I am no expert on getting a show stopping dinner on the table seven nights a week. With two kids and a busy family schedule I often find myself frying eggs at 6:15 pm or reheating a pot of soup. But having a home cooked family dinner for all of us to enjoy is important to me so I make it a priority.
Over this winter, when energy was at an all time low, my friends and I swapped simple ideas of how to keep our pre-school aged kids engaged while cooking. I often wear Gray in a carrier but Dylan likes to play, play, play close by. Here are my top 5 activities that help me get a decent chunk of uninterrupted kitchen time and a meal on the table.
1. Toy Ice Cubes: Freeze small toys in an ice cube tray for kids to play with in the sink or a tub of water on the floor.
2. Face Paint: Ha! This is not for the faint of heart. Set up a mirror and a tray of face paints. Let them go to town (luckily bath time is around the corner).
3. Light Cave: Drape a large blanket over the dining room table and play with flash lights.
5. Give Friends a Bath: Set up a large pot of soapy water (over a large towel) on the floor for kids to wash their favorite friends. Dinosaurs are big at our house now but we used to do this with trucks and airplanes.