Sometimes, letting our kids into the kitchen can be very stressful. There are just so many things to worry about: Will they hurt themselves? Burn something? Leave the stove running?
My belief has always been that the best way to help kids become more responsible in the kitchen is to give them some independence :)
When you give your kids their own personal space and freedom, they tend to become more trustworthy and responsible. If you’re a parent, this can be a scary thought especially when it comes to the kitchen, but it’s a step we all need to take.
Here are a few ways you can give your kids independence in the kitchen!
Give your kids a place to store their cooking utensils
The first step in giving your kids independence is getting them the right equipment.
A good idea is to give your kids a set of their own kitchen utensils. These can include potholders, small pots and pans, and a fun, kid-sized apron!
You can also give your kids their own set of knives if you are comfortable with it—if they are still very young, I recommend getting them started with plastic knives.
Keep a small cupboard in the kitchen to store all of your children’s equipment and teach them to use it. If you don’t have a cupboard to spare, try getting them a small trunk or even a bucket.
When your kids have their own equipment and space to store them, they will feel more independent and comfortable in the kitchen since they know where everything is and will know they have their own utensils.
As part of this, teach your little ones to always wash their utensils before using them or putting them away!
Get your little ones a small kids’ oven
When my son was younger, I remember getting him a little kids’ toaster he could use to make snacks for himself. He still has it today :)
Small kids’ ovens, like the easy-bake oven, are safe and easy for kids to use—more than that, they’re gifts your little ones will always cherish!
Keep the oven in the kitchen, so every time your children are in there, you can direct them to use that instead of the main oven—at least until you are ready to let them use it.
Using a kid’s oven will help them understand some of the basics of baking and eventually, they’ll be baking snacks all by themselves!
Get them involved in clean-up time
Now for one of my favorite parts of cooking—cleaning up!
Cleaning up is super important and your little cooks should practice cleaning up every time they finish up their cooking adventures.
If your kitchen is large enough, you can try sparing a small section for your kids to work in. Encourage them to clean up their little spot when they’re done. As I’ve seen, when kids have their own little corner, they feel motivated to keep it clean and tidy all by themselves!
If your children are old enough, don’t let them run away after just cleaning up their spot in the kitchen. Ask them to help you tidy up the other areas and make sure everything is spick and span :)
Giving your kids greater independence will make them better bakers!
When kids are given their own space and their own tools, they tend to become good and responsible bakers :)
When you teach your kids to cook, you open up a whole new world of possibilities and give them the opportunity to have new cooking and baking adventures every day.
Before founding Bake Austin, Pascal Simon earned her degree as a Pastry Chef from the prestigious Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. A mother of two, Pascal is passionate about cultivating the next generation of bakers and welcomes children from all schooling backgrounds, whether public, private or homeschooled.