Saturday 2 November 2013

The Plum Boston Kitchen & Bigjigs Wooden Stuffed Pizza Review

I love nothing more than fueling Leo's imagination, watching him using his own personal devices to create fun games for him to play among himself and his friends. I love giving him the chance to play games of make believe just like I did as a child, where all he needs is his own magical mindset to create childhood magic that mean his wildest dreams could come true at any moment.

These day's it is fair to say that many toys don't require you to access that one chord in your brain to open up the door to the very roots of your imagination. That one chord that allows you to dream up the most wildest of dreams and become who or whatever you want to be.

Leo has always been a very content child, and this quality is something that has just grown with him. He plays beautifully on his own, and I love sitting on the sofa and just taking in all that he is. He creates these magical games that I feel very privileged to play along with him. 

Plum recently invited Leo to put his imagination to the test with their beautiful Boston Play Kitchen, a kitchen that is such a fantastic size that it would be ideal for siblings to play around together. As soon as it arrived I set myself the challenge of putting it together, the instructions told me that it would take around 45 minutes but as soon as I opened the box and saw the number of pieces I had a feeling that I would personally be there quite a bit longer...

I laid out the instructions in front of me and glanced up at the clock, it was 3:15pm. I got off to a good start and was feeling pretty pleased with myself when I could see the kitchen slowly being built up in front of my eyes. Leo had gone off for a nap and luckily for me it was quite a long sleep that he was bestowing upon me. When he awoke and saw the then nearly completed kitchen, there was nothing I could do to keep my budding chef away, so I decided to take a well deserved break.

When I did finally persuade Leo to let me continue my construction venture, it was time to put the doors on. This is when I realised that I may have made a little boo boo. You see there were no holes for me to place the screws for the hinges through. I had made a mistake, a very simple mistake... But a mistake that I had made right at the very start of my venture. 

The clock now read 8:00pm and my hands were a little sore from all of the twisting with the screw driver. I decided to admit defeat and call Luke to tell him I had a very special job for him, and with a mans touch the kitchen finally stood complete. 

I have to admit that I am not technically minded when it comes to building projects, and that stands for putting together play kitchens. But Luke on the other hand found the entire build process a doddle, so how you will find the actual assembly depends on 2 things.

1. How well you follow instructions... I fell down at this hurdle.
2. How well you implement the instructions you read... I fell down at this hurdle too.

The Boston Kitchen is of great build and quality, and I can personally vouch for it having the play durability to contend with clumsy toddlers. All of the wood is nice and solid, so there is no chance of kids dropping toys through the sink and breaking a shelf. I comment on this as we had a kitchen for Leo in the past that had a removable sink and a very thin piece of ply wood underneath, Leo liked to drop things through the centre of the sink (like my iPhone for instance..) and although this shelf never snapped.. It was always a concern as it was so thin. It would have simply taken one toy drop too many for the shelf to give in. So in this respect I was immediately very impressed with the entire quality of the Boston Kitchen.

I didn't even need to ask Leo what his thoughts were as his reactions were ample enough for me to conclude his opinion for myself. Leo was playing with the included pots and pans before I had even made my attempt at building it. Along with the pots and pans you also receive an assortment of different wooden kitchen utensils which really make a difference in being able to get playing as soon as you possibly can. Leo was playing straight after I had opened up the box.

Since the Boston Kitchen arrived I have eaten so much make believe cake that I don't think I will be able to eat a real cake ever again. Leo is constantly cooking up creations for me to eat, firm favourites being pizza and chips. I can actually see Leo's imagination working over time while he is playing make believe at his stove. I even had a flash forward to the future and saw my budding chef working hard, maybe this is his true calling!? Of course Leo being so ambitious with what he is cooking me, means I have had to perfect my pretend eating, and I would like to think I know have that nailed... You only have to look at my make believe expanding waist line to know that I am being well fed by my two year old. 

