Letting the grandkids loose in the kitchen may fill you with dread. The mess they’ll create, and the broken crockery should actually be the least of your worries. No matter how much they love whipping up cakes and biscuits with you, it is essential you ensure their safety at all times. When you don’t have kids around all the time, it’s easy to get set in your ways. But what means convenience for you could mean hazards for a child.
Whenever the grandkids are over, they come and find me in the kitchen. I might be making the dinner or whipping up a dessert. They always ask what I’m doing and want to join in. I want to encourage this because I think preparing food is a very valuable life skill to learn. But I have a knife block on the worktop, and my glasses are in a low down cupboard. Convenient for me, but it could turn into a disaster for the little ones.
I don’t want to have to redesign my kitchen for the odd times the children are here. Instead, I can use those little door locks that prevent children (and me sometimes) from getting into the cupboard. They come on and off fairly easily. As for the knife block, I need to remember to put it away. I never let the kids in the kitchen without an adult being there. But I love it when we’re all getting messy in the kitchen together.
Some grandkids can have food allergies. This is another thing to be wary of in your own kitchen. If you know you have foods around that the little ones may react to, pop it up in a high cupboard while they’re there, and wash your hands. It’s also worth quickly checking the ingredients for any packet foods they might be interested in.
My kitchen isn’t huge. I try to keep all my cleaning solutions in a utility area, but some are tucked away under the kitchen sink. It’s convenient to me to have them there, but I need to remember to keep that cupboard with a childproof lock on it when the nippers are around. It’s better to be a little put out for a few hours than one of them come to harm.
Cooking with the kids is great fun. It’s important to have the right cookware for the job. I choose sets that I know are well balanced on the hob with heatproof handles. The children know not to go near the hob, but you can never be absolutely certain they will remember everything you tell them in a moment of excitement. The kids know how to use table knives carefully, so that’s what we work with when we’re preparing foods.
Lots of things are quite high up for a small child in the kitchen. I have a potty step that is ideal as a booster so she can wash her hands at the sink or safely reach the chopping board. I like to stand behind her so I can see what she sees, and help avoid her falling off. That way, we can all be safe and happily engaged in all the kitchen activities. What do you bake with your grandkids?
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Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.