8 Ways to Keep Your Toddler Busy While You Cook

Toddler helping father in kitchen.

Your tiny baby has grown into a curious toddler, and the chair they used to happily bounce in while you cooked a dinner is no longer an option. What now?

With a little creativity and rummaging around your kitchen and junk drawer, you may be surprised at how occupied you can keep your child, right there on the kitchen floor.

  1. Practice pouring. Give your little one a small pitcher filled with a manageable amount of water and a cup. Spread a couple towels out and let them pour, drink, and play.
  2. Fill up the sink, grab some plastic cups, bowls, and big spoons. Drop them in. Pull up your toddler tower or safe stool and let your little one scoop, splash, and play. Have some towels at the ready. 😉
  3. Tape different shapes, like rectangles and triangles, to the floor. Let your kids jump in and out of them, drive toy cars in them, or even just peel them up.
  4. Practice dexterity skills by showing your little one how to thread pipe cleaners into the holes of a colander. If that doesn’t keep them busy, the pipe cleaners alone probably will!
  5. Do you have any large piece of packing paper from this week’s delivery or an old poster board? Let them draw on something that’s larger than their usual coloring books.
  6. Play dough! A perfect kitchen floor activity.
  7. Independent play of any kind. Bring your child’s favorite books, blocks, or toys into the room where they can be supervised.
  8. Let them join in! Engage them by explaining what you are doing and let them help with safe tasks. Maybe you have veggie peels that can be put into the compost, or big bowl of deliciousness that needs whisking. If there’s anything toddlers love most, it’s helping!

Is your kitchen toddler-proof? Read up on kitchen safety here.

Note: These activities are geared towards toddlers, but you know your children best. Always supervise your children during play, especially with small objects.

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