The Best Pretend Play Sets for Kids

14 pretend play sets to get your little one’s imagination into gear!

Best Play Sets

What are the Best Pretend Play Sets?

Pretend play is an important part of the development process for children.  Pretend play engages the imagination, builds social skills with role play, and is a part of the sociological development of the self, which impacts the development of your child’s personality throughout the early stages of their life.  The best pretend play sets will keep your little one busy for hours as they engage in fun, developmental play!

The best pretend play sets include various real-life scenarios in which your child can role play and practice socials skills.  You are probably familiar with children’s pretend play kitchens and workbenches, but there are many pretend play sets out there that suit different areas of interest and help your children to act out social situations which will guide them through our society later in life.

Best Pretend Play Sets

Who Can Use Pretend Play Sets?

While manufacturers for specific pretend play sets usually target an age range for users, these toys can be used from the toddler years through young childhood; essentially, until your child loses interest.

Pretend playsets are not limited to a specific gender.  While some sets – such as a toy vanity – may be intended for girls, any pretend play set can be used by a boy or a girl.  The early learning of life skills is not gender-specific.  Any child could benefit from learning to cook in a pretend kitchen, or how to care for a baby in a pretend nursery.

The Best Pretend Play Sets

Here is our list featuring 14 of the best pretend playsets!

Step2 Mixin’ Up Magic Kitchen

Best Pretend Play Sets

This realistic kitchen has all the features your little one needs to engage in learning play.  The kitchen features working shutters with an adorable window sill for spices and pies, a farmhouse sink, realistic refrigerator/freezer, storage cabinets and bins, an oven and stovetop, a microwave, coffee pot, and a telephone.  The stovetop knobs have lights and realistic sounds.

This kitchen set comes with two playful appliances: a popcorn popper with realistic sounds, and a blender. Also included is a 42 piece accessory kit, which consists of cups, bins, condiments, bowls, plates, pots and pans, cutlery, a spatula and ladle, an oven mitt, and a hand towel!

Pros
  • Includes 2 toy appliances and 42 piece accessory kit
  • Realistic lights and sounds
  • Colorful and engaging
Cons
  • Microwave does not have working sounds


Teamson Kids – Little Chef Wooden Toy Play Kitchen

The Best Pretend Play Sets

This play kitchen offers a much simpler, classic design and a lighter price tag. It offers all of the basics that a good play kitchen needs!  An oven with stovetop burners and knobs that turn and click, A microwave, a refrigerator (or cabinet), a sink, and a telephone.

The hands of the clock above the microwave can be moved manually.  The tub of the sink is removable for cleaning.  This set includes a spatula and toy spice shakers!

Pros
  • Wooden play set
  • Includes some accessories
  • Classic look
Cons
  • Has no working lights or sounds


Step2 Grand Walk-in Kitchen and Grill

Best Pretend Play Sets

Let your little one host a play date “cookout” with this adorable, patio style walk-in kitchen and grill!  It features a refrigerator, oven, grill and stovetop, microwave, telephone, sink, and storage space for accessories.  The “dining” area offers an adorable counter space for their guests to chow down on the feast!

The grill and stovetop have working lights and realistic sounds, as does the telephone.  This kitchen is large enough for multiple children to play together and has plenty of storage space for accessories. And speaking of accessories, this kitchen set comes with a 103 piece accessory kit!  It includes dishes, cutlery, pots and pans, food, condiments, a coffee pot, and oven mitts!

Pros
  • Realistic lights and sounds
  • Outdoor patio style kitchen includes a grill
  • 103 piece accessory kit included
Cons
  • Difficult assembly
  • Microwave does not have realistic sounds


Little Tikes Kitchen Cook ‘n Grow BBQ Grill Playset

Best Pretend Play Sets

Calling all (future) grill masters!  Your little chef will love cooking on this grill, which features a dual grill with a lid that opens and closes, stovetop burners on one side, and a sink on the other! There is plenty of storage room beneath the grill for accessories, which include tongs, a spatula, a pan, plates, hamburger, hotdog, and ketchup

This playset grows with your child.  The bottom portion can be compacted to increase the overall height of the set.

Pros
  • Includes accessories
  • Plenty of storage room
  • Grows with your child
Cons
  • No working lights or sounds


Melissa & Doug Fresh Mart Grocery Store

Best Pretend Play Sets

Your child can roleplay as a cashier or a market customer with Melissa and Doug’s Fresh Mart Grocery Stand!  It includes plenty of shelves to display products, as well as a “cold food” storage area.  The conveyor belt moves with a hand-crank knob.  The credit card machine allows their “customers” to slide their card, and sign on the magnetic board screen.  The scanner has working lights and sounds!

