The Best Cooking Tools for Kids With Culinary Curiosity

The Tolva Kids Cooking & Baking Set will kick off your kiddo's love for cooking

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Whether your kid dreams of being the next MasterChef or you just want to get them more involved in dinner prep, there are lots of benefits to teaching kids their way around the kitchen. Not only is it a good opportunity for family bonding activities that can teach them an important skill they can use for the rest of their life, but it can also be great for their development and health too.

Reviewed & Approved

To get kids started in the kitchen, the Tovla Jr. Kids Cooking and Baking Gift Set is the top choice of safe and comprehensive kits. The Little Partners Kids Learning Tower is also a good way to make sure your shorties can reach the counters and get cooking.

"Involving your kids in the kitchen early on helps with their fine and gross motor skills," Ashley Shep, a chef and educator, tells Verywell Family, and that's just the beginning of what they can learn. "Cooking involves science, math, reading, writing, problem-solving, and real-life skills that prepare your child for the future."

Getting in the kitchen as the junior chef can also cut back on picky eating while encouraging curiosity about nutritious food choices. "For example, having a child help pick kale off its stems will increase the likelihood that they will eat the final dish," Kristen Nauss, RD, a school nutrition director, tells Verywell Family. "This is because helping to prepare the food creates a sense of pride and gives the child an opportunity to get more comfortable with it."

Here are some of our favorite cooking tools to help children get involved in the kitchen in a safe and age-appropriate way.

Best Overall: Tovla Jr. Kids Cooking and Baking Gift Set with Storage Case

4.9
Tovla Jr. Kids Cooking and Baking Gift Set with Storage Case

Source: Tovla Jr.

Pros
  • Made with non-toxic, food-grade materials

  • Full set of child-size cooking and baking tools

  • Comes with a storage case

Cons
  • The timer may stop working

  • Some items in the kit are of better quality than others

Who else recommends it? Best Products also picked the Tovla Jr. Kids Cooking and Baking Gift Set with Storage Case.

What do buyers say? 86% of 1,900+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.

Cooking and baking require a lot of tools, and it can be time-consuming to research every individual item to get, especially when you're shopping for little kids—which is why this comprehensive set is our top pick of the bunch. The kit has everything your child needs to get started in the kitchen, and it's specifically designed for children under 10 years old.

It includes an apron, a rolling pin, three nylon knives, a spoon, a spatula, a whisk, a cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, a kitchen timer, a pair of tongs, three cookie cutters, and four recipe cards. All of the tools are sized to fit in little hands, and the knives are plastic to make them safer for first-time cutters. We love how colorful the set is, which should appeal to any little chef. Plus, it comes with a storage case, so your child can easily store all of their cooking gear in one spot.

It's worth noting that the quality of all the tools is not the same, so you might end up replacing some of the items over time. For example, the timer tends to stop working after a while, and if you wash the cutting board excessively in really hot water, it might start to warp. The recipe cards are also cardboard and not regular recipe card-sized, so don't count on storing them in a regular recipe cardholder or tin.

Best Learning Tower: Little Partners Learning Tower

Learning Tower

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Adjustable to four different heights

  • Can support up to 250 pounds

  • Numerous safety features

Cons
  • Some children struggle to get down without help

  • Heavy and takes up a lot of space

If your junior chef wants to cook with you but can't see over your tall counters, you'll want to find a way for them to reach a workspace. Designed by a Montessori school teacher, the learning tower allows your child to stand and interact at the counter. Unlike a ladder or a step stool, it has four safety rails as well as handholds to prevent falls. Plus, it has rounded edges for extra security. With adjustable height and a weight limit of 250 pounds, it can grow with your child.

The tower is available in six colors, so you can easily find one that fits your kitchen aesthetic, which is important because these towers can be quite heavy and bulky, which means they're a pain to move around or store. It's also made of durable, Greenguard Gold certified, solid cherry wood.