The great thing about this particular Plum model is that the way it has been designed means you can place it in the centre of the room to allow your own kids and their friends to gather around to play together. It is such a great size so that there is plenty of room for everyone to have something to do and enjoy themselves, it is open all the way around so that it doesn't have to be pushed up into the corner which makes this model a very sociable choice.

Having such a beautiful wooden kitchen sitting in the lounge means that we need beautiful wooden food to cook up in Leo's oven. Leo has been sent a wonderful Bigjigs Wooden Stuffed Pizza from Butterflies and Dragons, and it is the perfect accompaniment to allow him to cook up a truly tasty storm for his Mumma.

Before the arrival of this pizza, Leo was serving make believe chips like they were going out of fashion and I know that the oven it's self has been very pleased with the sudden change in food type. BigJigs are a brand that I have loved for a long time, and we actually already have some of their wooden food so I had high hopes for it. The Pizza comes in a cardboard box and inside is wrapped in paper, the slices of pizza have velcro so that you can put the pizza together and then chop into it with the pizza cutter. The toppings are attached to each individual pizza slice with velcro which allows Leo to remove all of the pieces as and when he wants to. I really like this as it allows Leo to put them all back on in any which way he pleases, but it does also mean that there is a chance he could loose some of the pieces through excited play.

Leo is thrilled that the pizza comes with a actual pizza cutter and wooden Pizza Stone. He has loved being able to cut up the slices and then serve his Mumma a slice of pizza with all of the toppings that he has personally chosen for me. Leo puts the pizza into the oven and waits for it to get 'hot', and opens it up to make sure that it is cooking as it should be.

This play pizza alone is enough to excite the imagination and keep Leo entertained for hours, there is so many different ways to play with this set. He could have cooked it from scratch in the kitchen and be adding all of his desired toppings, he could have ordered in a cheeky Domino's Pizza... Or he could even be working his very first job at Domino's Pizza! 

For me I love how bright and vibrant the Bigjigs Stuffed Pizza is and think it is a lovely addition to Leo's Plum Kitchen. I know that I am going to be eating pizza for some time to come! 

You can purchase the Bigjigs Wooden Stuffed Crust Pizza from Butterflies and Dragons for a very reasonable £14.95, and this would make a great addition under the Christmas tree this December, especially if you are adding a play kitchen to your household this year.

Of course once we have finished eating our pizza there is always some washing up to be done, luckily we have a sink that we can get all of this accomplished in. I really like the taps on the Boston because you can turn the tap nobs as if you were turning them on or off. Just remember to turn them before you end up with an over spill...

So what do I love about the Boston Kitchen?

The Boston Kitchen is a all round great product, I love the price (£149.99) and think that for this price you get a lot for your money. The solid build is essential as let's face it, children will play hard. This is especially true for Leo and it is coping perfectly with this. I am really impressed with the island style of this kitchen with the multiple cupboards that you can store things and of course put play food to bake. The shelf in the centre has been great to store Leo's kitchen utensils and also to put everything away at the end of the day when play time is done and dusted until tomorrow. 

I love how much work top space you get with this kitchen, and that is precisely why Santa will be delivering Leo with a kettle and toaster to sit on his work surface this Christmas. Another aspect I think is really great is the height and the actual colouring of the Boston Kitchen. It is a nice basic colour so it is not orientated to either sex, I am a firm believer that play kitchens are for either sex, and Plum have provided the perfect product for those parents who are looking for a play kitchen for their little boy or firl, or even parents of multiple children who want something that can be used for either sex.

I love this product and I am really pleased with how much play value Leo gets out of it on a day to day basis. Each day means a new game that he dreams up in his mind and implements using his own devices. It gives us a chance to play together and have lots of giggles as he force feeds me pizza or cake. It gives me a chance to be a child again, and I know that Leo loves that we can have this special play time together.

Disclaimer: I was sent the Plum Boston Kitchen and the Bigjigs Wooden Stuffed Crust Pizza for the purpose of this review. As always all views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.

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