Pros
  • Realistic scanner and card machine
  • Plenty of shelf room
  • Hand-crank conveyor belt
Cons
  • Does not include any accessories


Little Tikes 2-in-1 Food Truck

Best Pretend Play Sets

This adorable pretend play set combines a food truck and kitchen concept!  It includes a microwave, refrigerator, soda fountain, stovetop grill, and sink!  Your child will have fun imagining to be a food truck owner.  A steering wheel allows them to drive their truck around town, and the “order up” bell lets their “customers” know when their order is ready!

Also included is a reversible sign with 2 themes, a chalkboard menu, an order taking notepad, a working toy cash register, a “recycle” trash bin, and a 40 piece accessory kit which consists of play food, cups, baskets, cooking utensils, cutlery, condiments, and play money!

Pros
  • Unique play kitchen/food truck combo
  • Includes many accessories
  • Includes play appliances, menu, signs, bell, and cash register
Cons
  • Assembly is time consuming


Step2 Love and Care Deluxe Nursery Playset

Best Pretend Play Sets

There are endless ways to play and learn with this adorable nursery set!  Let your little one’s imagination inspire their role play as mom, dad, nanny, sitter, and more!  This nursery play set includes a highchair for feeding time, a changing table for diaper changes, a sink for clean up, a washer and hangers to clean baby’s clothes, storage area below, and an adorable mobile that really spins!

Pros
  • Highchair and changing table in one
  • Sink for cleanup
  • Washer to clean baby’s clothes
  • Includes hangers and baskets for storage
  • Mobile really spins
Cons
  • Does not include baby doll or accessories


Velocity Toys Triple Crown Vanity 

Best Pretend Play Sets

This adorable vanity features working lights and sounds, as well as working accessories and a stool to sit on.  It has a drawer to store jewelry and makeup, as well as a spacious table top with compartments to hold makeup and other accessories! The hair drier is battery operated and really makes sounds and blows air!  Accessories with purchase include toy jewelry, makeup, a comb, and nail polish sets.

Pros
  • Working hair drier toy
  • Some accessories included
  • Working lights and sounds
Cons
  • Small


KidKraft Espresso Laundry Set

Best Pretend Play Sets

This playset is all wood and offers a classic design.  The washer and dryer doors open and close, and offer “porthole” windows to see inside.  The setting knobs for the machines turn and click.  Included with the set are a chalkboard on one side, a toy iron and ironing table on the other, and a laundry basket with storage area underneath!

Pros
  • Classic design
  • Wooden play set
  • Includes toy iron and basket
Cons
  • No lights or sounds


Step2 Clean Sweep Wood Laundry Center

Best Pretend Play Sets

Combine laundry and cleaning themes with this clean sweep playset!  This playset is also made of wood with a classic design.  It offers a washer, clothes hanging closet with hangers, a large, soft-sided hamper, a broom and dustpan, a toy iron and ironing board, and turning knobs. With this set, your child can engage in learning role-play!

Pros
  • Classic design
  • Wooden play set
  • Helps children learn chores, responsiblilities, and social skills through role play
Cons
  • No lights or sounds


Step2 Deluxe Workshop Playset

Best Pretend Play Sets

Your future builders will love this deluxe workbench, which inclues tools, accessories, and building kits!  The workshop provides ample storage space including cabinets and drawers.  The included building kits feature safe, dura-foam “wood” blocks with instructions to complete their own projects using the included toy tools!

Organization is a breeze with the storage options offered by this playset.  Aside from large cabinets, drawers, and spaces, this playset offers hangers for tools, jars for smaller toy nails, screws, and bolts, and bins for storing extra pieces.  Other neat features include an overhead workshop light, a “shop vac” on one side, and a 50-piece accessory kit which includes play tools.  The electronic drill really works!

Pros
  • Overhead light and “shop vac”
  • Working toy drill
  • 50-piece accessory kit
  • Ample storage options
  • 3 buildable “projects”
Cons
  • “Shop vac” does not have working sounds


Theo Klein Service Car Station

Best Pretend Play Sets

Tune up your engines, little mechanics!  Let your child explore vehicle maintenance with this realistic tune-up engine!  It features life-like components and allows your child to change the air filter, test the brakes, check the oil levels, and tinker with the engine!  The tires and cowling are removable, the hood goes up and down, and the wheel turns.

Your child can crank up the ignition to hear real car sounds!  The playset features a working horn and headlights and includes accessories like toy tools, spark plugs, and wingnuts!  Everything your little one needs to practice being a vehicle mechanic!

Pros
  • Realistic car components
  • Working headlights, horn, and engine sounds
  • Allows child to perform mock mechanical operations
Cons
  • Difficult assembly


Step2 Great Creations Art Center

Best Pretend Play Sets

If you’ve got a little artist then this set is for you! It allows multiple storage options for numerous art supplies, as well as built-in trays and caddies.  The double-sided easel allows your little one to make masterpieces with the chalkboard or dry-erase board, or hang up paper to paint or draw.  The desk includes a bench and plenty of table room, as well as a cup to hold pencils, crayons, markers, or paint brushes.

