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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.
Edible Science: Experiments You Can Eat
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.
Tovla Jr. Knives for Kids 3-Piece Set
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.
BAKETIVITY Kids Baking DIY Activity Kit
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.
The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs: 100+ Sweet and Savory Recipes that You'll Love to Bake, Share and Eat!
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.
Easy Chef Moose Toys Chocolate Bar Maker
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.
Flour Shop Rainbow Pop-Up Cake Kit
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.
Disney Mickey Mouse Waffle Maker
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.
Uncommon Goods Construction Plate and Utensils
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.
GWAWA Kids Cooking and Baking Set
For budding chefs who aren’t quite ready to handle real cooking tools, consider this comprehensive 25-piece cooking and baking playset. They can “cook” alongside you until they’re ready to step in and help.
Eshato Kids Chef Hat, 3 Pack
If you have a child who is already into cooking, you can really make them feel like a pro with a chef's hat. This affordable three-pack is great if things get a little messy and you need to plop one in the washer, or invite a couple of friends over and let everyone feel like a pro baker or chef. Each hat has an elastic band so it can be adjusted for comfort.
Real Cooking Chocolate Pen
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.
Easy Bake Ultimate Oven
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.
Chef'n Sweet Spot Ice Cream Maker
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.
WILLIAMS SONOMA Harry Potter Apron
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.
HomeMarvel Fast Hot Air Popcorn Popper
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.
Naomi Home Kids Step to It Stool
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.
Uncommon Goods Kid's Global Adventure Cooking Kit
Teach your kids that there’s more to cooking than just putting a quick meal together. This cooking kit shows kids that food is one of the best ways to explore new cultures and new traditions. Choose from one of seven countries—Brazil, Ethiopia, Greece, India, Lebanon, Mexico, or Morocco—to send your family on a culinary expedition. Each kit comes with unique ingredients and spices that come together to yield three authentic, healthy, and—most importantly—kid-approved meals from each country.
UncommonGoods Root Beer Science Kit
This fun science-based set teaches kids that not all cooking provides instant gratification, but that sometimes the best things are worth waiting for. The root beer making kit comes with all of the ingredients your little food scientist needs to whip up artisanal root beer—sassafras extract, yeast, and a funnel. It also comes with additional tools—labels and instructions—to extend the fun, as your child figures out how to brand their creation.
National Geographic Kids Edible Science (view at Amazon) contains dozens of culinary experiments that kids are sure to love, while the America's Test Kitchen Kids The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs (view at Amazon) will help them learn kitchen basics. Alternatively, the Easy Chef Moose Toys Chocolate Bar Maker (view at Amazon) 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.