Kitchen Tasks for Kids Ages 9 to 11

“Do you have anything I can chop?” When my nine-year-old Noah joins me in the kitchen, this is a question I can expect him to ask every time.

He likes to work on his knife skills, and I require him do so only when I’m right by his side. This is one of the many understandings between us that has been established over years of teamwork. And I mean years.

Noah was my very first sous chef, starting around 15 months, on a chair next to me as I cooked and baked. At four he was making his own sandwiches. At five he was rolling doughnuts and doing most everything on this list of tasks for 3-5 year-olds.

He’s always been keen to learn in the kitchen, an in case you were wondering, he knows I’m writing this post and is okay with it. He’s all for inspiring other kids to get cooking, too.

boys peeling potatoes-1

Kitchen Tasks for Kids 9 to 11

Now, I should mention that this is a list of tasks that follows up after Kitchen Tasks for 6-8 year-olds. If your child is nine and wants to begin cooking or baking, this list will be too advanced. It’s best to back up the to beginning, really, and learn some basics first.

This seems like a good time to look back on one of my favourite posts from the archives: Reader’s BEST tips on kids in the kitchenIt’s helpful tips for bringing kids in the kitchen from folks like you who have emailed, commented or interacted with me on social media. I know you’ll be encouraged as you relate to these honest parents and their experiences.

Kitchen Tasks for Kids Ages 9-11

Breakfast

The boys have been teaming up to make our Saturday pancakes for some time and are actually so speedy, I let them mix and flip pancakes on occasional school mornings now, too. Noah is at the helm and stands at the stove.

He’s very capable for stovetop cooking, but I haven’t let him use the oven much, save for keeping pancakes warm. This is something we’ll work on around age 10 or 11. The same goes for the blender.

Kitchen tasks for kids 9-11

Lunch

Right now the boys are still in school, and although they pack their own lunches most days, there’s not much cooking involved. During the summer months, things are different, however. We’ve got a running list of simple lunch ideas kids can make and make good use of our time in the kitchen.

Kitchen tasks for kids 9-11

Dinner

It is a very special night indeed when Noah makes us dinner. We’ve learned that he can’t be too tired starting out (say, Friday after a long week of school), or burns or cuts can happen. But a few Saturday’s a month, he’ll fry steaks and toss a Caesar salad – an absolute favourite of both boys – or prepare a pasta with a simple sauce. Whatever he makes, it is always served with enormous pride and I love that.

Around age 10, children are more than capable of putting together a simple meal. Here are Ten, 10-Minute Meals if you are looking for a good place to start. Alternately, walk your child through the steps of a family favourite and watch him/her memorize the recipe the first time around. Remember, kids are fast learners.

Below are more suggestions for the main meal of the day.

Kitchen tasks for kids 9-11

Baking

Treats like crackers to cookies are the gateway to a lifelong passion for baking. Kids gravitate toward baked goods they can shape with their hands (as opposed to things like quick bread) and become hooked on that just-baked, warm-from-the-oven magical taste.

Capture their interest with a project like Soft Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns for a family camp out. It may take a few attempts to get perfectly proportioned results, but it’s more about having fun along the way. Here are a few more ideas:

In case you missed them, here are Part 1 and Part 2 to this series.

What sort of things are your tweens cooking and baking in the kitchen?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. Reading this makes me so excited for the years to come! What wonderful memories they are making 🙂

  2. So many wonderful ideas! I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to help me 🙂

  3. Why are you so opposed to him using the oven but fine with him cooking on the stovetop. I learned to bake before I learned to use anything other than the griddle.

    As long as the items in the oven are not too heavy for him, I see much less danger than I would grilling steak or boiling pasta on the stovetop, with all the potential for splattering grease, reaching over the burner to the controls, risk of boilover, setting something (hopefully not a hand) on a still hot burner, etc. In the oven, the heat is contained inside, and he only needs to focus seriously on safety for the short time his is pulling something in or out.

    I’m not criticizing you, just wondering your reasoning on something that seems counter intuitive to me.

    • Hi Jenny,
      Good question! I’m not opposed to him using the oven, although I can see why you would think that. All along I have been letting his natural inclinations lead his learning in the kitchen, and he is just much more comfortable working a stovetop right now. He’s a little shy of the oven ( I think he had an arm burn a while back) and worried about dropping stuff.
      I don’t push the oven, and know he’ll get there when he’s ready.

  4. My nearly 13-year-old land shark, err, son, can cook and assemble lots of quick things now (which makes him a rock-star at Scout Camp), but he is on a toast or pb banana (as in straight up, no bread chaser) kick because if he can’t make it in under three minutes, it’s not FAST enough for his belly.

  5. Love these lists. It makes me look forward to many more years of cooking with my kids!

  6. A woman after my own heart! I love having my kids in the kitchen with me, and they love it too! My 8 year old volunteers to make lunch everyday. And while that’s still simple, I love that she enjoys it. My 10 year old makes oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, and eggs all on his own. And a shout out to your kids for making their own school lunches! People think I’m crazy that my kids do this! (I have one in kindergarten, the others are homeschooled this year, but when they were in school they made their own). Really enjoyed this post! Thanks!

  7. Hi Aimee! Would you get the boys to make the chicken tacos on their own with your guidance? My boys will start making one dinner per week…with my guidance, and I am trying to find the right recipe to start them off.

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