When I found out that September 13 is Kids in the Kitchen Day, I got excited. My girls love to help mommy with anything she’s doing in the kitchen, so this day will be a great one to have them help me create something fun!
Before they do, however, I need to make sure they understand all the rules associated with the room that houses the knives, stove, and more.
My mother shudders when she comes into my kitchen because, instead of a knife block, I have a magnetic strip on the wall displaying all of my beautiful, very sharp, knives.
Since day one I’ve told the kids that the knife strip is off limits. I have my kitchen scissors on it now and every child, including my nine-year-old, asks if I can get them instead of reaching up themselves. Sharing kitchen safety tips when the kids are young is so important. Even a one-year-old can understand “don’t touch.”
Teach them about heat
Telling kids not to touch because something is hot is effective. However, showing them what hot is can help.
To tame my girls’ natural curiosity about seeing just how hot things can get, I used the faucet as an example. Standing at the sink, I turned on the cold water and told them this is what cold feels like. Then I gently turned it to warm until it was hot — but not nearly hot enough to hurt them.
Once they understood the difference between hot and cold, I explained that appliances like the oven and stovetop get a lot hotter than the water. I then had them draw pictures of the things they should never touch in the kitchen. It seems to have solidified the reason why I don’t want them to touch certain things!
Make sure you have kid-friendly tools
My most important kid-friendly tool in the kitchen is a stepstool. Whether kids are helping bake a treat, like these apple-themed treats, or doing the dishes, being able to reach the counter is so important for their safety.
I also have kid-sized spatulas and bakeware, plus aprons and oven mitts that are colorful and fun just for them. By showing them what each item is used for and how use it safely I can feel a little better about the days they want to make me breakfast in bed.
Helping out in the kitchen is a great way for kids to learn about measurements. Having their own kid-friendly measuring set will help them learn and feel special, too!
Don’t forget to share your safe habits
If you’re like me, you take for granted the habits you’ve developed over your lifetime of being in the kitchen. Things like “don’t put metal in the microwave” and “turn the pot handles inward” are all second nature to us.
Sometimes I forget to share these little nuggets of safety wisdom with the kids. So, while cooking with them, I try to remember to tell them about the little things instead of just doing it for them.
Want to encourage your kiddo to become the next award-winning chef? Let them try on this set of kid-sized kitchen tools, complete with an apron, measuring tools, cookie cutters, and more!
Be ready to help, but be patient
It’s been said that a parent never knows their level of obsessive behavior until the kids help them in the kitchen. Little hands, excited chatter, and the inability to do it just like you do can lead to accidents if we have no patience.
When teaching kids to safely use blenders, food processors, and other small appliances, we not only need to talk them through why using it a certain way is safer, but we need to take a deep breath before we reach in and try to help. Sudden movements in the kitchen can cause big accidents!
Once your little one knows how to safely handle sharp objects, let them try out this spiral slicer. They’ll love watching a zucchini turn into pasta!
I’m planning a fun day of creative cupcakes and more with my girls for Kids in the Kitchen Day. How will you celebrate safely with your kids? Tell us in the comments below!