How to Teach Your Child to Use a Knife in 3 Easy Steps

Does your child beg to help out in the kitchen? Most toddlers are enthusiastic helpers if we can find a way for them to safely be involved. 

However, we know some of you must be wondering...”Why should I teach my child to use a knife? Isn’t it dangerous?”

Why You Should Teach Your Toddler to Use a Knife

You can teach your toddler to use a knife in a perfectly safe and controlled setting. Plus, learning to use a knife offers your child many benefits, such as:

  • Improved fine motor control to prepare for academic skills such as writing.
  • Building self-confidence and responsibility. Did you that children who help out with chores such as cooking grow into more successful, responsible adults?
  • Building independence. When children learn to do things for themselves, they find it very satisfying and meaningful which, again, builds their self-esteem.
  • Helps promote healthy eating. Kids who cook are more likely to enjoy fruits and vegetables

Plus, getting your little one engaged in the kitchen could lead to a life-long love of cooking...and that’s good news for everyone!

If you’re wondering how to teach your child to use a knife, we’ve put together a guide to walk you through teaching this skill. All it takes are three easy steps:

  • Invest in a Quality Montessori Knife
  • In a pinch, a butter knife is fine to start out. However, a quality Montessori knife or toddler knife can make the process so much more pleasant (and less stressful!) The best knife for a toddler will be made out of a safe material that can’t cut the skin, such as wood. In addition, a good toddler knife will offer the child a grip that keeps the child’s fingers far away from the cutting action. 

    Our Mini Cutter Toddler Wooden Knife is a great Montessori knife to start out with. With this knife, your child will be able to safely and effectively cut bananas, strawberries, cucumbers, cheese, tortillas, bread, and more! Plus, the knife can also be used to play with playdough. Simply wash it after use. 

    Child on the kitchen helper tower in the kitchen cutting banana

    As your child grows in skill, you can offer them sharper and more traditionally shaped knives.

  • Invite Your Child to Use the Toddler Knife
  • Invite your child to use the toddler knife! It’s great if you can offer your child food that they enjoy for cutting. For example, if your child loves strawberries, that’s a great food to start with.

    Then, demonstrate how to use the knife slowly. You don’t need to do a lot of talking. Your actions will show the way! Then, warmly invite your child to give it a try. 

    Finally, demonstrate how to serve the slices of strawberry, banana, cheese, or peeled cucumber on a plate. 

    Pro Tip: Create a kitchen workspace for your child by using a low table. Alternatively, use a Kitchen Helper Tower so that your little one can easily reach the countertops. 

    child in the kitchen on the learning platform tower
  • Make it Available
  • Then, keep the knife and a cutting board where your child can access them. Show your child where they can find foods that they are allowed to cut. By giving your child the opportunity to practice when they want to, you’ll build independence and self-confidence. Plus, your child will be able to prepare their own snack (parenting win!).

    Teaching your child to use a knife can be a rewarding experience for both of you. Does your child know how to use a knife yet? Tell us how it’s going below!