Kids In The Kitchen – Simple Cooking With Kids

For me, fall is the season to attempt all sorts of pumpkin-y cinnamon spicey, muffins and cookies. For real though, we don’t have AC and it is just way too hot to turn on the oven for like 4 months out of the year. Also, I say ‘attempt’ because I am not a great baker. I’d say I’ve got about a 65% success rate lol! However, that doesn’t stop me from loving baking with my little! Our projects don’t always turn out delicious, or even very edible haha, but I love that she is learning so many things while we do our kitchen ‘experiments!’ So if you’re interested in getting your kids in the kitchen, read on for our favorite tips, age appropriate activities, recipes and tools to get you started!

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Kids In The Kitchen – By Age:

 

6-12 Months: When E was very little I would get her set up with some empty tupperware or pans and a wooden spoon and then just bake next to her. Textures and mixing can also be fun for the ‘tummy’ time age, so filling a ziplock bag with two ingredients (one liquid) and letting them squish it is a great busy activity!

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12-24 Months: This age wants their hands in everything, literally. Giving them some ‘play beside me’ tools and materials can be great for them to practice the skills for future baking! Some flour in a bowl to practice scooping etc. They are still most likely in the taste everything stage so keep anything you don’t want them tasting far out of reach. It can be fun to let them explore with their senses though! Little tastes of flour, smelling the spices, helping to stir. Now that they are standing, introducing a learning tower can make kitchen endeavors much easier by giving them a controlled area to be in!

 

2-4 Years: This age is the best because they are capable of so much! Also, the messiest… They can crack the eggs, pour mix and measure. They will love having their own baking tools that are just their size. Also, may I repeat, the messiest lol… Setting them up in a contained space by using a tray under their mixing bowl etc. makes clean up easier! An adorable apron comes in handy and really makes them feel like they are doing something ‘grown up.’ Ours came courtesy of our Nana, but there are some great kits that come complete with apron as well. Read on for our top picks for other kids kitchen tools!

 

Kids In The Kitchen – Tools:

Getting kids in the kitchen doesn’t require a lot of special tools! They are happy with your wooden spoons and whisks. There are some great sets though if you have a little one who is super excited to bake, or, with the holidays coming up, if you are just looking for a non-toy gift that your little one will get tons of use out of! I have a whole other post in the works on great gift ideas that kids will actually get a ton of use out of, while learning practical skills.

  • This baking set by Handstand Kitchen is a great starter set. The tiny silicone rolling pin is just the right size for their adorable tiny chubby hands. 

  •  Crinkle Cutter this is by far my kids favorite kitchen tool! It does have a metal end on it, but it’s not as sharp as a knife. We started using at 3 and after introducing it she’s only had once or twice hitting a finger (and it’s never broke the skin.) Great for fruit and sweet potatoes.
  • This Apple Peeler/Corer/Slicer thing is magical for kids! Also, it makes some really great thinly sliced apples perfect for pie. My daughter loves cranking the handle and watching the peel spiral off, seriously, get a huge bag of apples because your little won’t want to stop! There are some sharp pieces that an adult needs to supervise, but I am all for teaching young ones to learn the caution and responsibility it takes to use real tools. You might be surprised at a little ones ability to exercise caution, and their pride when they master an adult tool! This one is perfect for making some simple and delicious apple crisps. We like this simple recipe, and it comes with a printable visual recipe the kids can use to gather ingredients, practice following steps etc.!
  • Juicers are really satisfying for kids, we have a few different types and use all of them (they each use different muscles, great for little hands.) I also sometimes put them on her activity tray with some sour oranges from our tree, or freezer burned berries from the freezer. Then we paint with the juice!
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  • Measuring Spoons and Cups They can by all means use what you have, but there is something special to a kid in having their very own set. I like these bright stainless steel ones, but my daughter still uses my plastic set from when I was a kid! Tiny ones get great practice stacking them and seeing how they nest together too:)
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Easy Recipes For Kids In The Kitchen:

I’m not a great baker, and actually have a really hard time following a recipe on my best day, add in a toddler or chatty preschooler and odds are I will forget something. For that reason I’ve found a few key recipes that are quick (kid attention spans are short!) don’t require a ton of ingredients (because I can barely remember to buy the milk that’s on my grocery list,) and are something I’m pretty sure my kid will eat. Most of these are low in sugar and easily modified too, in case you too have a super picky eater that doesn’t like lines on their grilled cheese lol.

  • Energy Bites : This is such a versatile recipe, and perfect for snacks on the go or even quick breakfasts.
  • Greek Yogurt Muffins : I’ve made this recipe with many variations (some more successful than others;) I like that they are not too sweet and use ground oats to replace a bit of the flour so they have more fiber and staying power.
  • Bread In a Bag: This is a fun one if you are looking for a cozy rainy afternoon activity! While we don’t do this often because it does take awhile, I like activities that show kids how food is made!
  • Sweet Potato Rounds: This is a go to 

Witches Brew! A Not So Spooky Halloween Activity For Kids

Witches Brew, a not so spooky halloween activity for kids

Get into the Halloween spirit with this Witches Brew! A not so spooky Halloween activity for kids. Having a preschooler makes the holidays so much more fun! Halloween can be a tricky one, though, as the little ones are not quite ready for the spookier side of the holiday. Trying to get in the spirit of the season I decided to take an old classic and add a bit of Halloween cheer to it! Read on for the simple ingredients and how to’s… Read more

Apple Picking Game For Preschoolers, DIY

apple spice playdough, board game diy, preschool apple picking game, counting

Apple pie playdough, apple picking, apple pie making, we’ve been on an apple kick around here! While pondering new ways to use our delicious smelling apple pie playdough, I came up with the idea to create our own board game. Honestly it’s just a rip-off of the old High Ho Cherry Oh game we saw in a thrift store the other day, but the little is super excited so it’s a win:) We’ve had a ton of fun playing the game, practicing counting, and picking the delicious ‘apples’ on our game! Read on for a quick tutorial on how you can create your own!

