Practical Parenting Ideas: 20 Ways to Make Your Kitchen More Kid Friendly

Thursday, September 24, 2015

20 Ways to Make Your Kitchen More Kid Friendly

Guest post by author Alyssa Craig

The kitchen is known for being a high traffic room in most houses, as cooking, eating and gathering tend to happen all throughout the day. With children in the home there may be some changes that need to take place in order to keep everyone safe. From small additions to modifications, there are many things you can do to make your kitchen just a little more kid friendly. Here are just a few suggestions:

  1. Hang Pots and Pans: Utilize your wall and ceiling space and hang pots and pants on the wall or from a hanging rack on the ceiling. This will help keep them away from little hands.
  1. Use Slipcovers for Chairs: Especially if your furniture is expensive or nostalgic, it may be a good idea to get slipcovers for your kitchen chairs to protect them from inevitable spills.  
  1. Hide Electric Cords: Tape electric cords to the counter tops, as close to the wall as possible, to keep them safely out of reach.
  1. Add No-slip Pads: Buy rugs that will not be loose and provide a slipping hazard. Make sure your rugs have no-slip pads underneath them.
  1. Avoid Tablecloths: While tablecloths look nice, they are easy for children to pull and spill hot or sharp things on themselves.
  1. Get Corner Guards: Buy corner guards for sharp corners on tables or counters. You never know when a little body will go running by and may slide or be knocked into a corner.
  1. Create a Kids’ Cupboard: Consider setting up a kids’ cupboard so they can store their own plates and utensils at their own level. It can also teach them how to help unload the dishwasher and set the table.
  1. Utilize High Storage: Use high shelves and closet space for items kids should stay away from like dangerous chemicals.
  1. Set Up a Kids’ Snack Space: Designate one drawer or shelf in the pantry as the kids snack space, as suggested here. This will make healthy snacks easy for them to grab.  
  1. Get Stools with Backs: If you have stools in your kitchen, it may be good to make sure they have backs to them. This will help children to keep from falling off as they wiggle or try to stand on them.
  1. Use a Dishwasher Magnet: Help the kids know when dishes need to be loaded or unloaded by have a dirty/clean magnet on the dishwasher.
  1. Create Open Space: Make sure there are open spaces in or near the kitchen where children can play. This can be a place where you can keep an eye on them without them getting in the way of cooking.
  1. Designate a Homework Cupboard: Older kids will need a place to do homework and the kitchen is a great location for that. Create study space by keeping all of the homework materials in a cupboard nearby. It can be used to store pens, pencils, lead, notebooks, and other school supplies.
  1. Use Child-Locks: If you have not already invested in child-locks, be sure to apply them to cupboard doors and drawers, especially ones that contain dangerous objects, such as knives.
  1. Invest in an Induction Stovetop: If you are looking to replace your stove for a safer version, induction stovetops are the way to go. With these stoves, heat is only generated when there is a pot on the burner, making the pot rather than the surface hot.
  1. No Stainless Steel: If you are replacing appliances, hold out on stainless steel. It looks great, but is really hard to keep clean as it will show everything left by dirty, little fingers. You will have to clean that refrigerator door twenty times per day!  
  1. Buy Door Stops: If there is a door you are worried about little fingers getting caught in, invest in some door stops to keep the door open (or closed!).
  1. Have a Kids’ Step Stool: Especially as kids get older, they will probably want to start helping out in the kitchen. Buy a step stool that will help them reach higher items and get up to countertop level to make activities like stirring easier.
  1. Install a Chalkboard/Dry Erase Board: Find a good wall in your kitchen and install either a chalkboard or dry erase board. This will give the kids a place where they can be entertained or you could even display the weekly menu.
  1. Mount Microwave Higher: Some appliances, like the microwave, can be mounted higher to keep it out of reach of children who are still too young to operate it on their own.

With just a few small purchases or replacements, you can have greater ease of mind as your children become mobile and more involved in the day to day activities taking place in your kitchen.

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