You might not want a pair of oven mitts for Christmas, but your toddler or preschooler probably does! Toddlers and preschoolers see you in the kitchen, using all those lovely tools, and want to use them, too—just like mom or dad!
Little ones love kitchen tools, and as an added bonus, when they are working with you in the kitchen, you are spending special time together on a regular basis. (As another added bonus, you are also gaining a helper! Though food prep may take a bit longer with your toddler's help, a well-practiced five-year-old can really cut dinner prep time on a busy Tuesday.)
The trouble is that most kitchen tools are way too big for tiny hands, so you'll have to look around to find tools just the right size. Look for a kid's cooking school near you, pop by the dedicated kitchen supply store near you, or start Googling.
Here are some ideas, starting with tools that are simpler to use:
A tiny apron (wear yours, too, to set the example!) Example.
Crinkle-cut vegetable chopper (see photo - start with zucchini and build up to harder veggies) Example.
Potato peeler (get the kind that the child can pull down, rather than push away. It's called a Y-type.) Example.
Quarter-size cookie sheet Example.
Cherry pitter Example.
Apple slicer (remember those? Admit it, you loved that thing when you were 4!) Example.
Child-friendly nylon knife set (start with bananas - see above) Example.
Some other ideas:
Child-sized oven mitts with a cookies or pies print
Salad spinner (oh, how a child loves a salad spinner!)
Give no more than two or three new tools at a time, wrapped separately. Find a special place to keep the new tool, carefully teach your child how to use it safely, then make a special brunch, dinner, or dessert together to share with the family. Your little one will be so proud!
Watch the Guideblog all week long for gift suggestions for babies and elementary-aged children.
Guidepost Montessori is a a global network of schools serving 3,500+ families with early education programs, including Emergency Care for Essential Workers (ECEW) during the COVID-19 crisis. Looking for more free content? Download Guidepost Parent from the App Store for personalized Montessori inspiration and activities.