You may not exactly be able to pull a play kitchen out of thin air - but do you have a shoebox around? Reader Jane made a quick stovetop for her daughter out of humble materials - a shoebox, magnetic strips and construction paper.
Another smaller box holds a few utensils and can be attached with the magnetic strips Jane has put liberally around the box. She decided not to embellish the shoebox stove top beyond covering parts of it with construction paper, but you could jazz it up if you wanted.
Jane's daughter is still young (20m) but older kids could help you make or decorate a simple stove top like this. And starting with something cheap and easy like this might be a good way to gauge your child's interest if you're considering investing either time or money in a larger, more permanent play kitchen.
You can see more photos of Jane's kitchen at her Flickr set.
(images: Jane S.)