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Age-Smart Ways To Let Kids Help In The Kitchen

November 1, 2018

One day, your kids will have their own kitchens. They'll cook meals and clean up, too. The best way to help them develop the necessary skills? Start early and let them spend time by your side. Every child has different skills, and children of the same age may have different abilities. Here are common ways kids can help in the kitchen.

0–18 Months

0–18 months

Keep the smallest children safe and engaged.

  • Play with pots, pans, and utensils.
  • Try new foods to expand taste buds.
  • Talk about cooking steps and skills.
1–3 Years

1–3 years

Toddlers' dexterity varies and they always need supervision, but they can help in lots of ways.

  • Put away big tools or non–breakable bowls and pans.
  • Stir together ingredients, with help.
  • Help scrub or rinse vegetables and fruit.
  • Help pour and measure.
1–3 Years
Preschool up to age 5
Preschool up to age 5
Preschool up to age 5

Preschool up to age 5

Safety remains paramount, but preschoolers may be ready for more independence.

  • Cut up food with age–appropriate knives.
  • Set timers.
  • Stir, with or without supervision.
  • Put away dishes.
  • Roll our dough.
  • Measure ingredients.
  • Retrieve ingredients from the pantry or fridge.
  • Learn about measuring tools.
Elementary School

Elementary school

Older kids can quickly master more complicated tasks. Supervision levels may vary.

  • Help choose and follow recipes.
  • Use sharper knives with supervision.
  • Stir low–cooking items on the stove, with supervision.
  • Operate hand kitchen tools, such as a peeler, grater, or hand mixer.
  • Put dishes in the dishwasher, and put clean dishes away.
  • Follow simple recipes, including measuring both wet and dry ingredients.
Middle & High School

Middle & High school

You are the best judge of when your children are ready to prepare, cook, and clean up on their own. But generally, as children reach middle school and high school, they may be able to follow a recipe with minimal supervision—and clean up, too.

Middle & High School

At GE Appliances, we know you're hard at work (and play) every day. We can help, with ideas for everything from faster meals to more storage and time–saving cleanup.

See All GE Appliances

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