Pros
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Double-sided easel
  • Table top with bench
Cons
  • Does not include art supplies
Pros
  • Hardware mounted, safe
  • Wide door opening
  • Good height for stairs (tall)
Cons
  • Door requires two hands to open
  • No drywall anchors included (must find a stud to attach to or buy your own drywall anchors)


Constructive Playthings Emergency Medical Cart

Best Pretend Play Sets

Your little one can run their own make-believe medical clinic or hospital with this doctor cart!  The wheels allow your child to push their cart and all of their supplies from one room to the next!  The vitals monitor allows your child to make-believe that they are recording and monitoring their patient’s stats.  It includes a hanging “iv” bottle and blood pressure cuff

Accessories with your purchase include a toy stethoscope, thermometer, hemostats, tweezers, syringe, scalpel, and medicine bottle!

Pros
  • Accessories included
  • Trays swivel in and out
  • Working wheels
Cons
  • No lights or sounds


The Best Pretend Play Sets at a Glance

Use this table to review and choose the best pretend play sets for your little ones!

Product NameImageFeaturesPriceRating
Step2 Mixin' Up Magic KitchenColorful backsplash,
Farmhouse sink,
Working shutters
Large fridge/freezer,
Cabinets and bins,
Oven and stovetop burner with lights and sounds,
Microwave with popcorn sounds,
Blender,
Includes an accessory kit.
$$$$
Teamson Kids - Little Chef Wooden Toy Play KitchenSturdy wooden kitchen,
Oven with two stovetop burners and knobs that turn,
Microwave,
Ample storage room including storage bins,
Some accessories included.
$$
Step2 Grand Walk-in Kitchen and GrillLarge walk-in patio setting,
Realistic lights and sounds,
Ample storage room,
Large play area,
Grill, oven and stovetop, fridge/freezer, and microwave,
Includes 103-piece accessory kit.
$$$
Little Tikes Kitchen Cook 'n Grow BBQ Grill PlaysetPretend play grill with working lid,
Click-sounds knobs and buttons,
Large storage area,
Includes some accessories.
$
Melissa & Doug Fresh Mart Grocery StoreSturdy wooden structure,
Ample shelving areas,
"Refrigerator" for cold items,
Hand cranked conveyor belt,
Scanner with lights and sounds,
Bagging area,
Card scanner with realistic screen for signatures.
$$$
Little Tikes 2-in-1 Food TruckFood truck/kitchen,
Cash register,
Order pad,
Chalkboard menu,
Order up bell,
Flip-out counter,
Play soda machine,
Oven, microwave, and fridge,
"Recycle" trash bin,
Includes 40 piece accessory set.
$$$
Step2 Love and Care Deluxe Nursery PlaysetHanging table, Washing machine and sink,
Feeding station,
Two storage bins,
Three doll clothes hangers,
Spinning mobile,
Working cabinet door.
$$
Velocity Toys Triple Crown Vanity Three mirrors,
Working toy hair drier,
Sliding drawer,
Stool,
Accessories including toy makeup and comb.
$$
KidKraft Espresso Laundry SetWasher and dryer doors open and close,
See-through "porthole" windows on doors also open and close,
Knobs that click and turn,
Chalkboard surface,
Two storage shelves,
Toy iron and laundry basket.
$$
Step2 Clean Sweep Wood Laundry CenterWashing machine door opens and closes,
Ironing board with toy iron,
Clicking knobs that turn,
Soft-sided laundry bin,
Toy clothes hangers,
Toy broom and dust pan.
$$
Step2 Deluxe Workshop PlaysetLarge work surface,
50-piece accessory set,
Electric drill, 2 drill bits, 8 screws, 8 nuts, saw, hammer, pliers, adjustable wrench, screw driver and 17 "wood" pieces,
Bins and jars for storage,
Spring action vise and pretend shop vac,
Unique realistic-looking "wood" is made from indestructible Durafoam (Instructions included for 4 projects).
$$$
Theo Klein Service Car StationLifelike motor components,
Working hood,
Check oil levels, brakes, change air filter,
Removable tires and cowling,
Spark plugs, wing nuts, and mechanics tools,
Turn key ignition with real car sounds.
$$$
Step2 Great Creations Art CenterArt desk and easel combo,
Dry erase board and chalk board,
Bench,
Built in trays and caddies,
Large storage components.
$$$
Constructive Playthings Emergency Medical CartRolling cart with swivel shelves,
Toy vitals monitor,
Hanging IV bottle,
Thermometer, scissors, hemostat, stethoscope, 2 medicine bottles, mouth mirror, forceps, scalpel and syringe.
$$

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