3 Ways To Make A Kid-Friendly Kitchen That Still Looks Very Adult

A kid-friendly kitchen is all about making the kitchen a place that your children can easily access and use. According to The Kitchn, children benefit from being in the kitchen and being involved in the process as early as their first year of life. This helps them develop good habits and independence. Because messes, breakages, slips, and so on are common in the kitchen, though, there are a lot of things to be careful about to keep children safe.

Outfitting a kitchen to be kid-friendly can be as grand as you want it to be since there are various types of projects you can take on, from creating a separate cabinet to getting new furniture (via Good Housekeeping). While this can be fun, not everyone wants to completely transform the space. It can be expensive to buy a lot of new things or take on DIY projects, so it might be more budget-friendly to work with what you have. It's also important to remember that your children won't always be this age — they will outgrow the toy seats and cooking utensils before you know it! Here are some ways to strike a balance between a kid-friendly kitchen and an adult one.

Make it easy to clean

Cleaning when you have children in a house can be a full-time job as you find yourself constantly wiping, washing, scrubbing, clearing, and sweeping. While it's important to have the right tools, it's also important to create an environment that is actually easy to clean! This can look like installing surfaces that are durable and easy to wipe. Look for certain types of quartz and laminate that can serve as good imitations of the fancier materials, advises HGTV.

Making your kitchen easy to clean also involves organization and finding ways to streamline the cleaning process. Being organized is a huge part of maintaining a kitchen that is kid-friendly, yet adult, because it helps everyone in the house know where everything is and how everything works. A smart cleaning process can also save time. One everyday cleaning tip from Juggling Family Life is to put down layers of parchment paper or sheets on the counter when preparing food so you can simply throw them out when done. Another is to show your kids to clean as they go and make it a fun and bearable process for them. This will make the cleaning process faster and easier for everyone!

Embrace an open concept

An open concept kitchen refers to a kitchen that doesn't have boundaries or walls within it. It is also seamlessly connected to other rooms like the dining room and the living room. This is a favorite floor plan for a lot of people because it makes the space feel more open and makes the area easier to navigate (via New Life Bath & Kitchen). It's no surprise that this is a great idea when thinking about making a kitchen kid-friendly!

It's easy to socialize, multitask, and keep an eye on what everyone is doing when you have an open concept kitchen. The kitchen island can be a focal point of the space and serve various purposes like being a place to gather, prepare food, snack, and even do homework if the kids aren't old enough to work alone in their room. Something to note with this layout is that it can be noisier; its visibility to the rest of the house will also require more attention to cleanliness (via Wolf Home Products).

Intentional decor

Instead of bringing in kid tools and furniture, find ways to be intentional with the decor that's already there. You can designate a part of the pantry so you don't have to get a separate cupboard for them. Lower cabinets are best because they will be easily accessible, but you can also bring in a fun stool that's just for them if they need to reach higher up. This can also look like turning a part of the wall into a black or whiteboard that the adults can use to keep track of shopping needs, but can also be a fun play area for the kids, per K!TCHN.

Another way to be intentional is by using child-friendly appliances and tools that don't necessarily look like toys. Whether you prefer them colorful or sleek, the most important thing is that they are easy to use and age-appropriate for your child. Forbes recommends fun pancake molds and sturdy mixing bowls with great grips. Your kids will feel included in the cooking process when they can use the right tools to do simple tasks. Taste of Home recommends tasks like rolling cookie dough for children aged 5-7; toasting bread and mixing batter for those aged 8-12; and using more advanced appliances like food processors and waffle makers for teenagers.