Two slices of wood from the branch trimming of the marina oak tree. A handful of corks dug up from the cork recycling bin at Whole Foods. Rocks and seashells collected over the years. And few pots and pans from Goodwill all for a dollar or so each. And our collection of orphaned jar lids. Put it all together and you have the perfect play kitchen for under $10.
And at the end of the day it fits into a cloth grocery bag and stores away neatly.
There is a happy middle ground between a $400 "heirloom" wooden kitchen and going without. Play is what you do, not what you have.