When to teach knife skills to kids

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thebradleycrew
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When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by thebradleycrew » Wed May 01, 2019 12:16 pm

Does anyone have thoughts (or articles) about what the right age is to teach knife skills to kids? I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter who loves to pretend to help me cook in the kitchen. She has respect for the edge of a knife, but I worry that it is too early to put a real knife (aside from a butter knife) in her hands. Thanks in advance for the thoughts.

Bensbites
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Re: When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by Bensbites » Wed May 01, 2019 12:40 pm

thebradleycrew wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 12:16 pm
Does anyone have thoughts (or articles) about what the right age is to teach knife skills to kids? I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter who loves to pretend to help me cook in the kitchen. She has respect for the edge of a knife, but I worry that it is too early to put a real knife (aside from a butter knife) in her hands. Thanks in advance for the thoughts.
When my oldest was 4 we took cooking classes and they gave the kids plastic lettuce knives. She has little interest in food prep now.

Kalaeb
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Re: When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by Kalaeb » Wed May 01, 2019 2:00 pm

I made my kids wood knives that they like to mimic what I was doing at that age. I don't know exactly when they started using real knives I was probably around 5.

Bensbites
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Re: When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by Bensbites » Wed May 01, 2019 2:13 pm

Kalaeb wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 2:00 pm
I made my kids wood knives that they like to mimic what I was doing at that age. I don't know exactly when they started using real knives I was probably around 5.
Wooden knives. Now that sounds like fun. My wife has wanted me to try something for soft cheeses.

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lsboogy
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Re: When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by lsboogy » Wed May 01, 2019 5:45 pm

My youngest daughter started "helping" when she was 4 or 5, but I did not give her sharp knives until she was about 8 if memory serves. I did let her cut stuff with me guiding (hands on) prior to that, but she had a Kikuichi paring knife (birthday present) when she turned 8. Kid has great knife skills now, and works in cheese. Oldest daughter never really took to cooking until she had been out of the house for a few years, and she now has a few decent knives.
I got a jackknife when I joined cub scouts (probably about 6) and promptly cut a nice gash in my finger - still have the scar from stitches. It's a judgement call about when a child gets sharp knives - some may be ready earlier than others. My mom started letting us cut stuff in the kitchen when we were in about 3rd grade - but only with small knives

AlbuquerqueDan
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Re: When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by AlbuquerqueDan » Wed May 01, 2019 9:31 pm

Kalaeb wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 2:00 pm
I made my kids wood knives that they like to mimic what I was doing at that age. I don't know exactly when they started using real knives I was probably around 5.
My 3.5 year old uses a wooden knife (santoku), too, and a little cheese/spreading knife made of metal. I've taught her the pinch grip, and it seems natural to her now. She cuts bananas and occasionally some bread. She still doesn't quite know how to keep her fingers out of the way, but she's learning. Good times.

Kalaeb
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Re: When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by Kalaeb » Wed May 01, 2019 9:49 pm

Bensbites wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 2:13 pm
Kalaeb wrote:
Wed May 01, 2019 2:00 pm
I made my kids wood knives that they like to mimic what I was doing at that age. I don't know exactly when they started using real knives I was probably around 5.
Wooden knives. Now that sounds like fun. My wife has wanted me to try something for soft cheeses.
Use some saya wood, slap on some odd scales, throw in that left over mosiac pin that you can never make fit in anything else and you are set. Your kids will love it...not sure how it works with cheese though.

thebradleycrew
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Re: When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by thebradleycrew » Thu May 02, 2019 1:15 pm

Great suggestions. I'll be in the garage this weekend building a wooden knife with a Ho Wood take off Wa handle!

Ma_sha1
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Re: When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by Ma_sha1 » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:16 am

I kept the kid knife dull & rounded up the tip, my so used it to cut pizza only thou

Robstreperous
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Re: When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by Robstreperous » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:11 pm

Taught my daughter to make sure she curled her fingers and tucked her thumb when she was 6. Teenager now so of course she doesn't ever do it when I"m looking. :D

I did hear however from a chef friend of ours she visited a year or so ago she corrected him when he got a little careless with his off knife hand!

Aaahhh yes. The joys of parenting.

J david
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Re: When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by J david » Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:50 pm

My son has been using sharp knives since he was 4. I got nervous he was going to mess up my good knives so I bought one of those prison knives Mark had a while back. It was too heavy and unwieldy for a kid that young but it served its purpose to learn on initially with a blunt heel and tip. He soon demanded his own real knife so I picked up one if the CKTG line knives for him. His mom complains sometimes saying that he is going to cut himself and he's too young. I tell her that I'm 41 and I cut myself all the time. So far, we have only had a slight nick on a finger that didn't even bleed and it's been 3 years of him helping in the kitchen. He is very careful. He has cut me a couple of times while I'm trying to teach him technique, though.

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He even gets down on the stones from time to time, but he's not very good at it. Just like his old man.
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lsboogy
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Re: When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by lsboogy » Thu Jul 18, 2019 10:41 pm

Robstreperous wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:11 pm
Taught my daughter to make sure she curled her fingers and tucked her thumb when she was 6. Teenager now so of course she doesn't ever do it when I"m looking. :D

I did hear however from a chef friend of ours she visited a year or so ago she corrected him when he got a little careless with his off knife hand!

Aaahhh yes. The joys of parenting.
She will come out of it - had the same thing with mine 10 years ago. She now works as a cheese specialist, and has very good knife skills (and knives). Teach them the claw and pinch grip when young and it will be with them forever, even when you are the dumbest and least cool dad ever - and when they come out of that phase, they will remember and think you were a smart and cool dad who taught them to prep and cook really good food - and by 24 or so their friends will be impressed and she will think she's even cooler than she is

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ken123
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Re: When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by ken123 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:59 am

'Prison knife' lol. I got a few of those as beater knives. You could probably extend the concept and just take the edge and tip off of a better knife and add sharpness later until they eventually have a good knife.

Ken

DonnaDeal
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Re: When to teach knife skills to kids

Post by DonnaDeal » Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:48 am

Well, since childhood my mother takes me into her kitchen, But its quite risky if you give a knife to your small daughter. Let's give her training on how to handle it. Yes, there are certain classes that give proper training on cutting vegetables and all.

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