12 Games to Play While You Cook Dinner
Easy ways to serve up some fun
Your kiddo's tiny fingers may not be ready to take on any dinner prep just yet, but there are easy ways to help keep 'em busy.
1. Play with pasta. Count out pieces of dry pasta or dry beans and put them in a clear container and ask your child try to guess the right number. Other options: Let kids thread pasta to make a necklace or stack hollow noodles on the thin prongs of a baby bottle dish rack.
2. Tinfoil toy trivia. Wrap up a favorite toy or other familiar item, and then have your child try to guess what each thing is before they unwrap it.
3. Kitchen hide and seek. Give your kid an item to hide under one of three pots or bowls and you try to guess where it is.
4. It's muffin time. Pull out a muffin tin and let your child scoop and sort dried beans or pasta to her heart's content.
5. Make your own play dough. Before you start cooking, mix up some DIY glitter play dough. Then let your child have fun with a rolling pin, kid-safe cookie cutters, you name it!
6. Join the band. If you don't mind the noise, let your child bang wooden spoons against pots and pans. Never gets old.
7. Guess the dinner guest. Ask your child to think of a special dinner guest (real or pretend) while you ask questions until you guess who it is. (Is it a person on TV? Does their first name start with B?)
8. Create a silly story. Take turns creating a tale that revolves around dinner. The catch? Each line has to contain something you can see in the kitchen.
9. Mystery meal. Have your kitchen companion close his eyes. Feed him pieces of different food items and see if he can guess what he's eating.
10. Build a plastic tower. Pull out the plastic containers and let your child see how high he can stack them before they fall.
11. Lemon and spoon race. In this twist on the messier classic egg and spoon race, have your child see how far she can walk balancing a lemon or lime on a spoon.
12. Guess what's missing. Set up a row of different pieces of food. Have your child study it, and then take one away. See if your cutie can guess which item is missing. Then switch and let them test your memory skills.
Activities with small parts are not intended for children under age 3.