When you have a family and children, you’re bound to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Preparing breakfast, lunch or dinner for your loved ones shouldn’t be a burden and you should try to turn those chores into quality time with your children or your partner. So, what you really need is a kitchen that’s fit for children and adults, and here’s how you can create just that.
Make your kitchen safe for your children
Yes, your children have their own rooms, but they’d usually rather be exactly where you are. And if they’re in the kitchen with you, the best thing you can do is let them help you. It will make them feel useful and it’s a great opportunity to bond with them. However, in order for your kids to use your kitchen, you need to make it children-friendly above all. When picking kitchen furniture, decide on a few lower cabinets or at least a table that they can easily use. Don’t let them climb chairs to reach a kitchen counter that’s too high for them, but explain to them that you’ve designed a special place for them in the kitchen. Place dishes and appliances they can use in the bottom cabinets, where they can reach them and do at least some chores along with you. They won’t really consider it working, but rather playing and it will boost their confidence if they know they are able to help you with grown-up things, such as cooking. If you put your microwave where they can reach it and use it, they will be able to make simple meals or snacks themselves. Popcorn will taste like heaven to them if they are the ones who prepared them. Keep knives and anything that can hurt them on higher shelves and cabinets, and always keep an eye on what they’re doing.
Turn a corner of your kitchen into a playroom
Ok, it doesn’t have to be a corner. It can be the very center of your kitchen, especially if you have a kitchen island. Have a drawer or a cabinet filled with crayons and paper for them to draw, or their favorite board game to play. Put slipcovers on your chairs to protect them from any stains or damage and use paper or plastic covers for your countertops when you let them paint or draw on them. If your children are very small, get them some plastic dishes to mimic what you do in the kitchen. And again, make sure that the table or the counter they use is of the adequate height.
It’s gonna be a bright, bright, sunshiny kitchen!
What this actually means is that you shouldn’t be too shy with colors. If your kitchen cabinets are in neutral tones and look serious, you can always paint the walls in bright colors or pick brighter tiles. Play with your yellows, greens and reds, combine your colors boldly and let your kids be involved when making your hue choices. Buy cheerful-looking appliances, glassware or several colorful Bodum coffee cups to make your kitchen a happier place. Keep fresh fruit where you and your little ones can see and smell it. It will look homelier and your children will more likely choose an orange over a candy bar if it’s within their reach at all times. A kitchen window would bring natural light into your kitchen, but you can also install ceiling lights or under cupboard lighting if your window isn’t big enough. If you still aren’t sure how to cheer your kitchen up, click here for more ideas.
Merge your kitchen with your living or dining room
This doesn’t have to involve tearing down walls or renovating your whole house. Try a kitchen wall opening or a transom window between the two rooms. And if you have a large kitchen, install a bar and create a lovely open space kitchen and living room. This will allow you to cook, bake and do anything else in the kitchen while talking with your family. Another option is to turn a part of your kitchen into a dining room, so that your family can eat right where you are. You can make pancakes and flip them directly into your kids’ plates if they’re right next to you. Because, let’s face it, they’re the main reason you make anything in your kitchen.
If you follow these suggestions and turn your kitchen into a fun place for your whole family, it will make every day a pleasurable one. Your kitchen will look more interesting and pleasant and you will love spending time there. Enjoy it, because your children definitely will.