Cool Kitchen Tools for Kids
The cleverly designed handle of the Chef'n PalmPeeler features a ring for a young chef to slide onto his finger, and a curved base that will fit in the palm of his hand—ensuring a steady grip. $6.99.
Cap It Off
Transform an ordinary drinking glass into a spill-proof wonder. The silicone SipSnap KID cover stretches over a glass's top and holds a straw snugly in place. We love the idea of toting one around in place of a bulky sippy cup. Good-bye, water-soaked tabletops! Ages 2 and up. $11.95 for a set of three snug lids and three straws.
How do you woo a picky eater? With a great game plan! Fred and Friends' Dinner Winner tray does the trick by turning eating into a fun race to a surprise finish. Each section of the sturdy melamine dish holds a few nibbles, including the last, lidded spot that stays covered for a big end-of-meal reveal. As a bonus, it's dishwasher-safe. Everyone wins!$22.99.
A Cut Above
Serious cooks-in-the-making can build their kitchen skills using the cleverly designed Le Petit Chef Set. The included peeler and knife each feature a "learning ring" that teaches proper holding technique (with index finger hooked around), while the finger guard does double-duty protecting tiny appendages and encouraging kids to keep fingers tucked and splayed when slicing—just like the pros. $49.
Ingela P. Arrhenius Melamine Plates
The sweet, smiling faces featured on the colorful Ingela P. Arrhenius Melamine Plates are sure to add some happy to any meal. With 16 motifs to choose from, including a friendly sun and a wide-eyed owl, there's plenty of cuteness to spread around the entire table. $12 each.
Din Din Smart Stainless Divided Platter With Lid
It's fitting that the Din Din Smart Stainless Divided Platter With Lid is shaped like a car. Just click the top onto the tray to make taking food on the go or transporting leftovers to the fridge a cinch. You can even park both pieces in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. $19.99.
Doodling gets a seat at the table with these reusable Chalkboard Placemats, a creative diversion for little hands during that looooong wait until it's time to eat. $36 for four (with chalk).
Measuring cup math
You can teach your child the fundamentals of fractions with a set of ordinary kitchen tools. Supply her with measuring cups and spoons (shown here, the Cuppa Stackable Set by Umbra, $10), along with a bowl of a dry ingredient like couscous or lentils. Place the items on a serving tray or baking sheet to keep things tidy while she works. Show her how to measure properly by scooping the couscous and sweeping the top with a finger or the back of a knife so that it's level. Then challenge her to figure out how many teaspoons of couscous will fit into a tablespoon, for instance, or how many quarter cups will fit into a cup.
Little Bites Snack and Sandwich Pouches
Made from BPA-free silicone, these 5-inch and 7-inch pouches, fastened with a button, are more durable than the cloth variety. Even better, they're dishwasher safe. Kinderville, Snack and Sanwitch Pouches, $14.99 for both.
PackIt Personal Cooler
No need to remember ice packs: they're built right into this cool bag, which folds flat in your freezer. It comes in dozens of vibrant colors and patterns to suit almost any kid's tastes. PackIt, Freezable Lunch Bag, $19.99.
Chop to It
Product We Love: Chopsticks with a spring are easier for little hands to handle. Find a pair like the ones pictured for $4.
Seal & Store Rotary Grater
Let kids crank out the shredded cheddar for their own mac-and-cheese. Best part: you can store the remaining block of cheese in the grater. OXO Seal & Store Rotary Grater, $15.99.
Cutting Board and Mini Chopper
A small nonskid cutting board and a child-size chopper make for safe and slip-free slicing of bananas, cucumbers, cheese, and even sandwiches. Plus, the crinkle-cut blade helps every fruit and veggie slice look enticingly like a potato chip. Ages 4 and up. BarBoard, Architec Cutting Board, $7.99; Wavy Knife Joie, $3.95.
For Little Ones: Bouncy Whisk
This tool uses a spring to transform that child-baffling whisking motion into a simple up-and-down movement. Even young kids can help whip up ingredients, such as egg whites or cream, for a recipe—or a glass of milk for no reason at all (except that it's fun to drink it frothy). Ages 3 1/2 and up. Whip Whisk, Norpro, $5.68.
For Little Ones: Food Slicer
It isn't just for eggs anymore. Preschoolers can place a mushroom or strawberry into the well, close the lid, and presto!—slices of snack. And if you need, say, lots of sliced mushrooms for a soup, you'll be amazed at how helpful this gadget—and your child—can be. Ages 3 and up. Egg/Mushroom Slicer, Norpro, $8.78.
For Little Ones: Mortar and Pestle
This kitchen staple makes delightfully fragrant and old-fashioned work of grinding herbs, spices, and nuts. Little kids can enjoy smushing and mashing as well as savor the satisfaction of channeling their inner caveman. Ages 2 and up. Gray Marble Mortar & Pestle, R.S.V.P. International, $19.45.