I have been a fan of Kitchen Craft stuff since I started cooking with my children 4.5 years ago. I love how colourful, well-made and easy to use it is. So, when I decided to get 50 children aged 1 to 5 to my house to bake cakes for Help for Heroes (find out more about that here), they were the first people I thought to ask for equipment. Thankfully they said yes and sent a generous selection of bits and pieces. 50 little chefs later, it has all been well and truly put through it's paces. Here is the verdict.
This is a range of silicone utensils (measuring cups, spoons, spatulas, mashers etc) designed to look like little people. Kitchen Craft sent us the 'Molly Masher,' 'Lil' Tee Spoon' and 'Maddy Measuring Cup.' True to form, they are colourful, well-made and fun. The children loved them. The look made them smile and they found them easy to hold and use. I liked that, rather than simply saying "put in 1 tablespoon," I could say things like "fill up Lil' Tee's head and tip it in." It made it much more obvious what I was trying to get them to do and more fun.
This is a set of 8 different coloured spoons: 1 Cup, 1/2 Cup, 1/3 Cup, 1/4 Cup, 1 tbsp, 1/2 tbsp, 1 tsp and 1/2 tsp. The Cup spoons stand on their own and have a shaped cookie cutter on the base. I haven't tested the cutter bit yet, but the Cups were perfect to measure the ingredients into and then get the little chefs to tip them in. The handles made this easier for the younger toddlers than tipping ingredients from bowls. They are also ideal for older toddler chefs who are ready to do their own measuring. They are different colours so, as the adult, you simply need to say or write down however many spoons of which colour they need to measure. If cooking with a pre or early reader and want them to get the idea of following a recipe, you could draw the coloured spoon and a number so they can follow independently how many they need of what. Cooking aside, these would also make fun accessories for a water play session.
The Colourworks range was what got me into Kitchen Craft stuff in the first place. I love the colourful mixing bowls, cookie cutters, silicone utensils and silicone cupcake cases. I never use paper cupcake cases when baking with young children. I find them too fiddly. The batter sticks to the paper, the case goes flying, and the little chef gets frustrated. Silicone ones are much easier. These Colourworks ones are my long term favourite because I use them to practise colour recognition. I ask them to find a certain colour and then put it into the cupcake tray. Or, I ask how many of a certain colour there are as a counting game. The cases last and keep their colour well. They are dishwasher safe, but I wash mine up by hand because I use them so much and I've found it prolongs their life.
This is a set of 6 different coloured & sized bowls, which I use to lay out ingredients. They also double as good toddler bowls for serving things like snacks. I like that they stack so don't take up too much room in my already overcrowded cupboards.
Kitchen Craft also sent us these cupcake presentation boxes, which the little chefs used to take their cakes home. They loved packaging the cakes up to give to Daddy, Granny, Grandpa, a brother or a sister. I am planning to stock up on a few more so that my children can give their bakes away as presents to family or teachers. I think it's a great way for them to show their appreciation to someone.
Where to buy
Have you got the general picture yet? That we are just a bit of a fan of Kitchen Craft stuff for cooking and especially cooking with children. I was trying to find some fault so this post would sound more balanced, but I couldn't. I have used a lot of different bits and pieces over the years and Kitchen Craft has yet to let me down. You can find all their products and a list of stockists on KitchenCraft.co.uk. I find Amazon has a good range. I have put links to my favourites on the Tickle Fingers products for cooking with kids page.