Guidecraft Hideaway Country Kitchen {review}

I am not really sure who was more excited, the children or me, about the arrival of this package. With confidence, I can say we were at an even pace because this creative play Hideaway Country Kitchen from Guidecraft is totally cool. If I did not have my own big kitchen with real appliances and real food, then this one would sure do for a day of fun and “cooking.”

For more than 45 years, Guidecraft has been creating crafted wood products that inspire children to be creative and imaginative in play while also promoting learning, fun, and excitement. They have products to suit many interests, a few that include toys and manipulatives (some eco-friendly ones too), dramatic play, sports furniture and the “construction toy sensation,” Magneatos™.

Based on a beginning that started with only ten products, it has grown to a company that now manufactures more than 850 educational and specialty toys and furnishings “that meet or exceed mandatory safety standards set forth by the CPSC and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.” The care and concern for the quality of Guidecraft products is probably due to the legacy President Jason Fein wants to continue for the company his father started in a small wood shop years ago.

The kitchen sat boxed in a corner for a few days because I waited until “Darling D” was able to help us put it together. Yes, while I did test the patience of three eager and very excited children, I did pay the price because I had to listen to Canyon remind me everyday that it wasn’t put together yet. He was sure I had forgotten about the kitchen; not a chance especially since he kept reminding me.

Finally, the day arrived and it was time to cook in the kitchen which meant it was time to build. There are a lot of pieces, but fortunately, many of them come already put together (ex: clock already mounted). So instead of having to match part “A129894…..” with part “B145820″ that is in “box Z,” assembly (see directions) was surprisingly easy (just don’t ask the crew who actually put it together – see MY THOUGHTS below), especially since I was able to stand back, watch, and take a few pictures.

I will admit that there are a lot of screws (67) so if you have an electric screw driver, then you may want to use that. If not, then a Phillips head screwdriver (not included in parts) will do, but it will take you some time.

All three children enjoyed helping put the kitchen together that is 38″ h x 15.25″ w x 30″ and weighs 30lb as a finished product.

Even though they had fun putting it together, I think the real fun was had playing with the kitchen.

  One really neat feature, if you do not have a lot of room in your home, is that the kitchen conveniently folds up to store in a corner or against the wall while it is not being used. That feature can be a whole new type of fun in itself as my children also folded and opened and folded the kitchen again and again until I suggested they just play with it as intended. It is more convenient for us to leave it open and ready for play. TIP: Find a safe place to put the Allen wrench, which is included, so you will be able find it when you need it.

Since they enjoyed folding it so much, here is River showing you how simple it is to fold the kitchen:

STEP 1:

Insert the Allen wrench and remove the screw.

STEP 2:

Raise the stove top and place it against the backboard.

STEPS 3-5:

Place the screw in the underside of the stove top. NOTE: When you are winding the screw into this position, then be careful because on this attempt here, the screw was wound too much and it put a hole in the piece above it. There is not really a need to screw it tightly for the kitchen to stay closed.

Inside of the kitchen, lift the two latches on the right and left sides and reach down and pull the bottom board and raise it against the back wall.

STEP 6:

Push the side walls together and fold all the way to the back wall of the kitchen. Compact and convenient.

If we were not entertaining enough for you, then you can watch the video which shows towards the end, how to fold the kitchen.

MY THOUGHTS
If you have not figured it out yet, then let me tell you that we absolutely love this play kitchen. Although my children often help me cook during the week and we include it in our school, this is a fun and entertaining way for them to just play. The recommended age for the kitchen is 3+ with an accent on the plus because you may find your older children also enjoying “playing in the kitchen” as did mine.

As for building the kitchen, I am glad we waited for help. “Darling D” (and the children) is better than I am when it comes to building or putting things together and I heard that some parts (the knobs, etc.) were a “struggle” – per River – to attach. I know some mommies are quite skilled in this area, but whenever putting something like this together, I always step back and get some help.

PRICING AND AVAILABILITY

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The Hideaway Country Kitchen is available online for $200 (also another color option); think Christmas…birthday…or any other special occasion. The kitchen is very well made and will surely entertain a child for more than a few years and be a great introduction to when they begin helping you in the kitchen. If you are not ready to spend that amount of money, then visit the Guidecraft Web site where you can choose products by age, see their complete line of products that accommodate all pocket-books, and for gift ideas.

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.


The product featured in this review was provided to me free of cost by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced by monetary compensation.
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