Boys in the kitchen?


This family of 6 is heavy laden with testosterone filled boys.  Boys who love to cook.


I’m not kidding.   My younger boys love to cook. Their love of cooking is why I knew they would love this great kitchen from Guidecraft.  They would be able to play and create endless imaginary dishes and I might actually get some work done in the real kitchen!

Now don’t get me wrong…. it wasn’t just imaginative play where they were pretending to be the Doogie Howsers of the Culinary World.  They fired up those burners and assassinated some evil villains and space aliens too, melting them in a potion of liquid hot death….

That is the beauty of imaginative play.  Minds creating, unleashed, full of endless possibilities.


The boys (ages 4 and 9) absolutely loved this Kitchen.  It’s claims to foster imaginative play were delivered on 1000%.  It will provide hours of fun in the cold snowy months to come.

If we can get the boy out of the oven, that is……


Since the family is made up of more than one…. and more than one person is involved in the review process…. we need to take the time to hear from Daddy the assembler, and mommy the chief financial officer and see how they weigh in on the Guidecraft, Hideaway Country Kitchen.

While the Kitchen itself is created for use by those ages 3 and up,  the words “some adult assembly required” should come with a disclaimer.  It should read, “structural engineers please apply”.  The directions are only pictures, and they are not the clearest of explanations.


Daddy is a MacGyver and made it work…. but many of the components did not fit together as designed. Here is a picture (drawn on an envelope) where he shows how the holes in piece “A” did not properly align with holes “I” and “J” and the screws had to be put in at an angle.  Also contained in this rendition,  he shows on piece “A” the need for a deeper dado so the piece containing the clock could slide in properly.


One part was, out of the box, broken.  The glue was not attached and it just separated as soon as you closed the oven or dishwasher doors.

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Don’t worry though.  MacGyver fixed it.  It won’t move now.


Daddy’s view:

As he assembled the product he kept a list of notes (he is such a good reviewer’s helper!)  Here are some of his thoughts as he traveled along in the 4 hour process  of putting it together.

  • He was disappointed in the over-all craftsmanship, especially the MDF and not “real” wood that it was made out of.
  • He didn’t like that it was manufactured in another country.
  • He thought that no instructions or parts list had been included with the product.  After following the one paper that was included with the product, and printing out the directions via the website.  He found the directions in the box marked hardware.
  • When he tightened the hinges into the side rails…. anything past finger tight, the MDF started to split.
  • The screws were not of the highest quality, as many of the heads were off-centered.
  • No extra screws were provided and one came without even being “punched” with a phillips head, we had to use one of our own screws
  • Holes in many locations were misaligned and you had to install screws at an angle

In general, from the wife/photographer position….. He seemed very disappointed with the whole manufacturing and assembly processes.  He did say that power tools were pretty much a necessity.

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Mom’s thoughts:

I really like the portability of it.  It folds easily (hence the name HIDEAWAY) and it was nice to be able to store it in the closet when we didn’t want to have it in the living room or kitchen.  The knobs are realistic, but noisy, and those days when you are trying to talk on the phone or work on reading with another child….the words “STOP CLICKING THE KNOBS” have been known to fly from my mouth.

It is very cute.  I really am a sucker for the bead board look.  That alone could win my heart….. Smile

I was disappointed with  the lack of craftsmanship and flaws that we found during assembly.  The quality that is conjured up by the mere mention of Guidecraft toys didn’t seem to follow in both arrival condition and into the assembly process of this particular product.  Pieces were marred and scratched, and the laminate chipped even before my two energetic boys ever laid a hand on it.

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Even with the flaws.  The boys don’t care…. they love it.  They have made meals for “The Hulk”, played restaurant, and alternated between server and cook.  Their imaginations are running wild and growing with each day.

Priced at $200.00, I would guess this places the Hideaway Country Kitchen out of the reach of many two income families, not to mention those that homeschool and tend to live on a very tight budget (like mine).  That being said, it is still priced low enough that with forethought and budgeting, a family could save for the product, hopefully it would be in better condition than ours was, and they could enjoy it for many years.

The company does state on their IN-BOX literature to please contact the retailer or place of purchase in the event that you need a refund or exchange.  It is very clear that they intend to stand behind their product, and assure that customers are satisfied with their purchase.  ALWAYS a great thing to find in a company!   They also offer a very WIDE range of products please visit their website to see if there is something there to spark the fires of imagination for your children.

For this family, it would likely not be something we would have sought out to purchase on our own for use at the house.  I have thought of purchasing one for the Nursery at church, and still struggled with spending $200.00 for a toy.

Maybe I’m just a tightwad……


Please don’t just take this family’s word for it.  25 other families reviewed this product.  Please take the time to read their reviews on the TOS Homeschool Crew page and take them into consideration before you form an opinion about this product.

****We received a complimentary Hideaway Country Kitchen from Guidecraft for the purpose of this review.  No other compensation was received. I am not obligated to furnish only a positive review. Thank you, Guidecraft, for your generosity in making your product available for TOS reviewers.****

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3 thoughts on “Boys in the kitchen?

  1. My boys love to play “kitchen” or “restaurant” too. I appreciate this review because I am torn about whether to buy a wooden kitchen to replace our plastic one. I would have been super disappointed if I had bought this one thinking it was wood and found out it was fiber board. I do agree with you that it makes it lighter weight and therefore more portable but it should say fiberboard. I laughed when I heard him talk about how hard it was to construct. We have had similar experiences before and my hubby is not so handy with tools as yours.
    Phyllis at All Things Beautiful recently posted..Weekend Snapshots: September 24-25: Baking WeekendMy Profile

    • Thanks Phyllis, this was a difficult review to write.

      The boys LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it and after a month of good play it still does hold a 4 year old in the oven compartment, :) so there is a degree to sturdiness to it.

      It was the big people that were saddened by what it was really made of. ….sigh….

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