One of the ongoing battles I have with Hubster is about buying so called 'girls toys' for Little Man. Luckily he is a typical little boy and loves cars, trucks and mud, but I see no harm in him exploring his creative side should he so desire - after all the best Chefs are all men and any job that means he'll be putting me up in a mansion in my old age is fine with me!!
My sister used to work at ELC, and when she was offered the ex-display Mini Sizzlin' Kitchen for a bargain price she got it for Little Man to have at Nanny's. It is a blue case with a red handle in the top and two snap clasps at the side - a bit like a large plastic vanity case. On the front is an oven door which opens. When you open the lid there are two shelves built into it which fold down to store your pots and pans on. Inside the case you get the sizzling' grill part. This is a double sided grill - on one side there is a barbeque grill and on the other side is two hob rings. Both sides light up and make a variety of cooking sounds - bubbling, sizzling etc. The grill requires 2 x AA batteries which are included
One of the best things about the Sizzlin' Grill is it comes with all the accessories you need for a starter kitchen. Included are Plates, Cups, cutlery, saucepan, Frying Pan, Spatula, Ladle and an array of plastic food. You also get a removal rack which hooks onto the side of the grill to store bits in, but this was missing from ours and hasn't been a noticeable loss. Even better everything fits inside the grill case so it ties away easily and is fully portable. We have had a few picnics and tea parties in the garden with ours! Its perfect if you don't want or have room for a full size kitchen play set. We have been playing with ours for over a year now and it still looks new.
Little Man really likes this set - he always asks to do cooking when he goes to Nanny's. However for some reason he likes to use his stackable cups as pots instead of the saucepans, so I'm thinking he is not the next Gordon Ramsay! He tends to use the hob rings, I think its because they make different noises when the grill only makes one. It seems to be pretty robust as he tends to be pretty rough with all his toys. The toy states for ages 3 and up - Little Man has had it since he was 2 and a half and this has been fine for him and there is no really small parts. The only thing he struggled with was if he slammed the lid he couldn't figure out how to open both latches at the same time to reopen it - but now he isayear older and a little bit more coordinated it is no longer a problem.
The Mini Sizzlin' Grill is currently for sale at £35 in ELC - I think this is a good price for all you get included. The play food and pots and pans are decent quality and have held up well to rough play where cheaper accessories we have added haven't. However I have seen this at 20% off quite a few times (I think ELC rotate this across most of their toys) so if you can get it for £28 then I would say it's a bargain! It is also available in pink.