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.
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.
“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!”
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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.
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!
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