Kids LOVE to cook! And I think it’s great! I want to foster my children’s love for cooking so that when they’re older they can survive out on their own and don’t need to rely on convenience foods. If I had to pick, I would choose these 10 essential kitchen tools to help them be successful in the kitchen.

Cooking with kids is also a rich learning experience for them. The younger set will get lots of good sensory play while cooking, as well as learning hand control and dexterity.

The older set will easily pick up basic math skills and can hone their knife skills doing the chopping for you. These tools will also help them to become more self sufficient in the kitchen when they’re ready for the responsibility of getting their own snacks.

The key to having kids help in the kitchen safely is to arm your kitchen with the right tools for the job. Here is a list of my top 10 essential kitchen tools for children!

Crinkle Cutter

The crinkle cutter is a first step into the world of cutting food. These nifty things can be used by children as young as 2.5 to chop soft fruits and vegetables. They love that the item they’re cutting comes out all wavy looking!

We like to use one like this for beginners and then move on to a more knife-like one like the one below since it mimics the way you would use a real knife.

Nylon Knives

Nylon knives are the next step up from using a crinkle cutter. They are a plastic serrated knife that won’t cause any major damage if there is a misplacement of fingers at any point. Nylon knives can cut through a wider variety of foods than a crinkle cutter can. They’re also safe for kids to wash after the cooking session is over.

Step Stool

A good sturdy and safe step stool is essential for a child to help in the kitchen. Back in my day we hopped onto the kitchen chair to help! But if you’re looking for a dedicated stool to help your kids get some height in the kitchen there are all sorts of options on the market.

The Learning Tower has become a popular item for parents. I didn’t like the price tag so Grandpa made set of stairs with handles on the sides for us! We use it every day!

Apple Cutter

I like to keep an apple cutter like this one on hand because it’s a safe way for a child to cut a wobbly firm item like an apple safely. They can be found in any major chain household store! I like the ones with grippy handles so that they don’t go flying!

Cutting Board

You probably already have a cutting board or two in your kitchen for your own use, but it’s a good idea to get a smaller one for your helper. That way yours aren’t being used when you might need them and your child feels special having one of their own to use.

Cheese Grater

For this one you don’t need to buy any special equipment. But being the official Cheese Grater is a position my kids love! There are actual fights over who gets this job because of all the snacking that goes on during the grating. 😉

I want to foster that love of cooking and helping so I’ll take all the enthusiasm they have about being The Cheese Grater!

Orange Peel Starter

This tool is a handy one for little hands whose finger nails aren’t long (or husbands who keep their nails super short.) Its about the size of a pencil and you can use it to safely puncture the skin of an orange to lift up the skin to start peeling.

The only company I know of the makes them is Tupperwear. You can either contact a consultant or search thrift stores for them. I’ve come across lots of them there since most people are lost on its correct use!

Sandwich Cutter

The sandwich cutter is an essential kitchen tool for kids because it perfectly cuts sandwiches into four equal pieces, or you can get one that cuts them into fun shapes! Sometimes after a child has made a delicious PB&J the inside is too gooey to get a good grip on the sandwich to cut it!

I often set my older child up on the jam and butter application job and my middle child gets to press the sandwiches with the cutter to cut them. Then she puts them on the plate and everyone helps take plates to the table!

If you’d like to try making your own homemade nut butter I have a recipe posted HERE where I show you how to make a delicious multi-nut butter spread. The combination of nuts and seeds makes this nut butter something to try!

Handle Cover

We use a lot of cast iron pans in our house. I love their versatility, long-lasting durability, and the way they cook things! The downside is that the handle can become hot to a sensitive hand. I found these pan handle covers a while back and love them. They’re not bulky so even little hands can use them comfortably and they aren’t flammable which makes them super safe!

Apron

Every child loves to get the real feel of being a true chef in the kitchen and part of that experience is wearing an apron! You can either make your own or search sites like Etsy for other handmade aprons. There are cute matching aprons that you can get online as well.

I like that the apron keeps them cleaner while they help that way we don’t have to do a full outfit change afterwards and create more laundry! I don’t think anyone needs any help creating MORE laundry!

Do your kids like to help in the kitchen? What are your top 10 essential kitchen tools for kids? I would love to know!