I know it has been said a lot; the kitchen is the heart of the home. Also, it is the family gathering space, the room where you spend sweet, precious time together. A debriefing moment after a long day.
Unfortunately, your lovely space probably contains more hazardous items than every other room in your house combined. Putting child-locks on all the cabinets won’t do. That’s more of a kid-proof kitchen than a kid-friendly kitchen.
Sometimes, you need to bring your little helper to experience the kitchen world too. So what extra steps can you take to make your kitchen not only safe, but inviting?
If you know the possible hazards, it’s really easy to minimize the risks and make your kitchen a safe and enjoyable place for the family.
Little Helper’s Very Own Activity Area
Cooking can be the most stressful part of the day, and your kids will surely interrupt you every few minutes. It will only get more tougher after that. You would rather spend your day relaxing on the couch than make dinner, but those hungry kids have to eat!
How do you tackle this problem? — providing them with tools to entertain themselves right by your side. Rather than an underfoot, of course.
Make sure you have a low, accessible table or countertop they can use as an activity area. Leave one of the lower cabinets unlocked, or remove the door. Stock these cabinets up with their play stuffs like Play-Doh, crayons, coloring books and board games.
That will keep them occupy for a while and will help them forget about their growling stomachs, at least long enough for you to put food on the table.
Laminate remains a popular material for kitchen and bathroom counters because of its low cost, tonnes of colour and its kid friendly durability.
Child Friendly – Island Living
Some family uses the kitchen space as a place for their kids to do their homework, read or simply sit and talk. — and for that, the kitchen should be an inviting place.
While there are certainly plenty of options, from installing bar seating to adding small side tables as mentioned earlier, utilizing an island design gives you the flexibility to have an all-in-one space for cooking, eating and a variety of family activities.
On top of that, you will still rock that modern or contemporary kitchen look with the existence of a kitchen island. Caesarstone quartz surfaces for the island give the kitchen a modern, trendy look while providing an easily cleaned and durable surface.
Little Helpers’ Supplies
At one point in their age, your kids will be interested to help mom and dad clean or cook. They probably are better are making the mess bigger than actually lending a hand. This is pretty endearing, but not great for productivity.
Give them the satisfaction of helping out with a miniature broom and dustpan or mop and bucket. Or even their own silicone baking supplies! Make the kitchen a fun place for both you and your child. After a long day at work, it doesn’t hurt to have that time you didn’t get to spend with them in the kitchen.
Little Autonomy for the Little Helper
Some family tend to eat a late supper. So, if your family tends to do so, put some healthy snacks in their accessible lower cabinet, along with some plastic plates and cups. On a side note, make sure they know they can only pick one or two items (depending on the size) during snack time, and let them retrieve the snacks on their own.
Kids will reach a point where they want to do thing on their own. They might not want you cutting up every bite for them. Thankfully, there are kid-safe knives that actually cut effectively thanks to plastic, saw-like teeth.
Child Lockout Settings and Other Safety Measures
So far, we’ve only mentioned ways to distract them from creating a mess or disturbing our cooking time. Only that is not enough, however, to give your kids safe ways to entertain themselves.
Ultimately, the kitchen is a place full of sharp corner, instruments, electric appliances, cleaning supplies and hard surfaces that are very hazardous for our precious little helper.
If your kids spend a lot of time here, chances are they will have an opportunity to get their hands on one of these things.
To prevent this, take the measure to look for appliances with child lockout settings. Ensure to lock cleaning supplies in the cabinet, or keep them out of children’s reach.
Also, a stove guard would be a great alternative to keep the burners off-limits. If you’re looking to replace your floor, get something textured like vinyl or cork, which is less slippery when wet than other types. You know, instead of using a freestanding step-stool that could potentially tip over. Build one into your design!
To prevent this, look for appliances with child lockout settings. Make sure to lock cleaning supplies in the cabinet, or keep them where only adults can reach them. Use a stove guard to keep the burners off-limits. If you’re looking to replace your floor, get something textured like vinyl or cork, which is less slippery when wet than other types. Instead of using a freestanding step-stool that could tip over, build one into your design.
A kid friendly kitchen not only means that the cooking parents not bothered whilst preparing food, but a kid friendly kitchen can also boost children's creativity. Adding to that, who knows by bringing the children into the kitchen, they will enjoy the cooking process so much that they may make cooking as their career choice? Who knows?