My Favorite Must Haves for Toddlers to Help in the Kitchen

Something happened when Bubby started walking when he was about 12 months. He had to be EVERYWHERE I was. And if you know anything about being home with a toddler, a lot of time can be spent in the kitchen fetching snacks, figuring out lunch, surviving meltdown hour until dinner time…

In order to avoid having my clothes tugged on until they were two sizes two big and milk spilled on my shoes, I decided I needed to change my game plan. I needed to help Bubby develop as my kitchen helper. So I did what any good mama does and started googling, looking for tips.

I came away realizing that having kitchen utensils that actually allow my toddling son to feel like he is part of what I’m doing would definitely outweigh the costs. I want him to feel comfortable and confident in the kitchen when we’re cooking. Here are a few of my favorite items!

(This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are always my own and unbiased. See full disclosure here.)

Items and Ideas for Toddlers in the Kitchen. Items for your Toddler to help in the kitchen.

Learning Tower
I absolutely love having a learning tower and I wish I would have bought one sooner. It is by far my favorite toddler kitchen item. If you start looking up learning towers, you’ll find lots of different options out there. I wasn’t too concerned about having one that he could climb in and out of by himself, but I did want one that was smaller and wouldn’t take up a lot of room in our kitchen. I found this one on Etsy and enjoyed that I could customize the colors.
img_0020 img_0041 img_0039The biggest thing I would complain about this learning tower is that at first, I thought I would like how narrow it was so I felt like he was safer while standing with me. After having it for a while, I wish I would have purchased one like this. Yes, it’s bigger, but it’s foldable and I think I would have liked that feature better.

As you can tell, the width doesn’t hinder him from being able to enjoy what he helps me cook with! 🙂

Toddler Weaning Table
This toddler table or as many call it, “weaning table” is definitely my second favorite item. We keep it stashed in corner of our kitchen, and I love how I can just slide it over by the cabinets so he can work on whatever he is “cooking” while I’m cooking. This is especially helpful to have if I’m doing something that is hot over the stove and need him to be occupied with his own task. I can just set him with something easy (like sorting pasta or rice, he LOVES doing that!) and get supper going!
img_0043I also love this table because as he is getting older, he can carry his snacks over to the table by himself and eat on his own. We practice some Montessori in our house and this table helps with that a lot too. I love the versatility it brings and the independent training it offers too! Plus, once you start looking at toddler tables, I felt the price point was decent.

Toddler Approved Kitchen Utensils
I keep a draw like this just for Bubby’s stuff. I can easily grab what I need if we’re cooking a certain item so he can start helping me right away. Here is a list of regular go-to items that you’ll find in his drawer. I bought most of these from Wal-Mart and Amazon too!

  • Silcon spatulas–Wal-Mart has a great selection of these mini sized cooking utensils. As you can see I stalked up on spatulas, whisks and tongs!
  • Baking Utensils are kept with all my other baking supplies. I absolutely love this set and Bubby particularly likes the rolling pin. Right now he sort of whacks the counter with it, but you know, he’ll get there. 😉
  • Strawberry Slicer–Some folks might think this is silly or unsafe, but as he has gotten older and more in control with his motor skills, this slicer has been the bomb. He LOVES pushing down on it and watching the strawberries squish through! And bonus, he can eat what he slices!
  • This hand held fruit and veggie chopper made me nervous at first. But as he has grown, he loves cutting bananas with it. Again, this is one of those skills they develop and if you know anything about Montessori, you know this isn’t unusual to see toddlers use these kinds of utensils.
  • One of my other top favorite items is this tater masher. I used to use beaters to make our mashed potatoes, but now Bubby gets a big kick out of smashing them for us with his own masher.

img_0040

As you can see, I keep a jar with a lid and a small bowl of pasta so he can do his little “sorting” game he does. This is one of those of quick items I grab when I’m cooking something hot and I need him to be independent from what I’m doing.

Toddler Apron
If you’re going to be doing all that cooking, then you can’t go wrong with this laminated Toddler apron. It didn’t even occur to me to get one until a friend of mine kind said one time, “uh you know they make kid aprons, right?”. This one works just right for us and I like that I can wipe it clean.

Alrighty, mamas, let’s hear it. What would you add? What are some of your favorite items to have in the kitchen with your littles? Let’s chat in the comments below!

Peace,
Glo

17 replies
    • Gloryanna
      Gloryanna says:

      Thanks, Aimee! I have really enjoyed exploring the world of Montessori myself and have enjoyed seeing the benefits from it! We got the tower from some of the recommendations in that group we’re in together (about the IKEA stools to make yourself) but when I came across this “customizable” one on Etsy, I had to get it!

  1. Candy Kage
    Candy Kage says:

    My daughter has her three help in the kitchen all the time. Will have to share this with her she would love the stand.

    Reply
  2. Stacie LaMothe
    Stacie LaMothe says:

    Great tips, my daughter just turned 2 and shes loves being independent and “helping” me in the kitchen. She has a stool she stands on but I definitely need one of those towers. My mom bought her some pots and pans for Christmas, she is going to LOVE those!

    Reply
    • Gloryanna
      Gloryanna says:

      Oh yah, the pots and pans will be a BIG hit! We tried a stool and it just didn’t quite cut it yet (for height and safety reasons). The learning tower has been a huge saver! Thanks for sopping by mama!!

  3. Leslie Ann
    Leslie Ann says:

    My husband built a helper tower, or as you called it, a learning tower, for our oldest when she was about that age. It was such a life-saver! We’ve outgrown it now. In fact, we just put a fresh coat of paint on it so we can pass it along to some friends. I don’t know what we would have done without it!

    Reply
    • Gloryanna
      Gloryanna says:

      Yes! I love that it can be reused for subsequent kids and then on to friends! That’s awesome that your husband put one together. I really appreciate you stopping by and reading today!

    • Gloryanna
      Gloryanna says:

      It’s definitely a lot of fun and the learning tower is SO WORTH IT. If you end up having more than one child, it can be reused too! Thank you for reading today and saying hello!

  4. Tayler
    Tayler says:

    My 2.5 year old son loves helping in the kitchen. We also keep all our spatulas, whisks, and measuring cups in one drawer and he is allowed to play with them whenever he wants because they are all soft.

    Reply
    • Gloryanna
      Gloryanna says:

      Yah! Great to keep them in the drawer! I have found it makes my life so much easier too! 🙂 Thank you for stopping by and reading!

  5. Amanda Kanashiro
    Amanda Kanashiro says:

    I love this teaching tower. I would need the folding one since I have a super tiny kitchen. These smaller utensils. My little one has her toy utensils, but to have the “real” thing and help would be a winner.

    Reply
  6. Sheila
    Sheila says:

    Wow! Great ideas and I love that chocolate smile 🙂 One of the things my daughter loved was a little broom and dustpan. She would spend hours sweeping up nothing, but she loved it. She still loves to bake and she turned 30 this year, so for her birthday I purchased a Kitchen Aid Mixer of her own. I made a little photo book with all of her cooking/baking pictures through the years. She loved it, but what I loved more is seeing the joy of her looking through the pictures and sharing the memories.

    Reply

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