7 Ways a Toddler Can Keep Busy in the Kitchen

Every day Mommy spends time in the kitchen cooking up food and cleaning up after meals. Much of this happens while Daddy is at work which means that nobody is available to entertain me. Now that I’m a toddler I don’t require as much supervision while Mommy is busy, but that doesn’t mean I necessarily want to be left to my own devices.

Sometimes it’s nice to be able to do my own thing while Mommy is busy in the kitchen. I can play with my toys, watch TV, do some colouring, or play with the tablet. Other times I just can’t seem to think of any way to occupy myself. When that happens I hang out with Mommy and I try to be helpful in any way I can. Here are some ways that I like to keep busy in the kitchen.

Toddler helping in the kitchen

Are we cooking this box for dinner?

1. Parallel Cooking

Because I have shown such a keen interest in cooking, Mommy bought me my own cooking set. It consists of a pot, pan, plates, cups, and various cutlery. It’s brightly coloured, very pretty, and it even comes with a rack just like the one Mommy uses to dry the dishes. I’m very happy with my cooking set and I use it all the time.

Sometimes when Mommy is cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I fetch my own cooking set and join her. I put my dishes on the counter, pull up a chair, and practice my cooking skills. I don’t even require ingredients. It’s nice to have someone to cook with and It’s great to have a second mouth to taste test my creations.

2. Spice Rack Overhaul

Mommy has a wooden contraption that she uses to contain all her jars of spices. It sits on the counter and has a mechanism which allows it to spin freely. It holds small glass jars filled with various coloured powders and what appears to be a variety of crushed leaves that mommy sometimes sprinkles onto our food.

Toddler playing with a spice rack

Important work in progress.

I love the spice rack! I push a chair over to the counter, get up on it, and spin the spice rack again and again. Then I take all the little jars out and line them up on the counter. Next I put the jars back in the spice rack and give them another good spin. Then I repeat the process.

3. Stirring

Never underestimate the simple pleasure of stirring. It’s amazing how much fun you can have with a spoon, and if you add a bowl you’ve got yourself the tools for a real kitchen activity. The hard part is getting Mommy to give me something to put in my bowl that can be stirred. Most of the time I end up with rice and dried beans but if I’m really good Mommy lets me have some water too.

I pull up my step stool and stir my ingredients until they’re nice and blended together. After that, I continue stirring. I never really get tired of this activity and it just about always ends up in tears when it’s time to clean up and move on to something else. Maybe that’s why Mommy is generally so hesitant to give me ingredients to stir.

4. Drawer Diving

All of the kitchen drawers have locks on them but Mommy lets me investigate the ones that don’t have anything pointy inside. My favourite is the one which contains all of our gadgets and gizmos. This drawer is not new to me as Mommy has been giving me items that live in it to investigate since I was a baby.

Baby with a whisk

A younger me exploring the whisk.

Even though I have seen to contents of this drawer so many times, whenever I explore in there I find something new. It’s a good way to pass the time. If I get bored of utensils, I move on to the bottom drawer which contains dish towels and oven mitts. Mommy says that dish towels don’t belong on the floor and oven mitts don’t go on my feet but I insist on doing things my way.

5. Pass the Potato

The truth of the matter is that I generally just want to be involved in whatever Mommy is doing. Chopping, stirring, scrubbing, carrying around heavy pots full of water, everything she does looks like so much fun! Sadly, there aren’t that many kitchen activities that Mommy lets me get involved in. It’s always “That’s hot!”, and “That’s sharp!”, or “That’s not for Peachy.”.

One of the few activities that Mommy allows me to be involved in is peeling potatoes. I love it! I get on a chair right next to Mommy and I pull all the potatoes out of the bag one by one. This helps Mommy select which potato she wants to peel next. Then I put the unpeeled potatoes back in the bag.

Next I take all the potatoes out of the bag again and repeat the process until Mommy declares that we have enough potatoes peeled. That’s when I carry each peeled potato, one at a time, over to the sink and chuck it in. While I do that Mommy washes the potatoes. I’m a big help! Mommy says so.

6. Refrigerator Inventory

Here is a kitchen activity that I have been enjoying since I’ve been able to walk. When Mommy opens the refrigerator I push my way to the front and take inventory of its contents. I take stuff out, put stuff in, and generally move things around. I get free roam of the entire refrigerator, except for the eggs. Mommy always removes the egg carton before I can get good and in there.

Peachy is the kitchen helper

Back when I couldn’t open the deli drawer.

Sometimes I leave some toy blocks for Mommy to find in the fridge, and sometimes I squirrel away some cheese in the crevices of the couch. Occasionally I get hungry and eat a cucumber or some yogurt I find. I make a bit of a mess, and I often bruise the produce, but Mommy says it’s a small price to pay. Not sure what she means by that.

7. Being a Good Helper

Sometimes I’m a terror in the kitchen. I run around like a whirlwind knocking things over, being noisy, making a mess, and leaving chaos in my wake. Other times I’m genuinely a good helper and a pleasure to have around. It depends on my energy level, attention span, and mood.

When I’m in a helping mood I am the fetcher of dish towels, chooser of tomatoes, retriever of wayward cutlery, and quality control expert. Sometimes it’s surprising how helpful I can be when I’m given a task that’s within my means. I’m also skilled in the art of announcing that dinner is ready. Most importantly I am excellent company and when I’m in a good mood no task feels like a chore.

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12 thoughts on “7 Ways a Toddler Can Keep Busy in the Kitchen

    • That’s a great idea. We put locks on our lower cupboards because Mommy got tired of putting everything back in them every day. I’m not great at cleaning up after myself.

      Like

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