Kids in the Kitchen

Looking for activities to do with your kids? Get them cooking!

For ages 8 to 12, look to The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs and The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs. All the recipes are clear and easy for young cooks to follow. And they’re creative and delicious, too. We’ve also tested and identified the tools that will ensure kids’ safety and success in the kitchen, including our favorite vegetable peeler for young kids and our winning oven mitts. Check out the full list below. If you’re hungry for more fun and educational activities, turn to the America’s Test Kitchen Kids website. It’s filled with activities, quizzes, and more than 150 kid-tested and kid-approved recipes. We hope these resources help your kids stay busy and build confidence in the kitchen.

The long length, smoothing rolling motion, and slightly heavier weight of this pin made rolling pie dough a breeze. After completing the official testing, one of our 10-year-old testers went back to using this pin, saying that she found it easiest to use. Another kid tester, Charlie, happily summarized, “It’s heavier so you don’t have to press on it as much.” Although only slightly lighter than our winning pin for adults, this model’s comfortable handles and shorter length helped children control the pin, making it an excellent choice for children.  More on this test

This light, smooth bamboo spoon was broad enough to churn bulky stews, yet small enough to rotate a single chunk of beef without disturbing surrounding pieces. Its rectangular handle was comfortable to grip; its head had the most surface area in contact with the pan, so it excelled at scraping fond. Stain-resistant, it emerged after testing looking closest to new.

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While these short, colorful mitts didn't provide the same forearm coverage as our favorite pair, all our kid testers found them comfortable and maneuverable. Though the company does not recommend that kids use the oven or stove while wearing the mitts, this pair stayed cool for more than 30 seconds when we put them to work with a 350-degree baking sheet. They were also perfectly safe for moderately hot tasks such as putting cookie sheets into the oven or holding on to a warm pan while transferring food to a platter or cooling rack.

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Our old winner impressed our 8- and 9-year-old testers. Its wooden handle has a small, round finger hole that encourages kids to hold it safely and securely. The children said that it helped them get a “good grip” on the knife. It comes with a plastic finger guard, which shields the fingers on the hand securing the food. (We did not have children test the guard.) The knife's rounded tip protects kids from accidental nicks, and our testers liked that the blade “felt sharp” enough to cut through all foods with ease.

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This water bottle struck a happy medium: kids liked that it was easy to drink from and parents liked that it was easy to clean. It had a straw-free cap that allowed water to flow freely, as well as a cap lock that prevented accidental spills. It didn’t break or leak when dropped repeatedly or inverted and shaken. It also didn’t retain any smells or odors after the green smoothie test. The kids liked its grippy silicone sleeve and carrying handle that made for easy transport and found its lid easy to remove and put back on.   More on this test

This squat, sturdy triple timer was simple and intuitive, with a dedicated “clear” button and a full 0-to-9 keypad, so testers entered times by typing instead of scrolling. It displayed all of its timers at once, so we could check everything at a glance, and its stainless face repelled messes. Two quibbles: The buttons for toggling between timers were a bit squished together, and the digits on the display could be more visible.

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Our winning spoons had a simple design that allowed for a continuous, bump-free sweep, with a ball-chain connector (similar to what military dog tags hang on) that was easy to open and close. This set's metal construction felt remarkably sturdy, and ingredients didn't cling to the stainless steel. And while the 1-tablespoon measure did not fit into all spice jars, it was a minor inconvenience for an otherwise easy-to-use set.

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