I know that kitchens are places that contain lots of potential owies for kids (and adults), but let’s face it, any room in the house can be a potential hazard for kids. Sophia has broken her arm twice in her short six years on this planet, and only one of those breaks occurred in the kitchen. And the breaking really had more to do with the stool she was standing on and then fell off of, then the fact that we were in the kitchen. Either way, kitchens do have items like knives that cut and ovens that burn and graters that grate–all of these tools can cause pain and distress.
Just like you wouldn’t keep your kids out of sports like hockey and football, the possible injuries are no reason to keep your kids out of the kitchen. Alex and Sophia both cut stuff with sharp knives; they know how to hold the knife and all of the rules about using them. Alex uses the stove, with my supervision, for making things like dippety do eggs or grilled cheese sandwiches. I also let Sophia flip things like pancakes and cheesy eggs. And, yes, they’ve both gotten little burns or grated a finger, but so have I.
When you learn to ride a bike, you fall and get scrapes. When you learn to swim, you get lots of water up your nose. But that first time you make it around the block on your bike, or across the pool without grasping for the side, you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. The more you practice something, the better you get at it, but you also open yourself up to the ‘owies’ associated. Each of our owies have been earned and the food we made while getting these experience scars–well it tasted that much more delicious.