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Age-Appropriate Kitchen Tasks

Home Baking Association

January 31, 2024

kids in kitchen_4x3


Did you know February is Bake for Family Fun Month? Although you may not be related to those in your care, they likely think of you as familyTake this opportunity to get your kids involved in the kitchen! Kids can help out in the kitchen as early as 2 years old. Our partners at the Home Baking Association outline age-appropriate kitchen tasks. 

2 Years Old 

  • Proper hand washing 
  • Wipe table tops 
  • Play with safe utensils 
  • Scrub, wash, rear, snap, break into pieces 
  • Move pre-measured ingredients from one place to another 
  • Add ingredients to a bowl 

3 Years Old 

  • All of the above 
  • Handle dough, begin kneading, simple shaping 
  • Pour cool liquids into mixture 
  • Mix dry ingredients with wire whisk or spoon in extra large bowl 
  • Shake liquids 
  • Spread softs spreads 
  • Place things in trash 

4 Year Olds 

  • All of the above 
  • Peel loose skinned oranges or hard cooked eggs 
  • Form round shapes with dough 
  • Mash fruits or cooked vegetables 
  • Cut with dull scissors 
  • Set table 

5 to 6 Year Olds 

  • All of the above 
  • Help measure dry ingredients (stir, spoon, level) 
  • Cut with a blunt knife (plastic or tableware) 
  • Use a hand held egg beater or whisk 
  • Crush crackers in a bag with a rolling pin 
  • Sprinkle ingredients on top of food 

6 to 8 Years Old 

  • All of the above 
  • Clean surfaces before and after 
  • Wash fruits and/or vegetables 
  • Gather ingredients and equipment 
  • Grease or spray baking pans 
  • Measure dry ingredients 
  • Measure liquid ingredients 
  • Add measured dry and liquid ingredients into mixing bowl 
  • Learn to crack eggs 
  • Cut fruit, butter or margarine sticks on cutting board (plastic or table knife) 
  • Push buttons on blender, processors with adult 
  • Knead dough 
  • Prehead oven (adults help load products in hot oven) 
  • Wash dishes, put away ingredients or utensils 

9 to 12 Year Olds 

  • All of the above 
  • Learn safe knife skills (chopping, dicing, and cutting) 
  • Handle food equipment safely 
  • Place oven racks and load oven (while oven is cold) 
  • Safe operation of electric equipment (mixer, microwave, bread machine, food processor, etc) 
  • Follow a recipe (measure accurately, prepare a product) 
  • Read ingredients and food labels 
  • Safely handle/store ingredients and finished products 
  • Plan and prepare simple meals and snacks 
  • Clean up (how and what to wash in dishwasher or by hand) 

13 Year Olds and Up 

  • All of the above 
  • Tasks requiring multiple preparation steps or close timing 
  • Create new flavor combinations, shapes, or decoration 
  • Plan and prepare whole menus for meals 
  • Help younger children learn about food and how to prepare 
  • Enjoy cooking with peers 

See the Home Baking Associations handout The Thrill of Skills.