Designers and chefs share the easiest and most effective ways to make your kitchen more functional when you're cooking with kids.

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement
wooden bekvam step stool in kitchen on braided rug
Credit: Courtesy of IKEA

Tip #1: Equip tots for cooking success.

Stock a drawer with child-size cooking tools like Curious Chef’s 6-Piece Fruit & Veggie Prep Kit, says Chicago-based designer Cari Giannoulias, and you may find you have a budding Giada on your hands.

“Family cooking is easier for everyone if you create special areas for the kids’ utensils and equipment,” she says.

Tip #2: Get the kids to step up—literally.

Sabbe keeps a set of two step stools in her cook space for when her kids want to “help” with washing dishes or cooking. “IKEA has the best birch-wood step stools,” she says. “They’re the perfect height and very sturdy.” Our pick: The Bekväm step stool in birch pictured above.

Tip #3: Play—then throw it away.

“When we lived in our apartment and had zero playspace, I used to roll out butcher paper, tape it to the kitchen floor, and let my kids, ages 1 and 3, color with markers while I cooked,” Sabbe says. “I canned pickles during that phase of life, which is a testament to how entertaining the butcher paper actually was!”

Tip #4: Make this tiny swap.

Replace standard drawer handles with rounded Vernon 3-inch bin pulls, says designer Jessica Davis, founder of Nest Studio. “They’re easy for little fingers to grab, but they’re harder to use as a ladder to climb up the cabinets.” Plus, they add instant farmhouse charm.

Tip #5: Give kids their own spot.

Consider leaving enough space to install a play kitchen in your kitchen, advises Sabbe. “I have two clients who moved their kids’ toy kitchen alongside their own, and it was a lifesaver! The kids role-play while their parents cook.” Just be sure to place the play one far from the real flames!

Parents Magazine