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Searching for a fun and interactive gift for the younger set? Surprise a tiny foodie with a practical, kid-safe present that will have them buzzing around the kitchen. The excitement of receiving a cooking gift is just the tip of the iceberg—just wait until you see how proud they are to whip up their very own culinary creation. Keep reading for our guide to the best cooking gifts for kids this year.
For elementary- and middle school-age children, this unique cookbook that focuses on the scientific side of cooking is entertaining and educational. In this National Geographic special, kids will work their way through dozens of thoroughly-tested, fun, edible experiments crafted by a former teacher who holds a Ph.D. in science education.
When your children are ready to make the leap and actually start helping in the kitchen, this set of kid-safe knives is a good place to start. The FDA-grade, BPA-free kitchen tools are made of a premium nylon material with serrated edges that chop but are much more delicate than sharp metal counterparts. Though your child will relish in the newfound autonomy, you can let go of your breath.
Take any guesswork out of the next family baking session with a kit that includes just what you need to make one special treat—nothing more. In each box, you’ll get all of the ingredients pre-measured for convenience, step-by-step educational instructions, plus a learning activity to dive into while dessert bakes.
Here’s a fresh idea: Help a budding chef hone their skills by giving them a cookbook they can work their way through from start to finish. This #1 New York Times Best Seller from America’s Test Kitchen is a great choice, since each recipe—breakfast, snacks, beverages, dinners, desserts, and more—is developed by expert chefs and thoroughly tested by more than 750 kids.
Why limit your favorite sweet lover to what the stores have to offer? This fun kit comes with a variety of BPA-free molds, a decorating pen, stamps, and wrappers to encourage them to use their imagination to create their ideal candy bar right in the microwave.
The only thing better than baking a cake is baking a layered rainbow cake that nestles into a push pop. That’s right—this special kit comes with everything an adventurous baker needs to whip up the rainbow-hued push pops the NYC-based Flour Shop is famous for. The set, which comes packaged in a tin ripe for gifting (no wrapping required), makes plenty for a small crowd of 12.
Surprise a Disney fan with an appliance that marries two great loves. The mini waffle maker makes one 6-inch Mickey Mouse character waffle (try your hand at a grilled cheese, too!), plus features a few important safety features for young cooks, like non-skid feet and a power light that indicates when the appliance is on and hot.
Even if your toddler is too young to really get into cooking, you can still foster a love of food from an early age. This fun dining set does more than turn mealtime into playtime. It encourages kids to explore and experiment with whatever you put on their plate.
Trade those trusty markers for a different kind of drawing tool—a pen that deposits real chocolate as your child writes. The kit comes with a melting tray that holds four colored chocolates and a pen that automatically loads to minimize mess, plus 40 mold designs to help guide the creative process.
There’s a reason the Easy Bake oven has been around for as long as it has—it’s a great and safe foray into the world of baking. The electric oven comes with everything your child needs to make frosted brownies—a baking pan, pan tool, chocolate brownie mix, vanilla frosting mix, rainbow sugar crystals, and, of course, step-by-step instructions.
Sometimes the best treats are the ones you can whip up in just a few minutes flat—particularly if the task involves hungry kids. This cool insulated bowl is a great alternative to more cumbersome ice cream machines, as it preps ice cream, gelato, and other frozen desserts in just 120 seconds.
Sort your favorite chef junior into their favorite house, then watch—and reap the benefits of—any culinary magic they perform. The durable apron isn’t just for fun, though, as it features a double front tool pocket and has an adjustable D-ring neck to get just the right fit.
Give kids control of the movie night snack with a fully functional popcorn machine. You’ll love that it doesn’t take up as much real estate as traditional poppers, while kids will love how fast it works (it has a 98 percent popping rate in just two to three minutes flat!) and how delicious the resulting snack is.
When your little one begins to take an interest in what you’re doing in the kitchen, this stool is a safer way to help them get a little closer to the action. This sleek stool comes in five colors to match your decor, and it can support kids up to 75 pounds. It has a handle on each side to help you kids balance, and the steps have a non-slip surface for safety.
National Geographic Kids Edible Science contains dozens of culinary experiments that kids are sure to love, while the America's Test Kitchen Kids The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs will help them learn kitchen basics. Alternatively, the Easy Chef Moose Toys Chocolate Bar Maker has everything they'll need to make delicious chocolate bars at home.
Why Trust Us?
This roundup was written by Brigitt Earley, who has written and edited hundreds of gift guides for various publications over the course of the last 10 years. She also holds a culinary degree from the French Culinary Institute.