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10 Ways to Entertain Your Kids While You Cook Dinner

Dinner prep.

I don’t know about you, but it is my least favorite part of the day. I’m tired, the preschooler is tired, my husband is tired, and we’re all hungry. While I love my husband, cooking is not one of his strongest abilities so I am the main food-preparer in the family. Unfortunately, it’s not something I particularly LIKE to do even on a good day, so facing the kitchen at the end of a rough day is my idea of hell. Add in a whining preschooler attached to my leg? Well, I believe Dante wrote a book about it.

So a conversation on Twitter was started on how you entertain your kids while you cook and I got some fantastic answers:

  • Keep them out from under your feet! 1 of 11
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    Click through for ten ways to entertain your kids so you can get dinner on the table before midnight!

  • Let him help. 2 of 11
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    Sure, he'll make a mess. But he will LOVE getting to be your side-kick in all thing stirring and soaping up the dirty dishes. Create a bonding experience rather than a separation.

  • Independent play. 3 of 11
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    I'm a big fan of independent play and dinner prep is the perfect time for it. He plays quietly with his toys in the next room or on the floor of the kitchen while I cook.

  • Let the television babysit. 4 of 11
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    Because honestly, that's what I do. He gets his 30 minutes of screen time while I cook.

  • Have Dad take over. 5 of 11
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    He's your partner in this, right? So while you're over the stove, he shouldn't be kicked back in the recliner without a care in the world. Have him roll up those parenting sleeves and keep the kids out from under your feet (and the hot boiling pots!) until dinner is served.

  • Art projects. 6 of 11
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    This is only for the brave. But set him up with coloring or Playdoh at the kitchen table. It's also the best way to have a conversation with him while you cook.

  • The gamer. 7 of 11
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    He sits on the couch in the other room with Angry Birds. He plays quietly. I get to cook. I don't have to hear the Angry Birds music.

    IT IS A WIN FOR EVERYONE.

  • Seriously, kid. Just go outside. 8 of 11
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    I'm lucky because I have massive windows overlooking our fenced backyard in our house that is in a cul-de-sac in a very safe neighborhood. Which means I have been known to open the back door and tell him to just go outside and play. Be a kid! But stay in the backyard where I can watch him.

  • Just let them run wild. 9 of 11
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    Dig out the old trusty wooden spoons and pots of his baby days. Or let him play in the freezer, as my friend on Facebook suggested. Just hope he comes to the table when he's called!

  • Put her to work. 10 of 11
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    You know how she's always begging to use the Swiffer? Put her to work! Give her chores to do while you cook—you're helping the family by providing food, and she can help by providing chores.

  • The drive-thru is plenty exciting. 11 of 11
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    Because let's be honest, we've all done the Happy Meal run.

More from BA:

Ways your toddler can help in the kitchen without burning the house down.

Rare color photos of women working during World War II.

Going to the zoo this summer with your toddler? Read this!

What we are up to this summer!

Beth Anne writes words & takes pictures at Okay, BA! You can also find her on the Twitters & Facebook.

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