Best Knife: Opinel Le Petit Chef Box Set

Opinel Le Petit Chef Box Set

Amazon

Pros
  • Protects small hands

  • Educational ring for proper hold

  • Durable

Cons
  • Costly

We all get a little nervous about giving little ones knives, which is why we're excited about a knife that helps kids learn how to use this kind of tool safely. The knife in this set is made of stainless steel, just like adult kitchen knives, and has a durable beechwood handle. It's also designed for safety, with a rounded tip, so you don't have to worry about them accidentally cutting or stabbing themselves on a sharp point. It also has an educational ring near the handle to help your child learn how to position their fingers. This helps them learn proper form and makes sure their hand doesn't slide into the blade while they're chopping. It also comes with a finger guard to minimize finger injuries.

This kit is a little pricey, but in addition to the educational and safety features, it also comes with a vegetable peeler with an educational ring to teach them how to use it correctly.

Best for Safety: LEEFE 6 Pieces Kids Knife Set

LEEFE 6 Pieces Kids Knife Set

Source: LEEFE

Pros
  • Easy to clean

  • Safe plastic serrated knives with rounded edges

  • Comes with a safety glove

Cons
  • Don't work as well on hard foods

  • Gloves may not fit all hand sizes

Watching your child use a knife for the first time in the kitchen is nerve-wracking, to say the least, but it's a skill that any junior chef needs to master eventually. You can make the learning experience a little less scary for yourself, though, if you get them a knife set designed for safety, such as this one, designed for children 4 years old and up. It has six plastic knives for different types of cutting, six plastic forks, and safety gloves to protect your child's fingers.

The knives have rounded tips, but they are sharp enough to cut or chop food, and they're made of durable plastic, so you don't have to worry about them snapping. They're also comfortable to hold and can withstand warm temperatures.

Best Cookbook: The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs: 100+ Recipes that You'll Love to Cook and Eat

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs: 100+ Recipes that You'll Love to Cook and Eat

Amazon

Pros
  • Includes 100 recipes

  • Photos for kids to follow

  • Suitable for a range of ages and skill level

Cons
  • May be a little advanced for very young kids

  • Bookbinding shows wear quickly

We're constantly looking for age-appropriate recipes for your child to make, and this cookbook fits the bill. Aimed at ages 8 and up, this book includes 120 breakfast, dinner, snack, dessert, and drink recipes. Each recipe includes step-by-step instructions complete with images, so your child can easily follow along. There are also tips on how best to cook a specific ingredient and improve their technical cooking skills, plus a section on the basics of nutrition. We really appreciate that the book includes tons of recipes that are vegetarian, with vegetables as the stars.

Best Budget: Vanmor Kids Basic Cooking and Baking Set

Vanmor Kids Basic Cooking and Baking Set

Source: Vanmor

Pros
  • Affordably priced

  • Set includes 26 items

  • Tools are colorful and safe

Cons
  • Tools are too small for older children

  • Some tools are better as toys

  • No knives

If your child is interested in cooking or baking, but you're not sure how long they'll stay interested, we recommend going with a cooking and baking set that's at a very reasonable price point. Suitable for toddlers and young children, this kit comes with a chef hat, apron, hot pad, oven mitt, hand mixer, brush, wooden spoon, rolling pin, cake frosting smoother tools, five measuring spoons, six cookie cutters, and four silicone baking cups. Since it doesn't have knives or a cutting board, it might be a better baking set than a cooking kit.

The tools can be used both as toys and in the actual kitchen to bake things, though it's worth noting that the hot pad and oven mitt are a little thin, so it might be best if an adult uses different ones to take hot items out of the stove. The apron and chef hat might also be too small for older kids.

Best Apron: Dapper & Doll Kids Apron and Chef Hat Set

Dapper & Doll Kids Apron and Chef Hat Set

Source: Dapper & Doll

Pros
  • Available in multiple colors and sizes

  • Fabric is safe to embroider, bedazzle, or add patches to

  • Adjustable around neck

Cons
  • Fabric is slightly see-through

  • Hat runs small

Are you even a chef if you don't have an apron and hat? Debatablewhich means your little chef likely wants an apron and hat for the kitchen. This set is available in three sizes: toddler, kids, and adult, so you can get matching ones for the whole family. The apron has a tie closure at the back and is adjustable around the neck. It is worth keeping in mind that the hat does tend to run a little small and might not fit older children.

Best of all, the aprons are available in a variety of fun colors and patterns, and while the fabric isn't super thick, that means you can bedazzle, embroider, or add patches to customize the apron or hat even further to fit your kid's personality.

