If your kids are crying out for help in the kitchen, take a deep breath, embrace the mess ahead, and say “yes!” Kids learn the basics of math, science, and art while helping you cook dinner or knock out a batch of cookies. Cooking or baking with kids also promotes their sense of independence and gives you a chance to bond and have fun together. Of course, handing over your favorite chef’s knife to your little one isn’t the best idea. Instead, set your child (and yourself) up for culinary success by outfitting your kitchen with tools that inspire their creativity and help them work safely.
From non-slip knives and small whisks to cookbooks designed with their palates in mind, these are the best kitchen tools to make your little sous chef feel right at home at the kitchen counter.
The best chef’s knife for small children
Tovla Jr knives
Preschoolers and young elementary-aged children who are keen to practice their chopping skills will love this three-piece knife set from Tovla Jr. The serrated edges help them slice and saw vegetables like zucchini, cucumbers and mushrooms, as well as sandwich staples. like bread and cheese. Meanwhile, the BPA-free nylon material and non-slip handles ensure their little hands are safe.
Best Chef’s Knife for Older Kids
Little Chef Club Kai Stainless Steel Knife
Older kids who are ready to upgrade to a “real” knife can try this lightweight stainless steel blade from Kai, with a handle that’s perfectly sized for kids’ hands. The blade is sharp enough to tackle firmer produce like apples, peppers and celery, but has a rounded tip and is not sharpened at either end, preventing accidental nicks.
Best kitchen helper for kids
Little Partners Explore n Store Learning Tour
Elevate your little one to counter height with this freestanding kitchen tower. Unlike traditional stools and stepladders, standing towers have a protective four-sided railing that keeps kids from falling while they mix pancake batter (or just eat a bowl of berries while watching you cook). This Little Partners tower is easy for kids to get on and off, and it adapts to grow with your child from 18 months to 6 years old.
Best rolling pin for kids
Zoie + Chloé Silicone Rolling Pin
Encourage your child to easily roll out the pie crust and sugar cookie dough using a rolling pin of the appropriate size. Zoie + Chloé’s pin is made from non-stick silicone, which ensures that the pin will not get covered in paste. It’s light enough for small children to handle easily, yet heavy enough to get the job done.
Best Crinkle Cutter
Joy Crinkle Cutter
Even the smallest of toddlers can have fun preparing food with this stainless steel cookie cutter. The plastic handle provides a secure grip, while cutting through softer foods like watermelon, cooked carrots, pickles, cheese and hard-boiled eggs. The wavy shape of the blade turns food into fun shapes, adding extra appeal for little ones.
Best kitchen tool set for kids
Cook with a set of five colors
Stock the kitchen with a set of pint-sized cooking utensils that are perfect for kids. The set includes a pair of tongs, a slotted spatula, a silicone spatula, a whisk and a silicone spoon, which covers all basic culinary tasks. It comes in several fun colors, like aqua, red, gray, and navy, and will give your kids everything they need to toss, flip, and serve with the best of them.
The best cookie cutters for kids
Wilton Cookie Cutter Set 101 pieces
When it comes to kids, just about any cookie cutter is a good cookie cutter, whether it’s used for Play-Doh or gingerbread. But Wilton cookie cutters are made from durable plastic, which is safer than steel for children’s hands. And with 101 different shapes (e.g. teddy bears, letters and numbers, hearts and dinosaurs) and a variety of sizes, choosing which cutter to use will be half the fun. Use them to cut kid-friendly shapes out of dough, bread for sandwiches, or even watermelon or other fruit.
Best cookbook for toddlers
Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes
Mollie Katzen may be best known for her popular vegetarian restaurant Moosewood and her cookbooks, but her kid-friendly cookbook Pretend Soup, which she co-wrote with Ann Henderson, is a true classic. First published in 1994 when Katzen’s own children were small, the book remains relevant and exciting for children today. Recipes (for kiddie staples like quesadillas and popovers with the fancier names of “carrot pennies” and “green spaghetti”) are written in two ways – a traditional list of ingredients and steps and a illustrated version, so pre-readers can follow along.
Best cookbook for older kids
The complete cookbook for young chefs
America’s Test Kitchen is known for its rigorously tested, food science-driven recipes — and its kid-centric cookbook does the same. The recipes in the book have been tested by over 750 children to ensure they would work in any kitchen. From pancakes and avocado toast to crispy oven-fried chicken and strawberry shortcake, the recipes are well explained and include helpful step-by-step photos. This book boasts an elusive 5-star Amazon rating (with over 10,000 ratings), making it a favorite with kids and parents alike.