You know how much I love getting in the kitchen with my girls. There are so many ways to get kids involved from a young age and I wanted to share a few of my favorite ways my three-year-old joins in on the fun!
10 Kitchen Tasks for a Three-Year-Old
1. Pulling leaves off of herbs or kale.
This task is super safe and can keep them busy for quite a while. Hailey also enjoys this one because we smell the leaves, taste them and she guesses which herbs they are, which turns it into a game as well.
2. Using the salad spinner.
This one is great starting at a toddler age. Now Hailey can rinse the leaves, shake them out and spin them. Watching it fly around in circles is always a hit.
3. Pounding chicken.
I know raw chicken isn’t what you’d think of letting kids play with, but if you prepare it and have it wrapped in wax paper or plastic, it’s a lot of fun to let your child take a few swings with the mallet.
4. Using the garlic press for things other than garlic.
The garlic press is a really fun kitchen tool, though squeezing garlic can take some real hand strength, so I recommend this easy-to-squeeze garlic press. We also have this creative version, perfect for letting her transform avocado or fresh mozzarella into “worms” that are easy to create and fun to eat.
5. Cracking eggs.
This one might have a bit of a learning curve, but I’m impressed at how well Hailey can now crack an egg. It’s one of her favorite kitchen tasks.
6. Forming dough.
Whenever we make pizza dough, I break some off and let Hailey go crazy with it. Playing with dough is great for developing hand strength, but it’s also fun to see what shapes she creates. Whatever she comes up with, we bake it, and she gets a big kick out of it.
7. Measuring ingredients.
The secret with this one is to give them a separate bowl. If you need a tsp of baking powder and let them measure over the main dry ingredient bowl, you’re bound to end up with a 1/2 cup. I let Hailey practice by measuring tablespoons of flour into her own bowl.
8. Cutting soft foods.
For Christmas, Hailey received a set of Curious Chef knives. They are sharp enough to cut soft foods like banana, pears, avocados, etc, without posing a real risk of slicing a finger. This is one of my favorite learning tools!
9. Pushing the buttons.
Hailey loves setting the temperature on the oven, pushing the blender buttons and setting the timer. I like that it helps her to recognize her numbers and understand how some of our appliances work. Plus, the loud noises that accompany most kitchen appliances always make her jump and laugh.
10. Wiping down the counters.
Making a mess in the kitchen is great fun… if someone else cleans it up! I started having Hailey help clean to teach her a lesson about cleaning, but it turns out she loves it. I use these green cleaners so I feel good about letting her spray like crazy.
Basically I try to pull her in the kitchen with whatever I am making. She loves to help while tasting every single ingredient. I like the help (most days) and believe that having her hands in the mix does lead to her being more adventurous in trying new foods.
Did you help out in the kitchen as a kid?
What was your favorite task?
Do your kids help out in the kitchen?
What do they love to do?