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The minute I got pregnant with my first, I promised myself I would not have a house full of colorful plastic toys. While I haven’t fully lived up to that promise (who could?), I have made an effort to buy higher quality toys -- mostly wooden -- that are both better for my kids and more aesthetically pleasing. In researching such items, Milton & Goose became an obvious choice, with its beautiful craftsmanship and endless options for imaginary play. I’m now a proud owner of the brand’s Essential Play Kitchen, Crescent Chairs, and Dollhouse, all of which are displayed prominently in my home. So yeah, you could say I’ve become obsessed.
Looks Aren’t Everything… But They’re Definitely Worth Something
This play kitchen is so beautiful it commandeered a spot in our foyer - it is quite literally one of the first things you see when you walk into our house. My husband jokes that two year old Ellie has a much more stylish kitchen than we do… let’s just say he’s not wrong.
Let’s start with the obvious - these toys are stunning, particularly the kitchen. Sure, that probably shouldn’t be the most important criteria when picking out children’s toys, but I’ll be the first to admit, good looks are a major bonus. This play kitchen is so beautiful it commandeered a spot in our foyer - it is quite literally one of the first things you see when you walk into our house. My husband jokes that two year old Ellie has a much more stylish kitchen than we do… let’s just say he’s not wrong. This kitchen earns a 10/10 for cuteness. Rumor has it even Jessica Alba has one in her house. If it’s good enough for Jessica, it’s good enough for me!
Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention
Milton & Goose’s founder, Shari Raymond, is badass. Basically, she was looking for a play kitchen, and couldn’t find one that passed her quality and aesthetic standards, so she decided to make one herself. I’ll admit, this is actually what turned me on to the brand in the first place. Anything invented by a mom looking to fill a gap is usually going to be good. Raymond and her team went through “a year and a half of design and development… it started with sketches upon sketches, inspired by real designer kitchens online, in magazines, and in gorgeous homes.” Super cool… I love the idea of moms supporting moms, and I’m taking notes to invent something myself in a future life.
I’ll admit, this is actually what turned me on to the brand in the first place. Anything invented by a mom looking to fill a gap is usually going to be good.
Designed For Little Imaginations
I’m a big fan of open-ended toys and definitely try to buy them when I can. One thing I love about Milton & Goose is its emphasis on imaginative play. With interactive features like an oven with a pull-down door, farmhouse sink, turning knobs, cabinet-style magnetic closures, and miniature furniture, both the Milton & Goose Essential Kitchen and Hudson Dollhouse offer kids the chance to endlessly explore and pretend. It’s been really amazing to watch my daughter’s pretend play start to mirror real life activities, like “baking” in the oven, “washing hands” in the kitchen sink, or “putting the dinosaurs to bed” in the bedroom. It doesn’t stop with the physical toys though; on the brand’s website, you can find different guides with suggestions and games to boost imagination. Honestly, I kind of want to play some of these myself...
With the goal of providing “children and their parents with nontoxic and heirloom-quality toys to last generations,” Milton & Goose is laser focused on quality, and it shows. The products are made by second-generation Amish toymakers in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and are legitimate works of art. They’re sturdy, like a piece of expensive furniture, and the craftsmanship shows an incredible sense of care and attention. It almost sounds ridiculous - I mean we are talking about toys here - but they truly do feel like items that can be enjoyed now and passed down for generations to come.
The Los Angeles Times said it best in its 2017 gift guide, “Forget the plastic and loud colors - this heirloom-quality play kitchen is...sure to inspire envy among any kid’s playgroup - and playgroup parents.” There’s nothing that makes me happier than toys that look as good as they function. Check out their full lineup here.
Five More Reasons to Love Milton & Goose
- All of the products are CPSC-approved, and tested for lead, heavy metals, and phthalates (AKA, your kid can chew on it and be fine. Gross, but true). They're also made in the USA with high-quality and sustainable Baltic birch and solid North American maple.
- Assembly is a piece of cake. Most large-scale toys come with massive instruction manuals and hours of hard work. The kitchen came almost fully assembled and took me less than 20 minutes to put together.
- Don’t sleep on their other products. The crescent table and chairs are both functional and incredibly chic.
- Speaking of other products, no kitchen is complete without play food, and there’s nothing more modern than tiny jars of almond butter and jam.
- Visit their Instagram for in-depth product tours, styling ideas, and play inspiration.