Frida is really enjoying helping me in the kitchen at the moment, which is lovely. She has become very proficient at chopping, always using her trusty crinkle cutter (this is the one we use). This has been one of our best buys ever for Frida – it is so easy to use, even for very young children, and therefore so empowering. With it she can chop most things, from soft fruits to hard vegetables like carrots, and I feel confident that she is safe.
Because of the nature of the crinkle cutter though, Frida’s knife skills were not really being developed (the action required is very different), so I thought the time had come for a next stage knife. After some research – and some Instagram advice! – I recently bought Frida the Kuhn Rikon kinderkitchen Children’s Knife.
I have been really impressed with it. It is sharp, ie. it is a functioning knife, but feels safe due to its rounded end, chunky shape, and sturdy build. This means I can give Frida more independence with it, leaving it out on her kitchen shelves and not feeling that I have to hover over it when she uses it (although of course I would never leave her using it unsupervised). I feel much happier with her using a sharp knife which works well than her using a blunt knife which may require more force to be effective; I feel it’s much safer.
As a bonus, Frida really enjoys that this knife looks like a dog. She is two and a half, after all!
Frida is very much still learning how to use this knife, as this is the first time she has had to use a sawing motion to cut. As such, I am doing a lot of modelling cutting myself (we usually work in the kitchen side-by-side), and am giving her practical guidance by helping her to position her hand correctly. I trust that she will get there in her own time.
Although using knives obviously does carry an element of risk, I believe it is absolutely worth it. Even very young children can make a very real contribution to their home, and I think that it is our role as parents to teach them how to use these tools safely rather than shielding them from anything which might harm them. Kylie from How We Montessori has a great blog post on this topic here.
Whilst Frida is still getting the hang of using a “proper” knife, I imagine she will continue to use her beloved crinkle cutter for a good while yet.
She also uses a child size table knife for spreading which works well.
When she is comfortably using her kinderkitchen knife, I will buy her the OPINEL Le Petit Chef knife. I have heard really good things about it, and I really like that it has a hole to encourage correct finger placement, but it feels like it’s a little too advanced for where Frida’s knife skills are at currently.
Does your pre-schooler have their own knives for cooking? Which do you like the best?