Friday, October 19, 2012

Kids in the kitchen

Mr. J decorating cupcakes

My kids love to help me in the kitchen, so I thought I would put together some tips for those of you that don't know how to have your kids help - or not sure where to start.

First off - safety is key. Make sure they are not using the stove/oven and are away from sharp instruments

  • have everything ready to go; I can't tell you how frustrating it is trying to get everything ready and measured properly with kids pulling on your legs, grabbing ingredients from the cupboard or asking a million and 1 questions. Get all your ingredients together, measured and put away before bringing the kids in (of course, this is dependent on their ages)
  • let them be messy; it's a pain for you, but fun for them and as they get older they will learn
  • let them do it their way (for the most part, you need to follow the directions but if they don't do it EXACTLY how you would, that's ok)
  • give them age appropriate tasks*
  • let them experiment - it gives them a feeling of confidence to be allowed to make their own creations (we have had some very interesting ones around here)
  • teach them - explain why your doing what your doing and how you hope it will turn out
  • if it doesn't turn out - let them know that it is OK - and you will try again another day
  • make it fun - turn on some music, have a dance party while the cookies are baking or cupcakes are cooling off
Some ideas for jobs kids can do that are age appropriate

2-3 year olds 
  • pour in pre-measured ingredients
  • stir with a spoon
  • line muffin tins with paper liners
  • use cookie cutters to help cut out shapes
  • set their place at the table
  • help decorate cakes/cookies/cupcakes etc
3-5 year olds
  • help to set table/clear table after eating
  • help with dishes
  • scoop cookie dough or cupcake batter
  • try and create their own recipe/ideas
  • peel potatos/apples (under parental supervision using a peeler)


  1. My kids are not little and I still have a difficult time letting them do kitchen chores their way. I find myself constantly biting my tongue and forcing myself not to suggest doing a task 'my way'.
    The advice you have offered is critical for building self esteem,confidence and basic cooking skills.
    I'm loving the cupcakes, they are totally adorable and I bet your son was so proud of his accomplishment!

  2. Great tips! I look forward to my son helping me around the kitchen when he's older. I love baking and I look forward to sharing that with him.


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