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One of the things I get asked most often is, what cooking tools do you recommend for kids? so I’ve pulled together some of my favorite suggestions.
Whether you’re shopping for essentials or a fun gift, I’m hoping this guide will be a good resource!
- Do you need kid-specific cooking tools?
- What is helpful to get in a kid version?
- What makes cooking easier for kids?
- What cooking tools keep reluctant kids engaged?
- Where can I find all of your favorites?
Do you need kid-specific cooking tools?
The short answer is no. Often, kitchen stuff marketed for kids is the same as basic adult stuff with a higher price. There are a few things I look for that I do find helpful with kids, though!
For measuring, I prefer colorful measuring cups and spoons with clearly printed measurements. I find it easier to give directions based on colors (kids tend to learn them earlier!) and I like when the kids can easily see the measurement on the cup and spoon so they learn the association between what I’m saying and the written measurement. This set is perfect!
I also love using angled measuring cups for liquid measuring. While I am highly in favor of – at some point- teaching kids to measure to the meniscus, most younger kids are just not dexterous enough to pour and try to watch the fill line at the same time. This makes the process much simpler. (For adults too!) This two cup one is super versatile. Pampered Chef also makes a good version of these!
What is helpful to get in a kid version?
There are two things I strongly recommend getting a special version of: aprons and knives.
I really love adjustable aprons for kids (because they grow like weeds!) I’m a huge fan of these Curious Chef aprons because the neck strap and tie are all one piece – you can pull it tighter or loosen it as needed. It’s a great one to grow with your kid while consistently giving a great fit. Equally important, they also wash well.
The other tool I buy that is very kid-specific is knives. More specifically, nylon-coated knives. These are sharp enough to cut (most) foods, but not sharp enough to cut skin easily. Will you get perfect, small cuts? No. But they’re a great introduction to cutting without as my parental anxiety. (Not that I have any of that!)
What makes cooking easier for kids?
My big piece of advice here is to keep an eye out for strong interests or frustrations in the kitchen, and fill in additional “kid” cooking tools accordingly. Some kids will need nothing kid-specific, others will benefit from some specially-sized tools.
A great example is mixing bowls. Do kids need their own mixing bowls? I would say no, unless all you have are beautiful, ceramic, heirloom ones. But, they do make kid versions with easy-grip handle sides and no-skid bottoms to help them navigate mixing easier. If mixing is a frustration, this may be beneficial.
Also, if your child has a specific interest in something, it’s worth looking to see if there are kid tools that will help them step their way into it. For example, cake and cookie decorating can be incredibly fun – but also hard for smaller hands. This set is designed specifically for smaller hands, and may be a good gateway into more complicated decorating.
What cooking tools keep reluctant kids engaged?
There are so many reasons I love to get my kids in the kitchen with me: family bonding time, sharing a hobby I love, teaching them to be more connected to their food, and imparting important life skills. Sometimes, though, the kids are just not into it and in those cases, I find melding cooking with other interests works really well.
Themed cookbooks are a great gateway because there are SO many of them – you’d be hard-pressed to find an interest that doesn’t have some sort of associated cookbook! Julie is my princess lover and she’s absolutely smitten with The Disney Princess Cookbook. Jake has a strong preference for The Star Wars Cookbook. Are either of these truly great cookbooks? No, but for me that’s not the point. They get the kids excited to be in the kitchen which is a jumping off point for so much more.
Similarly, you can get so many different kitchen tools themed to different fandoms. Captain America waffle maker? Check. Harry Potter themed bamboo spoons? Check. Paw Patrol cookie cutters? Check. Like themed cookbooks, they’re wholly unnecessary – but can make for great motivators (and fun gifts!)
Where can I find all of your favorites?
I’ve been working to put together Amazon idea lists that round up all of my favorites in one place! Please note that I do earn a small commission off any purchases made through these links – but I would never recommend something I don’t personally think is fun or helpful!
I will continue to update these lists as I find new, fun things to add!
You can bookmark these for later browsing by clicking the heart next to the list name on Amazon.