It’s fall. The season of pumpkin spice and soon it will be the holidays. This time of year we often want to bake more and find ways to include the kids. When children have the right size tools to use, they can help bake treats or prepare holiday meals for the family. We love having the kids help, and they love it too. It’s a great way to spend time as a family and make memories they’ll hopefully treasure for years to come.
How do we make the kitchen toddler or preschooler friendly?
The thought can seem overwhelming but really, they need a few tools that are their size, and they’ll be set.
They need to be able to reach the work surface, and most young children can’t reach the countertops on their own, so they need the help of a toddler tower or even a small step ladder. You can choose what works best for your family. You may already have one in the kitchen. Set up a spot for the child to work and make sure they can reach it easily.
To contain the mess a bit, you will likely want to have an apron that fits them well. Look for child-sized aprons at your local kitchen store or online. They can use regular sized measuring cups, measuring spoons, and your small bowls. You don’t need to buy anything special for these items.
You’ll want to find whisks, spoons, and spatulas/ scrapers that are their size. Most kitchen stores or specialty stores offer products that will work well for small children. Sometimes even discount stores such as Home Goods will have a great selection of small items.
An adult’s small-sized whisk will often work for a child.
Small mixing or prep bowls are great for children too. We especially like glass prep bowls because they can see the ingredients in them before they pour them. If you separate each ingredient into a prep bowl on its own, the child can be in charge of adding items to the larger mixing bowl and feel like they’re baking or cooking. They’re able to be more independent and have a bigger role in the project. Crate and Barrel has great small glass bowls for $1-$2 each that work well for kids.
What are you going to make with your kids?
Kids can help bake anything you want, but they love to make treats with frosting and sprinkles on them.
Mini cupcake pans are great fun for kids. They can bake and decorate cupcakes that are the perfect size for them. You can find mini cupcake liners for holidays online and at the grocery store.
Cookies are always fun to bake too. Consider getting a set of holiday cookie cutters and have the kids help cut out cookies for the holidays. This set has 10-holiday cookie cutters that are perfect for little hands.
Have fun and make great holiday memories with the family. Find a few kitchen tools that are child-sized and let them take part in the holiday baking. Having tools that are their size makes it much easier for them to feel successful and not get frustrated because their bodies aren’t big enough to hold the adult sized items we use every day. Look around the stores in your neighborhood, and you’ll find great options that are kid-friendly. And remember, they can use breakables, teach them how to treat items that break. In Montessori schools, we use glass items all the time, and the kids do great.