Stock your toddler’s play kitchen with a set of play dishes and pretend plates for the most magical make-believe meals. We’ve sifted through all the options to find the best picks, no matter your style or budget!
There’s lots of fun to be had in your toddler’s play kitchen, but encouraging them to also serve up their creations on plates and bowls can open up even more learning opportunities.
After all, it’s way more fun to work on setting the table and taking turns serving when they’re seated next to their stuffed animals and dishing out unicorn stew (or whatever their imaginations worked up that day!).
Here are the best dish sets to fill up your kid’s kitchen cabinets.
Best Safe Plastic Play Dishes: Green Toys Dish Set
Party of four, your table is ready! This set of four place settings includes cups, plates, bowls, forks, spoons, and knives—so your kids have everything they need to set a table that looks just like the real deal. It’s all also BPA, phthalates, and PVC-free and made from recycled plastic.
(They’re even dishwasher safe, in case your kiddo happens to eat a real snack off them, too.)They are priced at under $30.
Best Wooden Toy Dishes: Hape Cook and Serve Set
When you’re looking for wooden toys, this brand is always an awesome choice for under $30. And their dish set is no exception: It’s made from sustainable wood, colored with water-based paints, and is so (so!) darn cute.
This play kitchen accessory set includes 13-pieces of plates, knives, and forks along with two pots and a few other goodies, making it a great starter option if you’re just starting your play kitchen collection.
Best Modern Play Dishes: Kidkraft Modern Metallics Cookware Set
It’s time to serve up that play food in style! This pretty set comes in shades of white and metallic silver and gold, which will look perfect in their modern play kitchen. Kids can even use the included lidded pot right on the table to dish out seconds as needed.
Best Melissa & Doug Play Dishes Set: Melissa & Doug Wash & Dry Dish Set
Who says cleaning up can’t be part of the fun? This classic dish set has everything kids need to serve and eat, but also lets them role play washing everything up afterwards with soap, a sponge, and a little drying rack – all for under $20.
Fingers crossed this motivates them to pitch in with some after-dinner chores, too!
Best Colorful Play Dishes: Learning Resources New Sprouts Serve It Set
Many play dishes are pretty small—which makes sense for little hands—but this set purposefully features larger plates and bowls that will fit more play food. That means your kid’s dinner guests can enjoy all their food groups at once!
The square-shaped plates also give this bright-and-cheery 24-piece set a more modern vibe, all for under $30.
Best Ceramic Play Dishes: IKEA DUKTIG Plates & Bowls
These Ikea toy dishes are stoneware plates and bowls that are, yes, breakable, but they can be a really nice option for older kids (they’re recommended for 8 and up) or kids who are mature enough to handle them carefully (use your best judgement and be sure to supervise, of course).
In fact, teaching kids to use real dishes can help them to learn to be gentle with breakable items and even care for other items around the house. Just be sure to store them out of reach of younger siblings! These are priced under $10.
Best Play Kitchen Accessories
Best Toddler Kitchen Sets
Best Kids Cooking Tools
This post was first published September 2020.