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Five tips for a child-friendly kitchen

Yippee! We’re cracking on with our plans to revamp the kitchen. This week we’re getting quotes from builders, to find out what we can afford within our budget. And, in the meantime, I’ve been doing a bit (read: A LOT) of internet trawling, to find ideas about what might work for our family, in the kitchen space we have.

With a five and a three year-old tearing around, we want to make sure the new kitchen is a friendly, functional and safe place. Somewhere the littles can help Daddy make pasta with cheesy sauce, or do some colouring-in while Mummy peels spuds and listens to the Archers.

During my internet searches, I spotted a few ideas for a family-friendly kitchen.

An island, or somewhere for the children to perch

Our kitchen is, alas, a bit too small for an island. But I do love this one, from Wren’s Linda Barker collection. Our Gwen likes to chop up mushrooms with her children’s knife, when we’re preparing pizza. I could just see her sitting here to do it.

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As we don’t have room for an island, I thought a free-standing butcher’s block would work as an alternative. We could move it out into the centre of the kitchen for the children to use when cooking; then trundle it back against the wall when their culinary masterpiece has been put into the oven.

A chalkboard

After they’ve finished school and pre-school, our two like to sit in the kitchen, colouring or drawing, and nattering to me about their days. A long chalkboard hung down the side of one of the units would give them an extra surface for scribbling (and for making wish-lists of all the toys they’d like, of course). Some kitchens even have wallspace painted with chalk paint.

Special stool for helping with cooking

More a decorative feature, this. But there are literally thousands of cute stools, and little sets of steps, to choose from. Some fold away, and others have central spaces which can be used for storage. We’d prefer to go for one that the children could unfold and carry around themselves (so long as the biscuit barrel was kept high enough that they couldn’t climb up to nab all the Oreos).

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A low sink, as well as a stool, can help little ones join in with food preparation

Wall-mounted utensil and knife holders

Knife-wielding infants are the stuff of parents’ nightmares. But there are plenty of wall-mounted storage solutions, which would keep those sharp edges high up, out of the reach of tiny fingers. This is something that would also help save space in the kitchen. I like ceiling-slung utensil holders too, although I’m not too sure how I’d feel about having a load of knives dangling around my head.

An induction hob

We need a new oven. Our old one packed up about a year ago and – instead of buying a new model, which might have been a waste of money if it didn’t fit into our reconfigured kitchen – we found a decent second-hand oven, which has seen us through till now. But in our new kitchen, we’ll be looking to get an induction hob, as I’m told that’s the safest for children.

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It’s exciting having all these ideas buzzing round my head. I do enjoy this planning stage. What would you put in your ideal child-friendly kitchen?

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