Cooking with preschoolers can be both a source of great joy and excitement . . . and a lot of stress. The combination of hot surfaces, sharp knives, and small hands can be particularly daunting without the right tools and mental preparation in place first. But if you start small and simple (think assembling sandwiches and salads), your child will be helping you whip up dinner in no time. Involving your child in the kitchen (even if it’s just mixing the pancake batter) is an amazing way to prepare them for the future, while also getting some quality bonding time. Everyone needs to eat, and they will thank you one day for taking the time to teach them to cook.
This post may contain affiliate links. If you shop from one of our links, we may earn a commission.
My Top Five Kitchen Tools for Preschoolers
With that in mind, here are some of the cooking tools we have in our kitchen to make cooking with our preschooler safer, easier, and a more pleasurable experience for all.
- Kid-safe Knives
I’m sure this feels like a no-brainer to most people, but I personally wasn’t comfortable handing my child a regular knife until they had learned to hold it properly and have some practice. That’s why this is the first in my list of kitchen tools for preschoolers. There are many types of kid-safe knives on the market, including wood, metal, and plastic. But so far these are our favorite. Once our 4-year-old is a little more comfortable, I plan to move her on to these, with the addition of safety gloves.
- Safety gloves
These are a great tool to have on hand, even for adults. If you’ve ever sliced your finger while grating lemon zest or peeling a carrot, you know what I’m talking about. These gloves will make both you and your child feel just that little bit more confident in the kitchen.
- Toddler Tower
Whoever invented these step stools for kids is a genius! Even before your toddler is ready to start cooking, this is a fantastic way to get them in the kitchen and involved in the process. (Plus, you can use it in other ways, like washing hands and brushing teeth.) The only potential con is the amount of space they can take up. But there are options like this that fold, for those who have less space. And if you prefer to buy something like this from a smaller business, this one on Etsy has fantastic reviews (and it converts to an activity table).
- OXO Tot Grape Cutter (works for cherry tomatoes too!)
This tool is so incredibly helpful for your preschooler, but it’s also an amazing safety tool to have for your toddler and/or baby as they’re starting solids. It doesn’t take long to get tired of quartering grapes and tomatoes individually. Heck, I’ve even used these for large blueberries. And once your kid is older, this allows them to easily cut cherry tomatoes for salads.
I’m sure I’m not the only parent that strategizes ways to avoid doing more laundry than I have to. So an adorable apron like this one will help prevent any nasty stains on their clothing (or at least minimize the damage). Or if you’re feeling particularly fancy, you could spring for an option like this one that comes with a chef hat too. Either way, your kiddo will love their official kitchen uniform.