Fun Activities for Toddlers in the Kitchen

Young child standing at kitchen sink washing dishes: activities for toddlers in the kitchen

You could be forgiven for thinking that there isn’t a place for toddlers in the kitchen. But it turns out that a toddler’s characteristics of being curious, into everything, noisy and impulsive are exactly what you need in a junior chef.

Well, okay, I might be slightly exaggerating. But if they are well supervised, a toddler can certainly participate in plenty of kitchen activities. Licking the bowl, mixing, rolling, and kneading are things my kids enjoyed doing, plus of course sampling what they have made. I spent some time creating this list of activities for toddlers in the kitchen and have included ideas for when you are able to spend one on one time and for those times when they need a relatively independent activity while you are also in the kitchen.

7 Activities for Toddlers in the Kitchen

The kitchen is an amazing place. Food changes shape, size, colour, texture, and smell. Lots of different tools do different jobs. There are strange noises from appliances and water running in the sink. It’s no wonder our toddlers are keen to find out more about what happens here. Here are seven toddler suitable activities that will capture their interest:

  1. Washing fruit and vegetables – water has always been a favourite in our house. I’ve found that by placing the fruit or vegetables in a sink of water and giving my children a brush or cloth, they really enjoyed washing the food. I learnt rather quickly to not put a lot of water in as it goes everywhere! Thankfully, our long sleeve bibs kept their clothing dry, though I couldn’t say the same for the floor.
  2. Sorting the cutlery – teach your child where the forks and spoons go in the drawer. If you can, take the drawer or cutlery container out and place on the bench to avoid jammed fingers in drawers.
  3. Cutting soft foods – there are some great kid-safe plastic knives toddlers can use with guidance to cut soft foods like cheese, bread and bananas.
  4. Mix cookie dough or batter – the good old mixing bowl is a favourite with kiwi kids. A big, handled spoon is easier to hold when stirring.
  5. Pour dry ingredients into a bowl – help your toddler develop their coordination and motor skills by assisting them with pouring ingredients into a bowl. If you are brave, they could help with measuring too.
  6. Sweep the floor and wipe the bench – when they’ve finished, encourage your toddler to wipe the bench and sweep the floor. Just watch out for further sampling of floor-based titbits.
    Toddler sweeping the floor and young girl wiping the bench: activities for toddlers in the kitchen
  7. Doing the dishes – ok, so they won’t actually be doing the dishes at this stage, but there is no reason why they can’t start learning how to. A sink filled with bubbles, a cloth and some plastic containers are all you need. They could practice pouring water into different vessels too.
    Young child standing at kitchen sink washing dishes: activities for toddlers in the kitchen

You may just find you have the next Junior Master Chef in your family…. If you do, send them my way to cook our dinner please!

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