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 playrooms and at friends' houses, so I knew he'd be thrilled with the gift. After rifling through countless products 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 hour—sure 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 play 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 heirloom-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.