This post was sponsored by Chalkola Chalk Markers. All opinions are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links.
“Hey, mama!” Eve’s voice sings out from her bedroom as I work on chopping a yellow onion at the kitchen island, it’s sweet-sharp fragrance filling the kitchen.
Most evenings at around 5:00 I begin the transition from post-nap toddler time with Eve to making dinner. After 12 hours of alternating between working on my business while she’s sleeping and entertaining a two-year-old, the kitchen has become a bit of reprieve for me, as well as a creative outlet.
Cooking dinner while simultaneously keeping track of a two-year-old is the ultimate test in multitasking.
(And we all know how good the human brain is at multitasking.)
Eve is frequently underfoot, running in and out of the kitchen, each time presenting a something new to add to the pile of paraphernalia quickly accumulating in my kitchen — a doll stroller with the latest favorite stuffed animal, a Sandra Boyton board book, a life insurance pamphlet she pulled out of the recycling bin. All the while, she is demanding my attention — asking me to sing The Alphabet Song to her stuffed baby panda (who’s name I was just informed is John) or pulling at my hand and begging me to come draw with her on her easel in the living room.
While as much as possible I invite Eve to assist, many aspects are just not safe for her to do yet. Although she is generally good about entertaining herself, while she is in the kitchen I need to give her something that will keep her busy while I’m cutting with a sharp knife or at the stove. Each of these activities are super simple and inexpensive to put together, and they generally keep fingers and mind busy — at least long enough for you to put your lasagna in the oven!
I keep a small container of water beads in a kitchen cabinet in a recycled food container. Initially I inroduced them to Eve as part of water play, but I soon discovered that they are entertaining on their own. Give your child an assortment of containers and some water beads and see what fun they’ll have with them.
Caution: Water beads are small and can present a choking hazard, so they should only be given to children who are past the phase of putting things in their mouths.
Fill a storage tub with warm water, bubbles, a drop of food coloring and some kitchen utensils such as measuring cups, spoons, and ladles. I recommend doing this on a towel to keep your floor dry and to prevent any slips on your end.
[Tweet “Keep your tot busy & your kitchen floor squeaky clean with water play while you cook dinner #ad”]
Transform your dishwasher into a dry-erase board using Chalkola Chalk Markers. Chalkola markers are vibrant, water-based markers that can be used on non-porous surfaces such as whiteboards, glass, plastic and windows. They can easily be erased with water an a towel, just like standard dry-erase markers (but without the stink). Give your child the markers and let her go to town drawing on your dishwasher! For an added bonus, when she’s done, give her container of water and a wipe and have her wipe down the dishwasher when she’s done.
[Tweet “Transform your dishwasher into a blank canvas with @ #ad”]
Caution: Test out a marker in the corner of your dishwasher to make sure it will erase, and be sure to explain to your toddler where she can and cannot write with them.
Color matching magnets
Make bright, colorful markers using caps of snack pouches. Glue a small magnet on the back and allow it to dry. Using Chalkola Chalk Markers, draw large circles on your fridge and encourage your child to match the color caps inside the circles. When he’s done, see what designs or images he can make with the magnets.
[Tweet “Create a color-matching game for your tots using snack pouch tops, magnets, and @ #ad”]
Caution: Like the dishwasher, test out the markers first before drawing on your fridge. Also, these should only be given to a toddler who is passed the mouthing phase as both the caps and the magnets can be choking hazards.
What are some of your favorite activities for keeping your child entertained while you cook?
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