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Fall Playdough Recipes: All the deliciousness of pie without ruining their dinner!

fall playdough, apple pie, pumpkin spice, vanilla cinnamon
All the cozy scents of the season!

At the risk of inundating you with posts about my love of play-dough, here are some ideas on how I bring our favorite activity into the fall season! Read on for pumpkin spice, apple pie and even an Horchata inspired fall playdough because here in San Jose it’s likely to be 80 degrees in the fall and an icy glass of horchata goes great with this vanilla cinnamon playdough!

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Simple fall toddler activities! From pumpkin spice play-dough to apple prints, get cozy and creative this fall!

fall toddler activities

You all know those people who start dreaming about pumpkins and sweaters and halloween costumes in July? Not ashamed to admit I am one of them! I do try and keep it in check until at least September for those  summer lovers out there:) As a blogger it works in my favor though! I can secretly dream of all things fall while compiling this post of fall toddler activities. Ready for you whenever you’re ready to embrace the *best* season!

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Toddler Supplies – Stock Your Shelf For Hours Of Play!

toddler supplies, stock your shelf for hours of fun, toddler activities, preschool materials

Days with a toddler or preschooler can be loooong! For me it’s always the 2-5pm window where I’ve used up my energy on the mornings outing and the little one is growing restless but the thought of playing  dress up for another hour is like nails on a chalkboard. I love playing with my daughter, and I give her plenty of time for self directed play as well, but sometimes I want an activity I can set up that I know will buy me 30 minutes at least of engaged play where I have to expend a minimum of energy!  These materials have taken us from pre-toddler to preschooler and they are the open ended, versatile toddler supplies we’ve found to be best for hours of fun! 

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41 Toddler Activities Using Just 10 Ingredients!

41 activities with just 10 ingredients, toddler steam, toddler science, sensory play

If you are needing to fill those long summer days with some fun and simple activities, read on for a list of 41 Toddler Activities Using Just 10 Ingredients!

*Affiliate links are included in this post, thanks for supporting this blog! Full disclosure policy here.*

When we had my daughter, our first child, we totally fell into the trap of thinking we needed to BUY ALL THE THINGS… We were gifted so many great toys and baby items as well. In retrospect, I realize the baby merch market totally keyed in on our ‘New Parent Anxiety’ and we ended up with so many things that were barely used! Now that we have a better handle on how to keep her healthy and *sometimes* happy (she’s 3, so…;) I’ve started to look at clearing out our home clutter and providing open ended activities, rather than toys. It feels so good to minimize the clutter and not feel the need to buy her every toy we see at friends houses.

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10 Toy Free Activities For The Minimalist Toddler Parent

10 toy free activities for the minimalist toddler parent

This post contains exactly one affiliate link because…well…minimalism;) See our full privacy policy here;)

Before I was a parent I had no idea the amount of STUFF I would accumulate just by virtue of having a tiny human in the house! I am by no means an expert at minimalist parenting just yet, but we are making our way there and I’ve learned a lot along the way. If you are feeling overwhelmed by toys and are looking to simplify, here are my top 10 toy free activities for the minimalist toddler parent!

non toy activities for toddlers and minimalist parents
Babies and Toddlers don’t need all the things!

Despite our best intentions, 3 years into Parenthood we seem to have acquired an amount of plastic toys, stuffed animals and play equipment that is beyond belief. We didn’t set out to buy all the things, but somehow ended up with more toys than the little could possibly play with in a year. There seems to be a growing movement of young families towards minimalism, however, and it is a really refreshing concept! There has long been a school of thought that children need fewer toys and more opportunities to use their imaginations, the Montessori and Waldorf methods of education to name a few. There was even a nursery in Germany that took away every. single. toy. and the children thrived!

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10 Plants Anyone Can Grow With Kids

10 best plants to grow with kids this summer
10 best plants to grow with kids this summer
Plants to grow for maximum fun with minimum effort!

Affiliate links may be included in this post, thank you for supporting our site!

Whether you have a green thumb or not (and I’m guessing not since you are reading this post;) gardening with kids is such a rewarding activity! Besides the obvious benefits of being outside rather than glued to a screen, gardening can teach both parents and kids so much. It can be overwhelming to start if you have never grown anything on your own, but this list will get you started off small and simple! I have personally tested out each of these plants, (and my plants tend to survive despite me rather than because of me,) so I know anyone can grow them! If you have decided you want to get your hands dirty, read on for the 10 Plants Anyone Can Grow With Kids…

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