Six Ways to Keep Toddlers Occupied During Meal Prep

Preparing meals is a labor of love in our home, and we enjoy involving our kids in the process. Unfortunately, several dangers like hot pans and boiling water don't mix well with curious toddlers. We found several ways to keep toddlers occupied, safe and supervised during meal prep. Maybe these suggestions will work for your family, too.

1. Fill a basket or drawer with child-sized pots, pans, utensils and pretend food. While you use real kitchen tools, your toddler can play along in his or her pretend kitchen.

2. Set up the playpen in the corner and fill it with a few toys. By changing the toys every few days, your toddler won't grow bored as you prepare meals.

3. Large magnets and a cookie sheet. Bring out this interactive toy only when you cook to keep your toddler distracted yet entertained.

4. Strap your toddler in the high chair with table toys. Our suggestions include coloring books, play dough, books and blocks.

5. Fill the sink with soapy water and let your older toddler "wash dishes" while you cook. We all know your toddler will end up soaking wet, but at least he or she is safe and entertained.

6. Give your toddler jobs. Safe tasks include stirring pudding, measuring pasta and organizing silverware.

The kitchen is an important room in your home, and you want to share the meal prep experience with your toddlers. Use these tips to ensure they stay safe. Which one will you try today?

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