A kitchen is the command center of the household. It's where the family not only cooks and eats, but also where they hang around the kitchen table working on homework and crafts. Too often, however, kitchens present barriers to the littlest users ("I can't reach it, Mommy!"), thwarting their growing independence. Here's how to help them help themselves
Snack Station: Even before the last meal's dishes have dried, the cry comes: "I'm hungry!". Let the kids cure their own snack attacks by placing some plastic dishes and snacks in a designated self-service area. Select the items together and put them in a lower cabinet or on a low shelf in the refrigerator so the kids can easily reach them. Add a few rules if you need to such as no eating an hour before dinner. And keep a cloth towel or a roll of paper towels down low as well for self-service cleanup.
Think Small: Providing a selection of kid-size tools is an inviting way to say "Wanna help?" Whether it's a junior set of cooking utensils kept in a special drawer or a toy broom and dustpan hung within a kid's reach, the gear lets children experience the satisfaction of pitching in.
The Chalkboard Nook: Turn the side of a kitchen island or an open stretch of wall into a doodling nook by hanging a chalkboard at a child's height.While you're busy working, kids can draw or leave funny jokes and messages to one another.