Best for Measuring: Curious Chef 6-Piece Measuring Cup Set

Curious Chef 6-Piece Measuring Cup Set

Source: Curious Chef

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Color-coded sizes

  • Dishwasher safe

Cons
  • The oval shape isn't the most user-friendly

  • The ring that holds cups is flimsy

While your child could probably use your regular kitchen measuring cups, we like that these make it easier for your child to read or recognize the different cup sizes, thanks to their color-coding. The cups are also made of plastic, so you don't have to worry about them breaking, denting, or chipping your home set. They're also easy to hold in tiny hands.

These cups come in six different sizes, rather than four like some of the other measuring cups on the market. They are also dishwasher safe.

Best Gadget: OTOTO Gracula Garlic Crusher

OTOTO Gracula Garlic Crusher

Source: OTOTO

Pros
  • Cute vampire design

  • Dishwasher safe

  • Easy and safe to use

Cons
  • More of a crusher than a mincer

  • Relatively expensive

Let's be honest, crushing or chopping garlic is no fun, even for an adult. Plus, using a knife to crush garlic isn't super safe for very young chefs. But with this garlic crusher, they can easily peel, crush, or mince garlic safely—while having fun too! Who doesn't love the idea of a vampire-themed kitchen gadget? In fact, the design is so cute that adults might want one for themselves.

You can use this manual press crusher to chop other ingredients, including ginger, herbs, and other spices. It's easy to clean, too: Twist it apart and put it right in the dishwasher.

Best for Baking: Tovla Jr. Unicorn Baking Set

Tovla Jr. Unicorn Baking Set

Source: Tovla Jr.

Pros
  • Safe and non-toxic materials

  • Recipe cards included

  • Storage box included

Cons
  • Measuring cups, mixing bowl, and baking sheet not included

With this set, your little baker can make everything they need for their very own unicorn cookie party. The kit comes with an apron (adorned with a pink unicorn), spatula, piping bags, icing tips, silicone baking mat, six cookie cutters, rolling pin, whisk, two recipe cards, and a storage kit—which is almost everything they need (they'll have to borrow measuring cups, a mixing bowl, and baking sheet from the head chef though).

All the tools are made from food-grade, non-toxic materials, and they're designed to be the right size for kids ages 3 to 7. The recipes included are for cookies and frosting—great first recipes for your child to learn.

Best Kitchen Set: MasterChef Junior Cooking Essentials Set - 9 Pc. Kit

MasterChef Junior Cooking Essentials Set - 9 Pc. Kit

Amazon

Pros
  • Comes with wooden storage box

  • Includes nine tools

  • Bonus recipe cards

Cons
  • Not dishwasher safe

  • Some tools aren't heat safe

  • Pricey

If your child decided they wanted to learn to cook after watching kids compete on "MasterChef Junior," then they're going to love this kit. Designed for kids ages 6 and up, it comes with nine items, including a MasterChef storage box, orange apron, cutting board, measuring cups, measuring spoons, mixing bowl, spatula, spoon, and tongs. It also comes with three recipe cards and a blank one for them to write down their own creation.

Best Subscription: Raddish Kids Cooking Club

radish-kit

Courtesy of Radish

Pros
  • For ages 4-14+

  • Discounts and free apron available

  • Educational themes

Cons
  • Food not included

  • Shipping internationally costs extra

Raddish is a cooking club for kids that goes beyond just teaching them how to cook. Each monthly box is also designed to teach math, science, history, or another skill, incorporating the lesson into the three recipes. It's important to note that the subscription doesn't come with the food itself, but it does provide a list of groceries and kitchen tools that you'll need. It also comes with collectibles, activity sheets, and other activities to help your child learn and improve their cooking skills.

If you prepay for your subscription, you can receive a free apron for your child, as well as a discount per box.

Final Verdict

If you're looking for a great starter kit for your junior chef, Tovla Jr. Kids Cooking and Baking Gift Set is a great choice. It comes with most of the items your kid needs to start baking or cooking (including an apron and storage box), without compromising on quality or safety. To get your child involved in the kitchen safely, we also recommend the Little Partners Kids Learning Tower, which allows littles to access the countertop. The barriers will help keep them from accidentally losing their balance, while still allowing them some independence.

