I wanted Caspar to have a real life, hands on cooking experience but at this age am really hesitant to use our stove top. We use gas which has a naked flame. Caspar is also left handed which means he (like me) will need to reach across the burner to access the control.
I started thinking, I wanted his cooking experience to be real but with a reduced risk. I want him to experience cooking and heat without getting burnt or setting anything on fire. I decided to give an electric fry pan a go. On the lowest setting the fry pan feels warm and can easily be held. We use a medium setting which feels hot to touch but not hot enough to burn.
I obviously helped a lot here, he didn't cook this on his own. However he was able to use the fry pan. He learnt to hold the handle and became comfortable using it. This is a simple meal but I think we will move up soon. The fry pan could be used to cook so many meals. Real cooking without the risk.
Anyone with older children? I wonder at what age people introduce their children to the stove top. If ours was electric I might not be so worried. I can see Caspar using this fry pan for many years - stove top can wait.