Best Gifts for Getting Kids in the Kitchen

Not too big and not too small, these baker’s tools are just right for youngsters. Armed with supplies just their size, aspiring bakers will enjoy a greater sense of independence in the kitchen. This baker’s apron even features Velcro closures for ease of use—and fewer knots to untangle down the road.

For some, gadgetry is the best part of the culinary experience. And where kids are concerned, the Zoku Quick Pop Maker is the perhaps the ultimate representation of gadget fanfare. This handy device freezes popsicles right on your countertop in as little as seven minutes—no electricity required!

Make every part of the cooking process fun, even grocery shopping, with this toy grocery set from Melissa and Doug. Simulated shopping scenarios are big fun for the younger set, and they go a long way towards familiarizing kids with the idea of shopping for recipe ingredients.

We like to think we eat with our eyes first. Maybe the same is true for play. These Kinderkitchen tools make creative use of animal shapes and in turn encourage little helpers to pitch in come dinnertime.

This book of place mats features 48 tear-off sheets, each featuring an Eric Carle creature for doodling inspiration. For kids who get fidgety at meal time, giving them the option to color with crayons will provide them with a stimulating, creative outlet. Though, if you happen to have a little Van Gogh who would rather color than eat, we suggest holding the crayons until after dinner.

The gift of a Back to the Roots Aqua farm could easily be called a “double-whammy.” The self-cleaning fish tank is both a cozy home for a betta fish and an indoor herb garden, demonstrating the beauty of an ecosystem right inside your home. Younger kids will require help to get the Aqua Farm up and running, but once done, this gift just keeps on giving (with minimal upkeep, we might add).

For the smallest of diners and sous chefs whose peepers barely clear the table, give the gift of sight! The OXO Tot Booster Seat, available in a variety of colors, offers just the height advantage necessary to “boost” confidence at the table. Complete with a fold-and-click back, this seat is wonderfully portable—think restaurants, picnic tables, sporting events and beyond.

Complete with appliances, storage space, cordless phone and a chalkboard, the Kidkraft Espresso Play Kitchen offers all the trappings of a grown-up gourmet space, but perfectly miniaturized with play in mind. As a side note, this play kitchen is nothing short of sturdy—but the assembly requires a fair amount of time and attention. We recommend building a few days ahead of time and stowing in a safe hiding place until it’s time to unwrap the gifts.

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