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100+ Simple Ways to Involve Kids in the Kitchen

by Heather

Bringing kids in the kitchen may feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! Kids benefit so much from joining us in the kitchen. They learn a life long vital skill! Here are 100+ simple ways to involve kids in the kitchen, broken out by age. Whether you’ve got a 1 year old, a 10 year old, or a mix in between (like me!) there is something for every age to help out with.

100+ simple ways to involve kids in the kitchen

Below you’ll find over 100 ideas of ways to involve kids in the kitchen. Don’t feel like you have to start big with a recipe – there are super simple, small ways to include kids in cooking. Those small tasks add up and their confidence and skills begin to grow!

A quick note on ages and skills. Every kid will learn skills at their own pace. I’m simply sharing ideas with a very generalized age range, but by all means, begin teaching skills when you think your child is ready! Of course, a 2 year old is not able to cook at at stovetop yet, but they may be ready to peel veggies.

YOU know your child.

Use these 100+ ideas to spark curiosity and encourage kids to join you in the kitchen!

I’ve broken the ideas down into 5 age ranges:

  • 1-2 year olds
  • 2-4 year olds
  • 4-6 year olds
  • 6-8 year olds
  • 8+ year olds

Read through all 100+ ideas, or search for simple ways to bring your kids in the kitchen based on their age range. Most of all, have fun together! If you’re looking for guided recipe lessons, be sure to check out my free resource Colorful Cooking For Kids.

100+ simple ways to involve kids in the kitchen

100+ Simple Ways to Involve Kids in the Kitchen

1-2 years old

  • Expose kids to cooking by bringing them in (in a carrier or high chair)
  • Explain what you are doing in the kitchen
  • Let kids feel ingredients
  • Wash fruits and vegetables
  • Dry fruits and vegetables
  • Organize ingredients by size/shape/color
  • Play with measuring cups/spoons
  • Practice stirring
  • Wipe spills
  • Put utensils away
  • Practice pouring water into cups
  • Bringing utensils to the table
  • Push buttons on small kitchen appliances
  • Smell spices
  • Taste ingredients as you go
  • Unloading groceries from the bags
  • Sprinkle pinches of spices
100+ simple ways to involve kids in the kitchen

2-4 years old

  • Scoop and measure dry ingredients
  • Whisk eggs
  • Spread peanut butter onto toast
  • Cut soft fruit (like bananas) with a table knife
  • Begin to learn how to crack eggs with assistance
  • Rip kale/lettuces
  • Scrub dirt off of potatoes/carrots
  • Learn names of spices/ingredients
  • Gather ingredients
  • Rinse dishes
  • Cut with scissors (think green onions, quessaddillas)
  • Make granola together
  • Set the table
  • Clear the table
  • Grease pans/muffin tins
  • Whisk wet ingredients
  • Use a salad spinner
  • Squeeze lemons/limes
  • Remove skin off of garlic and onions
  • Drain and rinse beans from a can
  • Throw garbage in trash
  • Mash bananas
  • Count using beans
  • Make shapes with lentils
  • Stack foods
  • Explore a sensory bin filled with beans/nuts/seeds
  • Roll snack balls
  • Top pizza with toppings
  • Remove herb leaves from stem
  • Break asparagus into pieces
  • Crumble feta cheese from a block
  • Use a biscuit cutter
  • Cut sandwiches into varying shapes
  • Wash produce
  • Putting groceries away here they belong
  • Count ingredients
  • Sprinkle shredded coconut flakes
  • Decorate a cake with berries
  • Kneading dough
  • Peeling fruit

4-6 years old

  • Unload the dishwasher
  • Load the dishwasher
  • Crack eggs without assistance
  • Slice cheese
  • Grate cheese/vegetables
  • Cut with a small pairing knife
  • Peel hard boiled eggs
  • Set the table
  • Use a garlic press
  • Mash soft fruit/vegetables
  • Serving food to others
  • Use a vegetable peeler
  • Make toast
  • Ladle soup into bowls
  • Mix salad dressing
  • Mash and make guacamole
  • Make tuna salad
  • Create cracker sandwiches with different fillings
  • Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments
  • Make pizza dough
  • Roll pizza dough out evenly
  • Dip French toast in batter
  • Make a snack platter lunch to share
  • Frost a cake
  • Zest citrus
100+ simple ways to involve kids in the kitchen

6-8 years old

  • Cut with a chefs knife
  • Cook on the stovetop (like scrambled eggs/saute vegetables)
  • Read through a recipe
  • Gather all ingredients/supplies independently
  • Open cans
  • Scoop batter into muffin tins
  • Flip pancakes
  • Skewer food
  • Put leftovers away
  • Learn about food safety with ready to eat and raw ingredients
  • Melt chocolate over a double boiler
  • Dip strawberries in melted chocolate
  • Cook pasta

8+ years old

  • Read and follow simple recipes independently
  • Put items in/remove from oven
  • Plate food to please the eyes
  • Make a grocery list based on ingredient lists
  • Plan menus and meals
  • Start the process and make bread

I put together a free eBook of my 5 favorite recipes to make together with my kid!. They’re kid friendly and a fun way to get kids involved in the kitchen! They are also, of course, delicious! Grab the eBook by entering your name + email address below and I’ll send it right over!!

cook with kids ebook

100+ simple ways to involve kids in the kitchen

Looking for more resources?

What did I miss? Let me know your favorite ways (or recipes!) that involve kids in the kitchen below in the comments!

XO

Heather

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1 comment

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce - The Natural Nurturer November 5, 2020 - 5:56 am

[…] Hi all!  I’m giddy and excited to be here with you all.  My name is Heather Englund, the creative force behind the family friendly, delicious real food recipes at Fit Mama Real Food.  I’m a mom to four little kiddos, wife, podcaster, group fitness instructor and I live in the beautiful PNW. I love creating meal plans and am obsessed with how it helps me so much as a mom.  I also love bringing my kids into the kitchen and teaching them how to cook! […]

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