Kitchen Tasks For Kids
Some people say ‘the kitchen is not for kids’ because there are all sorts of dangerous things in there like knives and stoves. Not saying that they are wrong, but children of all ages can do a lot of things in the kitchen with proper adult supervision, of course!
The key here is parents or guardians knowing what the children are capable of. Considering their age, mental ability and dexterity can help you decide whether your child should be put up to a task or not. Letting a three year old hold a razor sharp chef’s knife is definitely not advisable, at least I know it’s not a good idea.
Age Does Matter
Children tend to develop proper motor skills around four to five years old. But children below that age can still be involved in the kitchen by giving them task which does not include metallic or electric kitchen appliances or tools.
They can start as early as two years old. If you want children cooking and you don’t want them eating pizza, fast-food or takeout meals; the earlier they are exposed to the kitchen, the better.
Minute task like washing vegetables, removing leaves from stalks and squeezing juices out of fruit are some of the things that children of this age bracket can properly do. Though it gets messy, I assure you, having a long wick for your patience will do you a lot of good.
For children four to seven years, these kids are now more dexterous and keener to details as they want to mimic perfectly what their supervisor is doing. Compared to the earlier stages of childhood, their motor skills are now more honed and stable. They can now handle a task like some peeling (peeler, no knife handling yet), making evenly parted dough or patties and opening cans.
Children more than seven years old are much more able to handle complicated tasks that include a variety of tools. Electric kitchen tools and cutting tools are now safer for this age bracket; knives can now be allowed but with very close guidance.
The more mature the child is, the more qualified he or she is to handle sharp things in the kitchen and even the stoves or ovens.
Even the most intelligent and careful of children can incur mistakes and harm themselves. As stated a number of times earlier ‘close supervision’. You will always still have the final say whether your child or the child under your care is able to handle the potentially dangerous environment.
Never ever, no matter what, take your eyes off your child especially in the kitchen. They have a tendency to play with anything they get a hold of; even worse, stick it in their mouths. So even if they’re just helping with a simple task, continuous reminders and instructions on what they should be doing is wise to keep them on track and not get distracted.
Having your kitchen designs turned to a more kid friendly environment is definitely a choice. Proper knife storage, tight gas knobs and unreachable kitchen cleaning supplies are a must when you have kids around; just like what they say in kitchen equipment and cleaning agent labels.
Safety first and safety always is the best practice. You don’t want your knives drawing you or your kid’s blood or your stoves setting unnecessary fire.