I love including my children in cooking, but it’s not always possible, especially when sharp knives and hot pots are involved. So I’ve been building an arsenal of activities to keep them occupied and entertained while I tackle garlic chopping or lasagne assembling. One of my best purchases ever as a parent is a big under-the-bed sized plastic bin that I whip out for sensory and messy activities. So first, if you don’t yet have one, make a note to yourself to find one and then make some room for it near your kitchen. I found ours at Target.
For this experiment, we used colored chalk and flour. That’s it. Yay for simplicity!
I placed a few scooping tools and a flour sifter in the tub. I rarely use the sifter, but my 3-year old adores it, and this is the perfect time to bring it out.
I filled a large bowl with a few scoops of flour and she got busy sifting, scooping, and mixing. Meanwhile, I assembled the lasagne and got it in the oven.
Once I had a moment, I grated some chalk into the bowl. She was intrigued and wanted to see what happened when it mixed with the flour. She was surprised that it mostly blended in, barely tinting the flour, and requested more chalk.
While she stirred, I got some dishes done, and then I returned to grate some more chalk until she had enough.
She learned about scale and volume while experimenting with these fun powdery substances, while I was able to make a hot meal…mostly uninterrupted!
Do you have any tricks for keeping kids occupied while you’re trying to get things done?
Rachelle writes about creative experiments for kids on her blog, TinkerLab.