How We Rated the Best Cooking Tools for Kids

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best cooking tools for kids we reviewed. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These cooking tools for kids are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great cooking tools for kids, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These cooking tools for kids are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend cooking tools for kids with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Selected the Best Cooking Tools for Kids


We evaluated over 30 products that kids can use around the kitchen, including some that we've  used at home with our own children. Before making our selections, we spoke with Ashley Shep, a chef and educator; Krystyn Parks, MS, RD, IBCLC, a pediatric registered dietitian; and Kristen Nauss, RD, a school nutrition director, about how to make cooking educational and fun for children. Then we read user reviews and evaluated each product based on its utility, age appropriateness, durability, educational value, and safety.

What to Look for in Cooking Tools for Kids

Toys vs. Tools

This might sound obvious, but when it comes to cooking tools for kids, there are lots of items available that can't actually be used in the kitchen. For example, some knives for kids are too dull to cut things, while some spatulas or spoons aren't heat-tolerant and shouldn't be used around hot food. These products are still beneficial, however, as they can help children learn how to move around the kitchen with tools that won't harm them in the process.

But some items are actually helpful for children who want to be a part of the food prep process.

"If you have a child who's shorter than your countertop, learning towers are a huge help [for] your arms and build independence for your child to join you when they'd like at counter height," Shep tells us.

Age-Appropriate Design

The truth is, "age-appropriate" means different things to different children, based on their interests, development, and experience level in the kitchen.

"As soon as kids can independently stand, they can start with simple tasks in the kitchen," Parks says. "The amount of experience is generally more important than the age. I've seen 5-year-olds who can bake an item completely independently because they love it and other 5-year-olds who can't crack an egg."

In general, though, "mixing, scooping, and pouring are usually tasks that younger kids can handle," she continues. "Introducing electric appliances, heat, [and] knives is better suited for a child who has more experience."

While technically you don't have to get your child tools that are designed specifically for children, there are some advantages to doing so. For one, tools designed for kids tend to be colorful and fun—a perk for kids that are excited about making things themselves. It's also good when tools are sized for tiny hands, helping young kids grip the tool a little more easily. Some also help encourage proper form and kitchen safety.

Safety

This is probably the most important factor to consider in the kitchen, but much like age-appropriate design, the answer to what is "safe" depends a little on your child and their skill level. For example, many parents opt to have their children start with plastic or nylon knives, which are still able to cut softer things.

"Most kids' knives are serrated, which means that kids will learn a sawing pattern with cutting, which may not be appropriate for all foods, but they are less likely to seriously cut their finger," Parks explains.

Other kids' knives have helpful features, such as rounded points, or handles that help teach your child how to hold them safely.

Just remember: Even if a kitchen tool has extra safety features, it's not a replacement for supervision and instruction. Ultimately, it's up to you to teach your child how to stay safe in the kitchen, especially around hot objects, open flames, or sharp objects.

"Kids get easily distracted, so even if they have mastered a task, they may still hurt themselves," Parks says. "Focus on teaching proper technique right away, especially with dangerous tools like knives."

"Anytime I use a sharp knife around my 2-year-old son, I point to the tip and say, 'Sharp! Ahhh!' to let him know not to touch the tip," Shep adds. "When it comes to the stove, we repeat that it's hot and that we do not touch it. After doing this a few times, he does these movements and sounds by himself when he sees these items...even when we're not cooking."

Why Trust Verywell Family

Steven Rowe is an experienced parenting, health, and commerce writer. He's also a toddler dad who spends a lot of time researching and testing products that he thinks his son might enjoy. He's also the go-to cook in his home—he even has a secret "Dad Special" dish that he makes once a month. Lately, he's been encouraging his son to get interested in cooking and exploring new foods with him in the kitchen.

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. 10 Kids' Cooking Sets That Will Teach Them Essential Kitchen Skills. Best Products. https://www.bestproducts.com/parenting/g32881650/kids-cooking-sets-tools/

By Steven Rowe
Steven Rowe is a New York-based parenting writer and toddler dad. He's written for Verywell Family since June 2021. His writing has also appeared at Romper, Healthline, Psych Central, and Greatist, among other publications.