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ATK Kids

The Best Gifts for Kids Who Love to Cook

Encourage your kids to keep cooking by gifting them kitchen tools that are worth the money.
By Published Feb. 8, 2019

At America’s Test Kitchen Kids, we’re all about kitchen equipment that looks and works well, so we’re not fooled by all of the cute but useless cooking items for kids out there. (Yes, we like spatulas that are brightly colored, but not if they can’t stir or fold!)

In this list, you’ll find cooking items for kids that are worth the money and will actually encourage them to keep cooking. A subscription to the Young Chefs' Club also makes a great gift with themed recipes, activities, and experiments delivered to your door, every month.  

Sharp (and Safe!) Knives and Peelers

Using a knife or peeler that’s the right size makes common kitchen tasks much safer. These are the items that should be in every kid’s toolkit.

Chef Knives for KidsChef Knives for KidsChef Knives for Kids
Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 6” Chef's Knife

Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 6” Chef's Knife
This excellent knife is sized just right for 12- and 13-year-olds. Kids reported that it made “good, clean cuts” through fibrous celery and that they “liked the blade a lot.” It had a comfortable, grippy handle that made the children feel safe and in control. [BUY NOW]

Opinel Le Petit Chef Cutlery Set

Opinel Le Petit Chef Cutlery Set
This knife—which is the best choice for 8- and 9-year olds—has a wooden handle with a small, round finger hole that encourages kids to hold it safely and securely. 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. [BUY NOW]

Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler

Opinel Le Petit Chef Peeler
In our testing, we found that older kids preferred our longtime favorite peeler, the Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler. But younger kids and beginners opted for the Opinel Le Petit Chef Peeler, which gives users more control when peeling items like potatoes and carrots. [BUY NOW]


Kid-Sized Essentials

There’s no reason for kids to use kitchen tools that are too big for them. These items are perfectly sized for smaller hands.

Buttered popcornFlipping cornbread
Williams Sonoma Junior Chef Oven Mitt

Curious Chef Child Chef Mitt Set
All our kid testers found these oven mitts comfortable and maneuverable. They stayed cool for more than 30 seconds when we put them to work with a 350-degree baking sheet and they were perfectly safe for moderately hot tasks like putting cookie sheets into the oven. [BUY NOW]

OXO Good Grips 9-inch Tongs

OXO Good Grips 9" Tongs
Perfect for smaller hands, these tongs pick up foods of all shapes and sizes and are extremely easy to operate. With their uncoated, scalloped stainless-steel tips that allow a precise grip, these tongs really feel like an extension of your hands. [BUY NOW]

GIR Skinny Spatula

GIR Skinny Spatula
This spatula is easy to clean and comfortable in smaller hands. The flexible head handily maneuvers in tight corners and edges but is strong enough to scoop heavy food. In addition to being an effective tool, it’s available in 13 bright colors. [BUY NOW]

OXO Good Grips Utility Cutting Board

OXO Good Grips Utility Cutting Board
This fairly thin, lightweight plastic model is easy to hold and lift but is also stable on the counter thanks to its grippy rubber sides, so it won’t slide around as kids practice their knife cuts. [BUY NOW]

Make-Your-Own Baking Kit

These pans aren’t necessarily made specifically for kids, but they’re key pieces of equipment in some of our favorite kid-friendly recipes.

Shaping pizza dough
Goldtouch Nonstick 8-Inch Square Cake Pan

Williams-Sonoma Goldtouch Nonstick 8-Inch Square Cake Pan
We baked crumb cakes and cornbread  in seven square cake pans, and this one outperformed them all, producing perfectly even versions of both. [BUY NOW]

Use it for: Corny Cornbread and Applesauce Snack Cake

Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet

Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet
Give your kids (and yourself!) the best chance for cooking success: Everything prepared in this sturdy pan, warp-resistant sheet cooks appropriately and evenly. [BUY NOW]

Use it for: Sheet Pan Pizza and DIY Candy Buttons

OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro 12-Cup Muffin Pan

OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro 12-Cup Muffin Pan
Cupcakes are the ultimate kid-friendly food. This muffin tin makes the best ones, perfectly releasing its baked goods. It also has an oversize rim running all the way around it, so there’s always a broad, secure place to grasp. [BUY NOW]

Use it for: Birthday Cupcakes, Sparkly Cupcakes, Shaggy Cupcakes, Rosy Cupcakes, and Swirly Cupcakes

Other Fun Tools

Cooking should be fun! These pieces of equipment will help make food that looks as good as it tastes.

Making popsicles
Squeeze Bottle

Squeeze Bottle
A squeeze bottle is an inexpensive but surprisingly versatile kitchen tool. Use it to make your food look awesome or make edible spheres[BUY NOW]

Wilton 20-Piece Beginning Buttercream Decorating Set

Wilton 20-Piece Beginning Buttercream Decorating Set
This set is almost perfect: It comes with five of our essential tips, including a large open star tip for cupcake swirls and rosettes. The plastic bags are easy to handle, effortless to clean up afterward, and durable. [BUY NOW]

Zoku Classic Pop Molds

Zoku Classic Pop Molds
Ice pops are an easy treat that also allows kids to experiment with flavors and colors. When the only ingredients are juice, yogurt, or pureed fruit, the possibilities are endless. The Zoku Classic Pop Molds were the easiest to use of all the products we tested. The molds are a breeze to fill and clean thanks to their clear fill lines and wide openings, so your young chef can make pops without making a mess. [BUY NOW]

If you're looking for more information on cooking with kids, check out these articles: