Eight Reasons You Should Let Your Kids Play With Knives

8 Reasons You Should Let Your Kids Play With Knives FacebookGuess what? I let my kids play with knives.

Really. We have loads of fun together, just me, my kids, and the knives… oh, and the food.

Not everyone would call what we do playing. I set clear and specific rules before we pull the knives out, they can only be used in my presence, and they can only be used to cut up whatever food I’ve provided.

Not everyone calls it that, and while I won’t call it playing in front of my kids, that’s exactly what I consider it to be. We are after all having fun.

But there are rules! Playtime isn’t supposed to have rules!

No. play always has rules, even free play. You aren’t allowed to hit other children. You aren’t allowed to deface property. You aren’t allowed to jump off the dresser and pretend to be a bird (true story).

Think of knives the same way you think of board game play. Lots of rules and still part of a happy healthy childhood.

8 Reasons You Should Let Your Kids Play With Knives Pinterest

Here are eight reasons to let your kids play with knives.

  • To improve coordination: Cutting utilizes fine motor skills. These are the same skills used to cut with scissors and hold a pencil. So, you’re little Einstein can work on her pencil grip without even touching a pencil!
  • To teach your kid to help: Running a household is a big job, and our kids are a lot better off when they are part of that job. In fact, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal doing household chores is linked with academic success and financial independence.
  • To allow a little risk: Risk is GOOD for children. Allowing our children to take risks now gives them a better sense of their own capabilities and fosters a sense of confidence.
  • To give your child confidence: That’s right, more confidence. It’s amazing what they are capable of if we only give them the chance to show us, and they end up showing not just us, but themselves as well!
  • So your child learns how to cook: Smell that? It’s the delicious smell of dinner, and it’s cooked by someone other than you! The possibility is right around the corner, but you have to build the foundation now, by you guessed it, letting your kids play with knives.
  • To help your child be more involved with family meals: If my kids help cook the meal they are a hundred gazillion times more likely to actually eat it! Getting kids involved with cooking is so incredibly important to teaching them healthy skills that will set them up for a lifetime of good health vs. the lifetime of diabetes that looms over so many of our kids these days.
  • So you can have some productive time with your kid: We all want to spend time with our kids, but sometimes we also want clean clothing or a floor that doesn’t crunch under our feet. When we cook with our kids we are able to both spend time with them and be productive at the same time. Although, I make no promises as to how long it will take to cook your meal. They’re kids, not gourmet chefs.
  • So your kid doesn’t cut himself: Wait, you’re telling me that my kid won’t cut himself if I give him a knife? Say What!/? Seriously, if you are teaching your kid how to use a knife, with good ground rules about how to hold the knife, how to keep fingers away from the knife, etc. Your kid is way less likely to get cut. To be honest, it’s only been a couple of years that I’ve been able to prepare a meal without cutting myself, and I’ve been preparing meals for my family since I was sixteen. That’s probably because no one ever taught me how to use a knife. I had to youtube it when my husband threatened to hide all the knives in the house. Need more convincing? How about this, Kids in Sweden are regularly given knives, not just in the kitchen, but actual pocket knives to play with. They also have the lowest percentage of child injury in the world.

I let my kids play with knives

So give your kid a knife for darn’s sake and start cooking :)

But, if you’re feeling a bit nervous about handing your tot a five-pound butcher knife, you can always try one of these kid-safe knives. My kids got these for Christmas and they love them! No injuries  yet :)

Disclosure: I’m a member of amazon affiliate so if you click this link or buy one of these knives I get a “cut” of the deal. Get it? Get it?

So, do you let your kids use knives in the kitchen? Or are you not so sure about handing sharp pointy objects to your little ones?

Gratitude Exercises for Kids – Daily Exercises That Help Our Kids Be Thankful

how to teach your kids to be grateful

It was one of those crazy hard times. A lot was going on. Are you ready for the list that kept running through my head? Here goes, in chronological order: my husband was laid off, he found another job out of state, we moved, we became pregnant with our third child, which came with some pretty nasty morning sickness, and my grandmother’s physical and mental health declined dramatically, (she died about four months later).


It was a lot of change, really fast, and to top it all off the holidays were starting.

I felt overwhelmed. I hardly had time to cope with everything that had happened. I was down, who wouldn’t be? But I couldn’t show it. I needed to be there for my husband, my children, and especially my mother, who was the only surviving child of my grandmother, and dealing with enormous stressors of her own.

Then, my husband’s aunt issued a challenge.

She gave everyone in the family a small notebook and asked us to use it as a gratitude journal. At Thanksgiving, we would take turns reading excerpts from our days of thanks.

gratitude exercises 2

As I sat down to fill out my first entry,  I had many things to be grateful for, but I had spent so much time counting the things that were going wrong in my life, it was hard to feel the gratitude.

I wrote anyway. I wrote about how blessed we were to find work so soon after my husband was laid off. I wrote about how happy we were to be expecting another baby. I wrote about how good it was to move close to our family just when they needed us the most.

In the midst of turbulence, so many things were right. In the midst of the tears and the trials, the Lord was still in charge. He had a plan.

We only needed to see the beauty and to give thanks. Since that time, I’ve made an effort to teach my kids to be thankful.

Over and over, studies show that being thankful and being happy are linked. So, at our house, we treat gratitude like a muscle, and we exercise it.

Every morning, while we’re eating breakfast, I ask the kids gratitude questions.

These are questions designed to help their little minds make the connection between happiness and gratitude. Often, children will say the same things over and over when asked what they are grateful for, and that’s OK, but these questions are designed to help kids find deeper answers, to understand what it means to be thankful. I try to bring each discussion back to the topic of gratitude.

For example, this is an actual conversation with my daughter,

What is your favorite thing to do outside?


What do you need to run?

“My legs and my feet, and I need energy to run.”

So, what are you grateful for?

“My energy? And you know mom, I am crazy to tell you this, but I can have energy for sixty hundred million years!”

That’s a lot of energy!


Are you grateful for all that energy?

“Yeah! My energy can never end!”

Since starting gratitude exercises, I’ve seen a better attitude in myself and my kids. It’s working! I hope you’ll consider trying it out. I’m convinced it will help your families too.gratitude exercises

  1. What is your favorite thing to do outside? What allows you to do that thing?
  2. Name someone who loves you.
  3. Name someone you love. Why? Have you told them that?
  4. What is your favorite game to play? Why?
  5. What is the weather like today? What fun can come from, cloudy, sunny, windy, snowy, rainy, etc. weather?
  6.  Imagine if we didn’t have a house, what would that be like?
  7. What is your favorite animal?
  8. Name two things that make you happy.
  9. What is your favorite body part?
  10. What is the yummiest thing you’ve ever smelled?
  11. What is the softest thing you’ve ever felt?
  12. What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
  13. Name something you’re really good at.
  14. Tell us about a happy memory.
  15. What is your favorite thing about mom, dad, brother, sister, etc?

These questions have started some hilarious conversations around our house, and we notice if we miss a day. What do you do at your house to foster gratitude? Let me know in the comments! Who knows, your tradition could change someone’s life :)

Kids Cook: How to shape no knead bread dough


In 2012, more than one-third of children were overweight or obese in America. Our generation and our children’s generation are not expected to outlive our parents. We need to fight childhood obesity. Our health and our children’s health are in danger. Our kids are less active and in more pain than we were. And I’m scared. […]

[Continue reading...]

Quick Light Wheat French Bread – Ready in One Hour

light wheat french bread recipe

I’m always baking bread. We rarely purchase it from the store because I make it so often. So, when I tell you this is a good bread recipe, you can trust me. It’s fluffy with a wet crumb, just like french bread should be, and it’s ready in one hour. Now, in some circles, this […]

[Continue reading...]

The One Day at Church That Changed the Way I Mother Forever

The One Day At Church That Changed the Way I Mother Forever

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Like there’s just too much to do, and no way to do it, let alone do it all with a smile? I do. It’s those days that make me think I might be failing at motherhood. It’s those days that make me feel like I’m alone. The days that lead me to question, […]

[Continue reading...]

Positive affirmations for mothers

Do not set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. Simply do what you can do, in the best way you know how, and the Lord will accept your effort.

I remember before I had kids. My love for children led me to multiple jobs with kids. Parents often asked me if I was getting my degree in teaching (I wasn’t) and complimented me on my kid skills. I was pretty sure I had this parenting thing wired. There were even a couple of times […]

[Continue reading...]

Don’t Spill the Blessings! Another Fun Family Home Evening Idea

fun family home evening ideas, family home evenings for small children

Lately, my kids are all about the classic game,Don’t Spill the Beans. My two-year-old calls it Don’t Drop the Beans, so cute! If you aren’t familiar with this game, it’s a cause and effect game where you take turns dropping beans into a swinging “pot” but if you put too many beans in the pot could […]

[Continue reading...]

How any mom can finish her to do list + an easy craft


63% of professionals use to-do lists, at least according to a linkdn study published in 2012, but, according to the same study, only 11% of those professionals complete them. Can I get an amen to that? As a stay at home mom I have to be self motivated and organized or my home gets chaotic…fast…like […]

[Continue reading...]

New Year New FHE – Goal Setting FHE for 2016

Even the most humble person can take hope in the invitation to become like the Savior

This Family Home Evening Idea was largely inspired from the talk Our Perfect Example by Henry B Eyring. It’s a beautiful talk and I highly recommend reading it. I love that it takes a commandment that I always found daunting (to be perfect) and makes it feel encouraging. I’m sure that’s what our loving Heavenly Father […]

[Continue reading...]

Preparing For General Conference – October 2015


Hubby and I were talking about how to prepare our family for general conference. We mainly focused on ways to keep the kids calm so we can hear what’s going on. Hubby suggested a snack for every apostle. I thought it was a great idea and came up with some fun stuff. The plan is […]

[Continue reading...]