Because I can only have them organize the Tupperware so many times.

By Ashley Kappel
Updated April 28, 2020
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There are some super blah kitchen jobs we give kids. Set the table. Make the place cards at holiday gatherings. Fold the kitchen towels, again. They’re “please don’t break anything” jobs and kids know it. I remember the day I graduated from place cards to actually getting to make the yeast rolls; it was magical. So before your kids start building looming towers of canned goods destined to ding your stainless appliances, let’s get their hands busy with something that pays off. To do that, you need the right tools.

My favorite set of kitchen gadgets for kids is the Kinderkitchen Essential Set, on sale now for $28. The set, which includes herb snippers, a serrated knife for fruits and vegetables, a non-serrated “knife,” which is truly more like a spreader for peanut butter, comes with fun pet-like features, looks like two pups (including ears, eyes, noses, and tails!) and their friend, the duck. It’s cute enough to gift for a kiddo friend who loves baking, and you’ll smile when you open your kitchen drawer. My set is the blue and green set, but there’s also a pink and purple version in case you’re looking for something in a different tone, plus individual knives in case you have more than one helper.

Credit: Kuhn Rikon

Kuhn Rikon

In our house, we’re still in the “cut everything in half so no one chokes” stage, so I spend half my life cutting grapes and blueberries in half, and slicing baby fist-sized strawberries into manageable bites. With this set, my five- and seven-year-old can take over those duties without any worry from me.

The non-serrated knife comes in handy most when making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. While I normally scoop out the main ingredients (the handles on kids’ knives are too short to get into the jar without getting their hands sticky, which is basically like wading into satan’s hellfire for my children), they can use the green pup knife to smooth the ingredients onto the bread.

We’re not chopping a lot of fresh herbs in my house right now, so my duck snippers are mostly being used to cut literally anything on their plates. My scissor-obsessed two-year-old uses these to snip off bites of pizza, cut hunks of halved carrots, and maul watermelon slices to his heart’s content, which makes me happy because that means he’s no longer asking when he can cut my hair. The cute design makes him notice the cutting blades more and knows to keep his fingers away from “ducky’s eyes”.

This set helps me get dinner ready faster in the kitchen because my kids can actually help with tasks I need completed, rather than me conjuring up busy work to keep them occupied so the noodles can boil. And the best part? They’re dishwasher-safe, at least in my experience—which is good, because if they can’t go in the dishwasher, they’re not going in my silverware drawer.