I hope yesterdays post on how to get your kids involved in the kitchen was helpful and inspiring! Today I want to show you how I use food prep and meal planning become occupying kitchen play, and how I have set up the girls’ “play kitchen” in their playroom.
There is seriously nothing more fun to a kid then getting their hands messy! So scrub up their little paws and let them get their hands into whatever you are doing 🙂
I cannot tell you how many times I have chopped up part of what will be dinner, and while I’m prepping the rest, or cooking I give the bowl of chopped up peppers or carrots to my oldest to dump in and out of a bowl, stir up with a spoon, stack up like a tower…possibilities are endless!
Let them smear butter on a whole chicken to roast, squish their hands in a squash to get the seeds out, and pull apart cooked beef for shredded beef sandwiches.
As long as they are old enough to comprehend not putting it in their mouths (my youngest is not trustworthy here yet, although I will most likely be doing pumpkins and squash with her this fall!) then go for it! It is the most occupying thing they will do all day! Not to mention sensory engaging, fine motor building, and creative mind provoking!
Let’s talk play kitchens! One of my biggest peeves about play kitchen food is all the processed boxes of junk they duplicate! My oldest doesn’t even know what half of it is because she has never seen it in our house! So about a year and a half ago I started washing and saving empty containers and jars of stuff that WE used in OUR kitchen so she could have them in HER kitchen to play with! Everything from empty coconut oil jugs to seasoning jars, sour cream containers to olive oil bottles! Just throw away small tops that would be choking hazards. Take a peek at our set up and be inspired!
My oldest feeds her babies exactly what we prepare in the kitchen! And even when they aren’t playing “cooking” they love working on getting tops on and off, putting things in the containers, and stacking! We of course have great play fruits and veggies, meats and grains duplicates we bought for Christmas this past year too.
Here is some more kitchen play inspiration for you!
So tell me! What do your kids love to play in their kitchens?! Boys too! My nephews LOVE playing kitchen when they come over! It’s good for them! My hubby is one if the best cooks I know! I love that he knows his way around a kitchen 😉