One of the biggest mistakes parents make is not teaching their child from an early age about the dangers in the kitchen. Teach them what is hot, what is cold and what not to touch. Allowing them to be in the kitchen while you prep meals helps them understand the dangers too. Other tips:
The earlier your child is introduced to the kitchen environment, the more they can learn and help out as they get older. Most kids see cooking as fun rather than work. In a Parenting Today article, parenting expert Kathy Lynn explains, "If they're working with you in the kitchen, they're not bugging you to try to get your attention. Little ones can stir dry ingredients, tear lettuce and fetch things. Give them jobs that are safe and short term."
Merry from Merry with Children: "There were a couple of drawers that I left unlocked. These were the drawers with smaller pots and plasticware. It was one of Evan's favourite activities. He emptied those drawers at least once a day to play. Also, I tried to save a fun activity for whenever I was cooking so I could set Evan up on the other side of the room from the stove."
Brandee from Chill Mama Chill: "When Everly was small, I designated a cupboard that was hers that was full of safe things she could play with. So the Tupperware cupboard is totally open to her. The only things in it are plastic or cookie sheets... That way, she has one place she can go, and the worst thing she can do is pull some things out and make a mess."
The multi-award-winning FunPod (lucaandcompany.com, $190) is a U.K. invention that is now available in Canada. It grows with the child and allows them to get involved in the kitchen by safely enclosing them in.
If you are purchasing a new kitchen appliance, check to see if it comes with a child lock. Many washing machines and dishwashers now do. Alternatively, use these flexible appliance locks (toysrus.com, $7).
An extending stove guard (toysrus.com, $25) helps stop children from grabbing hot pans on the stove. Also use the stove knob Kid-Lok (snugglebugz.ca, $10) to prevent stove knobs from being pushed or turned.
Sugru (sugru.com, $10) is a wonderful self-setting rubber that has a multitude of uses. Use it to soften sharp corners in the kitchen, fix things to walls and even to add an insulating layer of Plexiglas to your oven.
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