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In Search of the Perfect Play Kitchen

As my son approached his first birthday, I decided the time had come for his first major toy: a play kitchen. I had seen him dabble in play kitchens in various play rooms and at friends' houses, so I knew he'd be thrilled with the gift. After rifling through countless options for everything from sleep sacks to teething toys, I knew I'd have many play kitchens to choose from once I started my hunt. So, like most millennial moms, I scoured the internet—after all, these days you can have handcrafted cheese delivered within the hoursure that I'd find the perfect play kitchen. And to my surprise, I came up short. 

I wanted to gift my child a timeless, high quality piece of furniture. Something wooden (but REAL wood, not the particle board being passed off as wood), eco-friendly, nontoxic, and, as if it were simply too much to ask, stylish! I wasn't ready to sacrifice my tastefully decorated home in the name of plastic food. It was unbelievably frustrating to wade through a sea of toy kitchen sets and find not one that fit my criteria. I found wooden play kitchens that looked like they hadn't been updated since the 1950s and stylish sets that were made overseas with an alarming amount of MDF. So I set out to create my own.

The design process was incredibly fun. My hours of binging on Houzz photos of dream kitchens finally paid off! I drew inspiration from real-life designer kitchens, popular toys on the market, and a lot of input from friends, family, educators, and countless parents and children. In addition to craftsmanship, I wanted a piece to encourage creative play and spur imagination. So many kitchens focus on lights, buzzers, and a blinding rainbow of colors. I envisioned a solid piece that would look nice and last, sure, but I also wanted a blank canvas to encourage play and interactions—a place for a cutting board, grill, or mixing bowl.  A chalkboard to write recipes or just doodle.  

As the design took shape, I was lucky enough to find a talented team of second-generation toymakers in Lancaster, PA. Already known for their herloom-quality pieces, I couldn't have asked for a better match to bring my design to life. In true Amish tradition, they work hard to conserve both energy and materials, creating as little waste as possible while producing high quality products.

Today, Milton and Goose creates sturdy, safe, and attractive play kitchens any parent would be proud to have in their playroom, child’s room, or—dare I say—living room.  We stand behind our work 100% and our customers (and their budding chefs) agree. 

We hope that our play kitchens will bring you and your children many years of joyous laughter, play, and memories together. 

 shari raymond milton and goose wooden play kitchen sets