I think it is good to allow kids in the kitchen and let them practice using knives correctly, with lots of supervision, hand over hand showing them exactly now to handle the knife. When the kiddos are babies I give them little (silver) butter knives (they aren’t even cerrated, a playset from IKEA) and let them chop bananas. When they are older (around 2) we use knives that are not super sharp, so if they touch the blade or even hold the knife upside down and push on the blade it won’t break their skin. I also start them with softer things to cut (i.e.: not carrots, that are too similar to little fingers). I show them for a little, then let them practice while I sit nearby correcting any missteps and always being very vigilant about knife safety (no flinging the knife about like a crazy person). H (at age 4.5) can help me chop vegetables safely now without correction, I still sit by him and supervise, but he knows what he is doing and I am super proud of his concentration and ability.
(This is an picture of H from a few weeks ago, I didn't take any of AJ helping.)
Oh, we checked out a wonderful book at the library. It is called In the Town All Year 'Round by Rotraut Susanne Berner. It is kind of like Where's Waldo, but has several pictures of the town through each season. At the beginning of the season there is a page of people and pictures that appear in the subsequent pages, some have questions like: "who is the mystery motorcyclist?" The kids will look through the pages and figure out the answers. Some things are simple like, 'this is Cassie the cat, she travels through the town, can you find her in each picture?' (I changed the wording slightly). I like how it uses recall skills and shows all kinds of pictures of the seasons, there are a lot of questions you can ask like, "How can you tell it is still Winter in this picture?" Here is a link: