In the last month I have been fixated on finding outdoor toys for my children that will keep them entertained while making me feel good that they will last year after year. I am sure many of you have been here before, irritated by the cheaply made blow-up pools, rotting particle board and bubble liquid that is gone in a meer hour. Little did I know the solution was had been sitting in our playroom since Christmas.
Months ago we shared our Step2 Lifestyle Master Chef Kitchen Review with you from build to play. Even today this is one of the most used toys we own and it looks just as grand as the first day. So after a long discussion about quality vs price I opened up the Step2.com website to see what they offered for outdoor toys. Right away I realized how foolish I had been for not looking long before now. They create everything from kitchens to beds for our little ones and even a selection of outdoor goodies for parents like mailboxes.
I was immediately drawn to their Step2 Grill and Play Patio Café and Play & Shade Pool for my large deck space set aside for my four children. While it has been unusually hot in the last month here in Iowa, I was able to get the Café up and ready for play before my oldest daughter Aryka’s seventh birthday party.
Build completion Grill and Play Patio Café from box to play in just under an hour. Normally my husband would come assist me when I got frustrated during the process and to my utmost surprise this never happened. The four main constructive pieces went together exactly as in the written instructions and with ease. As with any of this type of product my only flaw is sticker placement. This is a user error only as I never seem to get them perfectly straight. Other than that I would place this Cafe in the top ten easiest play kitchens to put together. This is very important to us during the holiday season as well.
The Grill and Play Patio Café carries the same Step2 grand quality that I have grown to expect and love in each of their products. I favor this cafe setup to other kitchen style designs we have owned from them in the last six years because it offers a more complete package containing the following:
- Dual-sided kitchen and dining area
- Raised dining area has realistic “tile” counter top and two attached stools
- Pretend charcoal grill, sink with swivel faucet, and two stove top burners with clicking knobs
- “Stainless steel” oven and refrigerator
- Includes 40″ (101.6 cm) adjustable umbrella which provides shade
- Accessory set with plates, bowls, cups, salt and pepper shaker, mustard and ketchup bottle, skillet, cooking pot with lid, 3 grill utensils, spoons, forks, knives and several well constructed play food items
The main construction is tough stuff and formed from a heavy-duty plastic. Surprisingly even though the cafe is round, we have been unable to tip it over which is awesome when you think about safety. The umbrella can be removed and this has been our only piece that we have found ourselves correcting the kids on because the like to take it in and out. Even though this has been done at least a dozen times,it is still in great condition and can be opened and closed with ease.
There is a lot to be offered here. A refrigerator for food storage, oven for baking, stove top for bowling and frying and even a small grill for making a delicious hamburger. After the meal has been created, it can be served right there on the cafe table with bench seat. Finally after they have finished eating, there is even a sink where the dishes can be washed. There are so many different activities that can be done with the Step2 Grill and Play Patio Café. I can hardly contain myself not to join in their playtime and cook some chicken for myself. It really is so much fun.
All four of my children ages seven to one love playtime with the Grill and Play Patio Café. I have seen them share more than an hour of play together as a group with this piece and they often play solo and in smaller groups as well. While we at Mom to Bed by 8 hold this kitchen high on our lists for every aspect of indoor or outdoor fun, you do not have to just take my word for it. The Step2 Grill and Play Patio Café was featured as a top toy for active kids on The Today Show! That is a huge success in my book.
Make sure to add this one to your check list when preparing a new outdoor play space or for a multi-use kitchen for indoors. The combination of the bench seat, table and kitchen is by far one of the smartest setups I have seen in a long time.