Friday, June 25, 2010

Thinking Thursdays: What's cooking?

Oven mitts: A chef's recommendation in Junior J's cafe
I used to cook our meals during Junior J's naptime, since he conveniently goes down for a nap in the morning as well as in the late afternoon.  However, its becoming more challenging since he's started dropping his first nap, so I've been keeping him in the kitchen while I cook so that I can keep an eye on him.  I usually just give him some random pots and pans for him to pretend-cook with, and he's usually quite happy stirring, scooping, and pretending to feed himself.  However, with him running around more and more, its been getting difficult to find things that can keep him occupied for the entire time taken for meal preparation, so the things he's been given to play with has been increasing, both in number and in variety.  Which translates to a pretty messy kitchen at the end of it all!

Pretending cooking at its best:
The stool as a stove, the bucket as a pot, and loads of yummy lego!
Oh, and abit of wild game (try to spot the hippo) too...
I'm thinking of getting him some small pots and pans plus some play food next time (and I think he's a little too young to help out currently in the food preparation process), so here's a question to all experienced mums who've cooked while having kids underfoot: What activities could you give a 17 month old that could occupy him for 20-30 minutes, while you're busy chopping, dicing and frying?  Please share, since I need ideas!

Oh, and happy weekend!  Have a blessed one!


  1. After reading this post, I had to think for a really long time before I can remember what we did when my boys were 17 mths old. Lol...They had 'the very hungry caterpillar' VCD and absolutely loved the stories by Eric Carle. And with the beautiful & colourful illustrations and soothing music in the background, they were immersed in it while I cooked. I love Eric Carle's story books :) Now, where is that vcd.....

  2. Whip out all the pots and pans + ladels. He will like to be close to you when you are preparing food, and stuff that mommy uses will be extremely intriguing.

  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog! These pictures are gorgeous, especially the snapshot of the dragonfly. Your son is cute too!

  4. WOW, reading you is like thinking about my everyday experiences with Larinka. She comes in and out of the kitchen when I cook and it`s hard to keep her busy, specially when she is hungry. I bought some funny matryoshka magnets inspired on Frida Khalo, very colourful, she adores them and she likes to play with them on the fridge right next to me. She has different magnets, food shapes and animals also. I have letters too, but I`m saving them for now. I also bought pots, pans and small plastic spatulas for her, but she prefers to play with the original ones. My advice? Get different magnets but don`t waste money buying pans, they always want to use what WE MOMS USE.

  5. I like the pots, pans, and play food idea! That way, they will feel as though they are truly involved in the whole cooking process!

    My daughter is just 5 months, but I think that she would enjoy that when she gets older. For now, I usually (if not doing things on the stove or cutting onions) just put her in a baby carrie. That way she can see what i'm doing.

    -Jessica a.k.a Nya's mom

  6. 17th month is a little young to help. I would sit him in his highchair and do the cooking while he eats. you can still interact with him while he eats a snack etc. Then give him toys to play with after he eats. You'll make many "breaks" because you have to attend to him but it can all be done with a little planning (=

  7. Entertaining toddler while cooking is really a difficult task. Maybe u try adding in edible play dough during pretend play session to make it more 'entertaining'. :D

  8. believe it or not, i emptied 2 of my kitchen drawers and filled with all his toys. While i cooked, he would look into the drawers and play with whatever i left there. To make it more interesting, you can rotate the toys every other day. Otherwise, cook something with minimal fuss. i'd prepare the ingredient the night before, throw them all in a crockpot in the morning, everything should be cooked by noon. :)

  9. Wow! I read through this list of suggestions a few times, and there are so many great tips! Thanks everyone for sharing...

    Eileen: OK, illustrated books and music, here I come!

    Rachel: Ah, ladles... that I haven't tried...

    Justine: Thanks for visiting...

    Kira: Oh I thought magnets on the fridge was a super fantastic idea!

    Nya's mom: Yup, it was the same here, I used to carry the boy in a carrier if required. But the only problem was, its so hot here, the boy would perspire like crazy!

    Lisa: Ah... snacks, that should buy me some more time too! And I sure agree about it needing some planning!

    Cendrine: Oh cool! Will try to make some next time and hopefully that'll add more oomph to his pretend cooking... Thanks!

    Homeschool@sg: Very good ideas here, I think digging through a drawer of stuff would help buy me time... so I think I'd better go pack my messy kitchen!



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