Depending on how old your kids are, you may not feel confident letting them into the kitchen unassisted yet. However, there are many key skills that are really important for younger children to learn, and most children are keen to learn these because they signify a level of independence that feels exciting and grown up. As long as your child is old enough to listen and follow instructions, these skills are key for them to learn.
There are many kid-friendly peelers and knives out there, with safety handles and gentler blades. Start by demonstrating the skill, and once they’re ready let them have a go. Peeling is a great way to develop fine motor skills, but if your child is struggling to master it, it may be time to take a step back and use other methods—such as practicing creating knots or playing with putty—which can strengthen and develop these fine motor skills.
Cracking eggs is a surprisingly technical task, and the first few times your kid tries it, it’s likely that they will end up with a shell in the bowl and egg all over the side. Make sure you remain calm when this happens, and let them practice a few times. If there is a shell in the bowl, show them how to remove it (the best thing to use is another, larger piece of eggshell).
Many recipes, from meringues to cakes, require the skill of whisking, but many children lack the coordination and focus to do it well. Demonstrate the skill and then ask your kid to finish off the last two minutes of whisking. They will be delighted by the physical challenge this presents, and determined to do as good a job as you. Once they’ve mastered this skill, they will be able to stir a range of mixes in cooking.