While Kitchen designs gain much interest from young couples in the current times, an aspect of kitchen designing that remains little explored is having Kid Friendly Kitchens. Yes, kid friendly kitchens are a recent scenario, with concepts such kid chefs and Kitchen Tots gaining popularity. In this post, I share some of my insights into how we can get our kids to be interested in Kitchen chores and how having Kid Friendly Kitchens can help us achieve this goal.
I am self-proclaimed cooking enthusiast. Meaning, although I do cook my family the necessary square meals every day, my real enjoyment in the kitchen comes from the one off special dishes that I make for my family. A Biryani prepared on an idle Sunday, or a fruit cake baked on a birthday give me immense satisfaction as a home chef. But with two kids in the tow, I really do not have the time and energy to try out the unconventional every week or even fortnight. So the days when I do cook something unusual, I just put on my chef’s apron, and go in the hiding of my kitchen for the duration of preparation. Sometimes I wonder if being in the kitchen would be as much fun if my husband were a cooking enthusiast too. I mean I grew up watching Sanjeev Kapoor every Sunday doling out dish after dish and wishing that my man too would sometimes treat me in a similar fashion. But that was not to be.
But the balm to the wound is that I have two sons now, who I can catch young and influence their inclination towards the kitchen. The good part for me is that Nik’s school already practices gender neutral skill building and indulges kids in non-flame cooking. So to an extent my task is sorted. When Nik comes back home and tells me what he ‘cooked’ in school, I waste no time and get him the same set of ingredients and tools to assist him recreate the magic.
Both my kids like to watch me at work in the kitchen and are sometimes enthusiastic to help me. Though more often than not, I shove them out for safety reasons, I often ponder on how I could make my kitchen more kid friendly. This would enable me to foster their interest in the kitchen a little more and early on. Who knows, I may just brew up some magic in the kitchen with my tots.
Planning Kid Friendly Kitchens
Here are some ways how we can customise our kitchens to be Kid Friendly Kitchens and kindle our kids’ love for cooking –
Customized Steps and Stools
With space as a major constraint, I would render it unreasonable to have a spate shelf, work station for kids to proceed with their cooking experiments. A more reasonable and workable solution would be a single or multiple step stool. Some features to consider while getting an apt stool –
- Light weight for portability
- Proper-grip / non-slippery
Segregated Cabins & Jars
This is one element of Kitchen Design where you could add a lot of fun elements. You could dedicate a separate cabin for ingredients that your little ones love to pay with. They would not need to look around too much for what they need. And at the same time you won’t have to worry about what they may land themselves with. Or you may designate some shelves in your kitchen as ‘For Kids’.
- Use colorful shelf-mats to help kids figure out the spaces that are meant ‘for them’
- Get innovative with quirky colored and designed jars
- Make sure the size of the jars facilitates proper grip for kids
You would want to choose some tools specially meant for kitchen Tots. These days a lot of variety in terms of plastic knives, whisks, spatula, rolling pins and colorful bowls are available in the market. Consider the weight, and grip of your kids on these tools while buying one for them. Make sure you maintain them separately in your kitchen so as not to bring in the wear and tear that other tools go through.
While some appliance suppliers also offer some special appliances for kids kitchens, I would rather have some regular appliances fixture in my kitchen that optimize use by kids too. A mixer, an oven, an induction plate – these appliances do not use direct flame and are hurt proof if used under adult supervision.
A Tiny Kitchen Garden
My father is a gardening enthusiast. While he has switched three homes in his lifetime, he made sure that he had enough space to experiment with a kitchen garden. I have not been very lucky that ways. I have had to use planters and pots to plant herbs in my concrete backyard. But the silver lining is, whenever I need some leaves for a dish, my son is more than happy to go out and get some for me. One could get as much creative and experimental with tiny kitchen gardens to pique their kids’ interest.
Kitchen Activities For Kids
Kitchen could be good place to spend some quality time with kids. With the help of minimal kitchen tools indulge them in activities such as washing and cutting leaves, veggies for salads and garnishing, mixing dry ingredients for bowl salads or cake and muffins, rolling muffins etc.. Well a little mess has to be taken for granted, but the fun too will be guaranteed.
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