Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dinner Time Distractions

Pin It Now! Avery is usually pretty good at playing by herself but for some reason when dinner time rolls around and I need to start cooking, she decides she wants to have my undivided attention.  So this week I have tried a couple tot school-like activities to distract her.  They've worked pretty well and she really seems to enjoy them.  

The first one is to allow her to help me.  Whenever she sees me starting to cook, she runs into the kitchen and says "chair please" (she stands on a dining room chair, not the safest but it works until I get one of these, which I hope to order this month).  She loves pouring, mixing, and watching what I do, she even started cutting this week (just an avocado cut with a butter knife and me helping the whole time).  But, unfortunately, that's not always feasible or safe.  

We got a new kitchen island not too long ago and we haven't found the time to childproof it and fill it with kitchen stuff yet, so right now it sits empty.  The other night I put a camping lantern and a blanket in it.  Avery had the best time playing in there.  She used it as a clubhouse and pretended to take a nap, played peek-a-boo in it, and loved looking at the lantern when she closed the doors.  

On this night I had made Shepard's Pie which Avery helped me put together.  Once we were all done and I needed to make salad she took a spoon and practiced scrapping the last little bits out of the pot (which had cooled completely since they got done a little earlier than I had anticipated and had to sit for quite a while).  There wasn't much left in the pot so she really had to work at it.  It was great fine motor worked and she loved that if she was successful she was rewarded with little tastes of mash potato.

This night she really wanted to help but there wasn't much she could help with so instead we got out a couple bowls, a spoon, a whisk, some pompoms, and some of her big wooded beads.  She had a great time stand (or sitting) on the chair scooping, transferring, and whisking while we cooked.  


  1. That is the same thing we do with little Bee when cooking dinner! I got him to try and like raw broccoli by letting him help put it in a pot to cook!

  2. It's amazing how much letting her help works! She also loves to help me unload the dishwasher (minus anything unsafe of course) and unload groceries. It keeps her busy and engaged and I get my work done, a total win/win. I hope it's something that sticks with her!!

  3. Oh, she is just too cute. K is a big "helper" in the kitchen too. You can give her some dried macaroni in a bowl and an empty bowl and let her transfer them back and forth too. That will usually keep both my boys busy for a bit!

  4. Malachi loves to help also. He's figured out he can push the dining room chair over to the counter to "help" He's very un-helpful though and tends to make more of a mess than anything. He loves the dishwasher too. I love the pompoms in the bowl though!