When it comes to cooking with young children in the home, it’s somewhat of a catch 22. You want to keep them near you so you can keep an eye on them, but you also want to keep them entertained and occupied to avoid potential dangers. Creative kid-friendly kitchen designs can give you and your children the best of all worlds: quality time with your children, the ability to keep them safer, and space in the kitchen that they can call their own.
Tips for Kid-Friendly Kitchen Designs
1. Open up the space.
If you’re planning a full kitchen renovation, consider breaking out a wall in order to create an open floor plan. If your living room is beside the kitchen, you can watch your children as you’re cooking, prepping, or even socializing. It’s like having them in the kitchen with you … only not, which is the perfect way to try to keep everyone safe.
If you can’t break out an entire wall, ask one of our kitchen designers if it would be possible to create an open bar or breakfast nook that will provide you with similar benefits.
2. Give them a corner.
Larger kitchens may allow for space just for the child. Place a small, durable desk and chair, books, games, and maybe even a computer for schoolwork in one corner. If you do you this, keep in mind that it is the safe zone for the child — not for prepping food or storing products.
3. Create seating areas in the kitchen for children.
Wherever you might sit, your child might sit too. If you have a breakfast nook in your kitchen, consider adding an additional table that is just the right size and height for the little ones. You may even be able to have a table designed that has two different levels, allowing you all to sit together. Another option is to have double islands in the kitchen but with different heights.
4. Add a mini-refrigerator.
You can use this for their favorite snacks and drinks, which they can retrieve safely on their own. It may keep them from rummaging through the main refrigerator, where they could accidentally drop something onto themselves or consume something they should not.
5. Choose kitchen cabinets and countertops that hide the prints.
As you’re choosing new kitchen cabinets, countertops, and appliances, select those that conceal smudges and stains, especially if your children are very young. Wood cabinets tend to hide signs of wear-and-tear, and you can easily clean fingerprints off smooth granite countertops, for example.
Creating the Ideal Kitchen Space for Children
As you’re creating ideas for kid-friendly kitchen designs, don’t forget the essentials if you have toddlers or infants in the home:
- Keep fire extinguishers near the kitchen but out of the reach of children.
- Lock away chemicals, medications, and other hazardous products, and keep them out of reach as well.
- Childproof cabinets, utensil drawers, and stove knobs.
- Move anything that the child might use to climb onto countertops.
- Keep dangerous items off countertops.
- Keep toys and other tripping hazards off the floor.
These are only a handful of kid-friendly kitchen design and safety tips. For additional design ideas, contact one of our consultants in Mesa, Arizona. For additional safety tips, contact your local fire department or visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the U.S. Fire Administration websites.