It seems in this day and age, in our society, that there is a lot of worry over letting your children learn to use knives and at what age to do so. I know parents want to protect their children, but has it gone too far? When I see 7 year olds who can’t use a knife properly and are not allowed to cut up food to help prepare dinner, I think to myself “why can they use scissors at school but not a knife in the kitchen?”
Cutting up green beans for a yummy dinner.
Learning to use a knife is a very important and useful skill. I have been teaching my boys to learn how to use a knife for a little while now. I did start very early with them (around age 2) and gave them a kid knife that was not sharp. But we have now progressed onto using a much more sharp knife to help me make dinner. Now of course I don’t give them the sharpest knife in my kitchen, but the knives I let them use are sharp. They are only allowed to use them with careful supervision and they understand that knives are tools, not toys. We have had many conversations about the dangers of sharp knives and how to use them properly, always keeping fingers out of the way. And my boys take cutting very seriously, so when asked if they want to help cut up veggies for a meal they always say yes, wash their hands and get down to work, knowing it is time to be serious, careful and practice their skill.
Helping cut potatoes and peeling carrots
Both my 3yo and 4yo love helping in the kitchen in many ways, and cutting food with a knife makes them feel very useful and proud. They are eager to contribute to preparing a meal, and are so excited to eat the food they helped make. They can’t wait to cut into it!
Excited to help cut into the pizza they helped make with Daddy!