Do you want to get your kids more active in the kitchen? Or is it the opposite and your kid wants to help you every time you go to cook, but you are not sure how they can help or what is safe for them? This is a common issue parents face, as they want to teach their children these valuable cooking skills, however do now want their child using dangerous tools or to get hurt in the process of helping. Here are some kitchen tasks that are kid friendly.
Under the Age of 12
1. Cleaning the Produce
Cleaning the produce is a simple task for any child over the age of 2 years old. It requires the use of a strainer and simply washing the produce with water. This also teaches your child that there are harmful chemicals on produce and to make sure that it is always washed before eaten.
When you need to tear apart the lettuce, let your kid do it. This simple task can be done by those over the age of two and is easy enough for even the most resistant kitchen helper to accomplish.
Once you have added all of the ingredients to the bowl, have your child whisk it together! This will also help to tire them out and build arm endurance.
4. Set the Table
This is probably the most common kitchen task for kids. Ask your child to clear off the kitchen table, removing any of their toys or projects, the mail, and whatever else may have made its way onto your kitchen table. Then have your child get enough forks, knives, and spoons for everyone eating. Depending on your child’s age, you may not want to give them knives, to avoid any accidents. Have them set the table with the silverware. Once done, have them put a napkin in each of the table settings, one for each person. Then carry over the plates and set those to each setting. Finally, it may take multiple trips, but have one glass at the table for each person. You may choose to bring over a pitcher of water or whatever beverage you plan to serve with the meal.
5. Mash potatoes
Mashing the potatoes is a popular task for children. Using the hand masher, children have fun squishing and squashing the potatoes. Keep an eye on your child during this task, as it has the potential to get messy quick!
Toasting is a simple task, as you put the bread in, push the button down, and wait for it to pop up. If you have a toaster oven, I would not recommend allowing your younger children to use it, as I am sure many of you, like me, have burned themselves on a toaster oven—as an adult!
By the Age of 12
7. Use the Oven
By the age of 12, your child should be able to do kitchen tasks that involve the oven. Teach your child how to start it and I would advise you watch carefully if you are going to allow them to remove hot items from the oven.
8. Use the stove top
By the age of 12, your child should have some experience with the stovetop. When making pasta or something easy, allow your child to take the lead as you supervise.