What kind of activities can a child do in the kitchen? You may have observed…
“Never help a child at a task he feels he can succeed”
To help a child become independent, we must provide them with the right tools. This is even more true for practical life activities.
Many parents are surprised when they come to my playgroup that the children will prepare their own snacks. However, they are soon amazed to see the dexterity of their young toddlers at work!
One of their fears is to see their child using a knife.
The first knife that I introduce to young toddlers is the crinkle cutter. Children can cut soft vegetables and fruits with this one, such as cucumber, banana, celery, tomatoes etc. And it’s totally safe!
You can give your child a butter knife or a child-sized knife to spread butter or to cut soft food (such as banana, cheese etc.)
When your child has some experience with these first knives, you can give them some more grown-up knives that will cut more challenging food, such as carrots.
We currently use the Ikea Smabit knife.
The knife comes with a vegetable peeler. It is recommended for children 8+. It’s sharp but with a rounded edge. Our 5-year-old uses it but under close supervision.
In fact, we have replaced all our knives that have sharp blades with these children’s knives.
Below is the selection of knives that a child can use after the crinkle cutter and before the Ikea one. (I haven’t used any of these personally but they were recommended to me on the Montessori for families UK FB group)
Kuhn Rikon kinderkitchen Children’s Dog Knife Set
Salad or Bread nylon knives:
My first opinel
There is a space to teach correct finger placement, as well as a handy finger guard.
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Wow never seen anything like that before! Looks really good!
This is so interesting to know! Will definitely look into these when my little is old enough. We really should be encouraging them to do more things for themselves to gain independence, thank you for the reminder!
How old are your children Stacey? You can encourage them to be independent from the start, even when you don’t have a clue what is Montessori.
These look great. We encourage the kids to do things for themselves at nursery but we don’t have knives for them
I encourage mine to use a knife although mine use plastic ones. My eldest girls can use some little metals ones I have for them and luckily my son doesn’t have much interest in those at the moment.
I think I’m very guilty of not letting my children develop skills like this. I think we will have to get one of these knives to try out
It’s difficult to know how much independence to give to your own children. We are first their mum and want to protec them. Let me know if your child try one of these and how he gets on in the kitchen!
These are a great way of encouraging independence. I get so worried about allowing my little ones near anything sharp
some of those “knives” are not sharp at all. How old is your child? The crinkle cutter is totally safe for little ones. Try and let me know how it goes!
I’ve seen these before , not sure where, but my daughter is definitely in need of something like this as I cringed when she’s cutting food lol x
I’m going to take a look at one of those crinkle cutters, my little one has an independent streak and loves her food cut up small
I bought some nylon knives on Amazon for my kids to practice cutting fruits. It is safe but I still recommend parents to be beside the children when they use knives. Great post!