The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is a good venue for family interaction, especially mother and child activities like cooking, food preparation, cleaning, and even doing homework. Emeril Lagasse, a very successful chef, recalls pleasant childhood memories in the kitchen, “I started cooking when I was about 10. I have memories like when I was 6 or 7 with my mom, and when I was 12, I started getting real serious about cooking." This only shows how spending time in the kitchen with your children can benefit them in more ways than one. It can strengthen relationships and hone their talents and interests. Even if we are not trying to breed master chefs, inviting children into the kitchen can help jumpstart their creativity. You can also teach them important values like responsibility and hard work as they help you with chores and errands.
However, there are potential dangers that lurk in the kitchen. I am sure none of you would like any of your children to get exposed to these dangers and hurt themselves. So how can we make the kitchen safe and at the same time, exciting for our little ones to explore? These child-friendly kitchen adjustments ought to keep your children from harm's way whilst allowing them to enjoy every moment of bonding time with you in the kitchen.
Get Furniture Suitable For Your Kids' Size
Accept it, your little one is too small to reach the countertop and frankly, you should not let her climb very steep places. No matter how great of a climber your princess she is, she is no Tarzan and there is a risk of her slipping and hurting herself. To get her involved without risking her safety, get her a set of furniture and utensils that are safe and small enough for her to work with. You can ask her to toss salad, beat an egg or put jam on bread on her mini kitchen counter or play tea time with her teddy while you prepare meals.
Equip Your Kitchen and Child with Safety Gears
Consider placing safety locks and covers over switches and burner knobs to prevent your children from playing around with the stove or ovens. This is very important since kids could sometimes slip into the kitchen without your knowledge and play around with these and cause fire. You also wouldn't want your kids to burn their hands and faces so considering placing the oven in a hard-to-reach area. If you are baking a cake and you want them to watch muffins slowly taking shape, you can let them peer into the oven window provided they have oven mitts on. It is very painful to bump into counters or tables with hard edges. Install corner bumpers, use door stops, anti-slip strips and topple guards. Clear away foot rugs and water puddles to prevent your child from slipping on them.
Give Children Their Own Space
The refrigerator door is where your child can display her art ‘masterpieces'. Allot a personal space for your child in the kitchen. Apart from her table, you can accommodate other small furniture where he or she can keep her books or toys. It will be helpful to dedicate one kitchen cabinet for your children's snacks so that you don't confuse allowable food with those still dangerous to consume by your child. Rearrange kitchen furniture to make space for your children's activities, allowing easy traffic.
Keep Sharp Items and Hazardous Cleaning Materials Out of Sight
You should always place knives and other sharp utensils as well as cleaning chemicals as detergents, liquid soaps, chlorine, etc. inside drawers or kitchen cabinets with locks. Purchase kitchen appliances with child safety features like an induction cook top over a regular stove. Never leave kids alone when something's cooking in the kitchen. Also, never leave sharp stuff and food he can choke on lying around. Never allow children to help with dangerous activities like slicing vegetables or anything that involves fire or electric current. In addition, always keep appliances unplugged and kept if not in use.
Author Bio: Marie Christine Umali is a blogger and home improvement enthusiast working for Kitchen Cabinet Kings, a leading online distributor of discount bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinet kings is a great place to find kitchen cabinets for cheap where you'll find high quality birch, maple and oak kitchen cabinets at affordable prices.