Make Your Kitchen Kid-Friendly
September 14, 2017
Encouraging kids to cook is a great way to create excitement around food and preparation. This can help some picky eaters try new meals, but more importantly, it brings the family together in a different way.
A kitchen remodel should last at least 10 years, HGTV suggests, so that the space can grow with the family. Smaller children and infants will require entirely different arrangements than teenagers who may want to grab their own after-school snacks or take more of an interest in cooking. If older children join sports teams, you may find yourself buying water, sports drinks or snacks in huge bulk amounts. These items will need adequate kitchen cabinet space, which you may not have available with smaller children. The source suggests that before remodeling your kitchen, you should set tangible goals for the space and understand why you are making changes.
Accommodate changes in age
For younger children through teenage years, you might want to consider adding a kitchen island. While this kind of arrangement may not work when babies are in high chairs, as they grow up a little they will want space for art supplies, their own plates and cups and even snacks. No matter what age, however, the source suggests that you select kitchen counter surfaces that are easy to clean. HGTV suggests selecting laminate or quartz, which is better at absorbing shock than granite.
The advantages of openness
Traditional Home advises that you create an open floor plan between the kitchen and dining area. This merges two rooms together and creates the illusion of more space. If the kitchen is on the small side, family members can hang out in the dining room and enjoy proximity to the kitchen. Those with much larger kitchens may want to consider incorporating two islands. The first can be used for prep, storage and may even contain a kitchen sink, space permitting. The second island, meanwhile, may function as more of a breakfast bar. People can socialize in the kitchen while meals are being prepared, friends and family can gather around the spot for appetizers, snacks and conversation, and the seating arrangement can give kids another area in which to do homework or school projects.
Storage is key in any family home kitchen. There should be enough room for plates, cups and saucers, but also space for kids' art supplies and eating implements. One example on the House Beautiful website presented a kitchen with ample drawers for organisation and an armoire-style kitchen island with extra cabinets and drawers.
For kids of any age, a blackboard in the kitchen is a great way to make notes, display a menu, and create impermanent artwork. One home on House Beautiful's website includes a blackboard wall underneath the breakfast bar, but you can add the surface anywhere. It might be handy to have a blackboard near the back door to write down quick notes or messages for individuals coming and going.
You will find more inspiration at a kitchen and bath showroom, and you can always ask professionals there for tips on the best kitchen sink and appliances for your home.