Teaching knife skills to kids is an excellent way to refine motor skills and teach kitchen safety! With the right tools, you can start teaching knife skills to kids as early as 2 years old!
The tools you choose to use for teaching knife skills to kids matter! We really love these kid safe knives that come in a set of three different sized plastic knives. The knives are serrated to make cutting easier, but they are plastic and crafted in such a way that you can’t cut skin. Winning!
Tips for Teaching Knife Skills for Kids
While it’s pretty straight-forward, we have found that these tips really help make the process of learning to use a knife much easier for everyone involved!
Demonstrate proper form.
Before you get started, be sure to show your child how to use the knife by applying a downward forward motion to the produce.
Choose the right produce!
Get a bunch of different softer fruits and/or vegetables for your child to cut, such as bananas, strawberries, avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini.
Avoid the firmest produce.
When first teaching knife skills, avoid foods that might require a lot of pressure or effort to cut, such as apples, carrots, and beets.
Set them up in the kitchen while you are cooking a meal, if possible. Have them chop up any part of the meal you feel they are capable of- you might have to give it a once over to make something more finely chopped.
Eat what your kids prepare.
Plan to use some of the foods in your meal so they can show off their handiwork.
Give kids time to figure it out themselves.
Avoid jumping in to help, unless they specifically ask, so they can really learn how to work the knife themselves! If you see that they are struggling, do offer some advice to help ease their frustration.
When ready, give them a greater challenge! As they get more comfortable with the knife and how much pressure to apply, add in firm foods as well!
BONUS: We have found that our son is much more willing to try new foods he helps to prepare in some way!
Teaching knife skills to kids provides a great opportunity to get them to try new things like zucchini, parsnips, fresh beets, and more!
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