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Most of us are stuck at home right now during coronavirus social distancing, and parents are struggling with ideas to keep kids occupied—especially ideas that don’t involve screens. We’re also doing a lot of cooking at home. Why not have kids do some cooking and kill two birds with one stone?
Jenny McCormick whips up cakes and cookies for her venture Dearheart Confections, and the Los Angeles mom is getting her two children involved while they’re home. “Usually I am baking for clients (which they are not allowed to help with), so this gives us a chance to really work together on a baking project,” she says.
Plus, baking is educational: “Because baking is more scientific than cooking, it’s teaching the kids to be exact in measurement and be mindful of the process,” says McCormick. “Seeing something through from raw ingredients to finished product is very rewarding.” Depending on age, McCormick says, letting kids take the lead and only helping when needed can foster independence and confidence in the kitchen.
Are you sold yet? If so, we’ve researched helpful tools to get your little ones started off right in the kitchen.
1. Step stool
First things first: gotta reach the counter. Elevate kiddos to counter height with a handy step-stool. We like these wood versions because they look great, and they’re sturdy.
Get a Melissa & Doug wood step stool at Target for $31.99 Get a Household Helpers high rise step stool on Wayfair for $87.99 2. Aprons
Matching aprons just makes family cooking more fun—and they protect clothing from splatters. Get a set of striped aprons from Williams Sonoma for a team vibe. You can even have them monogrammed to complete the look.
Get adult & kid striped aprons at Williams Sonoma starting at $19.95
3. A meal kit subscription
Removing planning and shopping from the equation can help newly-minted chefs with mealtime, especially when grocery stores aren't always full stocked. Subscribe to a meal kit service, and have everything you need for two to three meals a week delivered right to your door. One Potato offers kid-friendly portions as well as tips on how to get kids involved with the cooking.
Sign-up for One Potato Sign-up for Sun Basket 4. Kid-safe knives
Get them cutting and chopping—safely! When it comes to cooking, knife skills are imperative. But we also want to make sure our kids don’t get injured in the kitchen. Enter: kid-safe knives. Order a set and get your little one chopping.
Get a set of kid-safe knives on Amazon for $8.95 Get a 6-piece fruit and veggie prep kit from Curious Chef for $19.95 5. Cutting mat or board
Now that your kids are using knives, they’ll need a mat or cutting board to prep those fruits and veggies—and to protect your countertops. We like these products for little ones, and the OXO board is perfect for the whole family.
Get a tomato cutting board at Curious Chef for $3.25 Get the OXO Good Grips Carving and Cutting Board at Home Depot for $25 6. Baking sets
Churn out cakes and cookies with a full set of equipment. These are fun kits that feature kid-friendly accoutrements, and make crafting fancy baked goods a breeze.
Get a cupcake baking set at American Girl for $39.95 Get a Hearthsong mini pie-making kit at Target for $34.98 7. Fun measuring cups
Gift your kid a set of whimsical measuring cups and infuse cooking with fun. Measuring is the key to baking—and it's science—so you might as well make it fun. Unicorn or rainbow measuring cups take their baking game to the next level.
Get SMOKO Elodie unicorn measuring cups on Amazon for $17.99 Get the Joseph Joseph nesting measuring cup and spoon set at Target for $7.99 8. Cookbooks for kids
Pick up a kid-friendly cook book for kitchen inspiration. These titles are kid-tested and parent approved, just pick a tasty dish and get cookin’. Bonus: Kids can work on reading skills while they cook.
Get Cooking Class: 57 Fun Recipes Kids Will Love to Make (and Eat!) at Books A Million for $16.67 Get the Masterchef Junior Cookbook at Target for $15.60 9. Kitchen timer
Having their own cooking timer will make your little baker feel official. Curious Chef has a simple, easy-to-understand timer, but you can also opt for an adorable cartoonish model.
Get a kids’ kitchen timer at Curious Chef for $4.50 Get a cartoon carrot timer on Amazon for $10 Get a mushroom timer at Urban Outfitters for $6 10. Oven rack guards
Burns are a concern when you’ve got little ones scooting around in the kitchen. But did you know that you can get oven guards to protect kids from the hot metal racks? Helpful indeed.
Get a set of two oven rack guards at Sur La Table for $9.95
Related content feature 10 tips for effectively working from home with kids feature 10 unique ways to decorate Easter eggs
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