 44.75” tall x 35” wide and has a depth of 15.”
Looking for the WOW factor? If yes, the Grand Walk-In Kitchen and Grill is a must have for your family. This kitchen is perfect for multiple children and large spaces. Can you imagine this next to the tree with a big red bow?
Age graded 2+ and retails for $274.99.
This kitchen has a 4.7 star rating and boasts six-sided play with a true “walk-in” feature and an amazing 103-piece accessory set. The grill, stove, and phone all have realistic features and are electronic.
This is a really big play kitchen at 47” tall x 50.75” wide and has a depth of 36.38.”
I am proud that we offer a variety of play kitchens in gender neutral colors. My son loves to pretend cook and serve food, and recently, I have introduced him to helping me with easy recipes in our real kitchen. It has been a fun bonding experience and great memories have been made.
This bed fits a standard toddler/crib sized mattress (not included) and is age appropriate for those 2 and up. This bundle retails for $342.49 and has FREE SHIPPING!
An awesome choice for the little princess in your life, the Princess Palace Twin Bed is perfectly pink and fit for a fairytale for those 3 and up.
This bed fits a twin-sized mattress, retails for $349.99 and is sure to impress! Tiara and scepter not included :).
Since Silver Spoons little boys across the country have been requesting a car bed, Step2 has given you TWO amazing choices that are sure to make dad jealous. How does one decide?!?!
Introducing the Step2 Hot Wheels™ Toddler-to-Twin Race Car Bed. This kid’s bed retails for $349.99 and features tap-on lights, “air intakes” that double as a small surface perfect for nighttime water or a book, a “spoiler” for storing favorite Hot Wheels™ toy cars, and a race track to which you can attach existing Hot Wheels™ racing tracks (not included) making this bed perfect for daytime play and nighttime sleep for kids 2 and up.
This car bed converts from a standard toddler/crib sized mattress to a twin and will last for years to come.
The decision gets really tough when you see the Corvette® Toddler to Twin Bed with Lights™. Tap-on lights and a race track play feature make this bed perfect for a good night’s rest for your little car enthusiast or a show piece for the man cave if you have a big car enthusiast in your home.
This bed also retails for $349.99 and converts from a standard toddler/crib sized mattress to maximize longevity, is for ages 2 and up. This bed is also available in a kid’s bedroom furniture combo for $519.99 and includes a matching Corvette™ room organizer, storage chest, and dresser. We introduced the Corvette Bed to my son as his second birthday gift. He loves it but I still think his dad loves it more!
ART DESKS AND EASELS
Growing up, I had decent artistic skills (unfortunately, they developed very quickly and didn’t develop any further past third grade). My husband is also a very talented hobby artist. Let’s just say I had high hopes that our little boy would have that gene in his body.
Truth be told, he has very little interest in sitting down to draw, paint or color (dreams dashed). However, our toddler art desk is still a perfect place for playing with play-dough and storing all art supplies (seriously, how did we accumulate so many crayons?) and coloring books.
Regardless if your toddler is a budding artist or not, Step2 kid art desks and easels are perfect for creative play fun and storage. Here are my recommendations:
The Studio Art Desk is a favorite among moms, with a 4.5 star rating. This kid’s art desk can be used as a desk or an easel and has a large work surface, chair, and plenty of storage space.
This art desk retails for $84.99, but I know Step2 will be offering a limited quantity at special price for the 2015 holiday season!
A Step2 classic is the Art Master Activity Desk. This product has over 300 reviews with a star rating of 4.6! This product also retails for $84.99 and has a larger work surface area and a ton of storage. This unit comes with a stool or can be used standing, playing and creating.
If you have two or more kids who like to engage in creative play at the same time, but aren’t a fan of sharing, the items below are great for multiple kids to use together.
First, retailing at $54.99, the Easel for Two is perfect for drawing, painting, practicing numbers and letters, or playing school. This two-sided easel features a dry erase board on one side and chalkboard on the other. This product is available in red or pink and is loved by moms of multiples.
Next up, the Creative Projects Table is the top-of-the-line for all of your storage needs. It is the perfect place for two or more to create art projects or to help with FriDIY crafts. This kids art table retails for $129.99 and comes with two stools, a huge work surface, and places to store paper, markers, paints, or anything else your child could need during arts and crafts play time, which is known to have many benefits for development of young children.
We couldn’t finish off this best of holiday gift list of toys and leave out these favorite items. They don’t fit neatly into any one category, other than they are Just. Plain. Fun!
This combo is a great gift for toddlers and retails for $174.22.
Rounding out our 2015 holiday toy list is the Extreme Mountain Adventures Combo, perfect for your adventurous child who loves to climb, slide, and ride.
This combo is an amazing big statement gift for your entire family for under $500. It includes the ever popular Extreme Coaster and our newest climber to the Step2 family, the Castle Top Mountain Climber, one of our best kids climbers! Fun fact about this climber, the Step2 brand ambassadors, focus groups and an adorable three year old boy (who happens to be my son) voiced their opinions loud and proud in order to have the slide added to this item and it has just enhanced the fun potential of this product.
These two items would look amazing in your backyard and under the tree!
Holiday shopping can be tons of fun, but with so many options out there it can get confusing. I hope my toy guide helped as you make your gift decisions this season. Were any of these Step2 toys already on your holiday toy list for this year? Happy shopping!