I love looking at the beautiful Montessori kitchen areas on Pintrest. Working taps, crockery storage, worktop space and helper stools. I even looked into IKEA hacks to build one. But common sense prevailed because I live in a typical small British house with a typical small British income.
So this is what we have instead.
A simple bottom drawer filled with Little Miss's plastic crockery and cutlery.
She has access to everything she needs to lay the table for herself.
She can put her own washing up away.
Not always neatly of course! But she's learning.
And there's never any arguments about which cup she wants.
We also have a step stool that I use to reach the high shelves. I always intended to add a rail for Little Miss to use but to my surprise she started using it without. Under close supervision at first of course but I quickly realised that she is more than capable of using it safely.
I had assumed that my heavy wooden stool wouldn't be suitable for her but actually it's perfect as it's too heavy for Little Miss to move so she can't use it to access the hob or sharp knives while I'm not looking.
Without spending a single penny I've set Little Miss up with a kitchen area she can access completely unsupervised but I can also choose to give her access to the sink, hob, toaster etc whenever I'm there to supervise her. As I've not made any permanent changes or spent any real money I can change this up as and when the kids need something different.