Kids are only little once and that should be celebrated.

Creating a design for your kitchen that takes their unique needs into account doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style.

In many homes, the kitchen is the central hub, where family members gather for more than just eating meals, but to discuss their day or just hang out.

Check out these elements that can make your kitchen a place where each member of the family feels welcome.

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Built-in step stool

Talk to your contractor about how they can help you install a built-in step stool that can be safely tucked away when it’s not in use.

Little ones like to be a part of the action. Giving them a way to get on your level and lend a helping hand is a big deal for them.

Purchasing kid-sized cooking utensils and an apron will make your little one feel like they’re playing an important role in the process.

It may take longer than you’d like to finish the meal prep, but the sense of accomplishment that your child will feel is worth it.

Plus, picky eaters are way more likely to eat food that they’ve helped to prepare!

Mini-table and chairs

Having a kid-sized table in the kitchen is handy for several reasons.

It gives the children a place to do homework, work on crafts, or to play while you’re working.

Having something that’s their size also makes them feel more a part of the family and less like they’re too little for everything.

It’s also an alternative to finger-painting or Play-Doh messes on your dining table.

Whimsical decor

Throw in some fun accents. Don’t ever give the kids the impression that the space isn’t for them!

For example, your style can serve as an alphabet lesson when you adorn your walls with large decorative letters.

Have fun with colors.

Be creative and get the children’s input too!

Sensible seating

The toddler years aren’t the greatest time to have expensive cloth dining chairs at the table!

Think practically. Leather chairs can be easily wiped down after meals and can withstand a lot of wear and tear from little hands and feet climbing up and down.

Incorporate entertainment

Install a chalkboard or place an easel in an out-of-the-way area of the kitchen for the kids to have some entertainment while you’re cooking or doing dishes.

You’ll be able to keep an eye on your little one and they won’t feel like you’ve banished them to another room.

Durable flooring

Flooring that can stand up to tricycle wheels and Barbie cars doesn’t have to be drab.

Laminate floors are durable enough to take the abuse but are also available in styles that look like tile or hardwood.

Don’t forget about the hundreds of spills that your floor will endure during those young years! Laminate cleans up well too!

Dedicated kid-drawer

Keep a bottom drawer or two available for those things the kids like to play with while they’re in the kitchen area.

It’s a good place to keep their paint, Play-Doh, coloring books, and Matchbox cars.

Questions to ask yourself

As you work toward creating a kitchen space where your kids feel welcome, asking some of these questions may help you clarify what you really want and need.

  • How many children do you have and how old are they?
  • Do children ever get their own snacks? Do they ever make their own meals?
  • How many people are usually in the kitchen during meal prep times?
  • What does a typical day in your kitchen look like?

When you make your kitchen kid-friendly you’ll be showing your children that they are valued, you enjoy spending time with them, and you’ll be creating sweet memories.

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