There are hidden treasures in your kitchen drawers — and I’m not talking about your emergency chocolate stash.
As I’ve learned from the wise and wisecracking Baby Sideburns blogger Karen Alpert, certain items commonly found in the kitchen can help entertain your baby while you go about doing important tasks like determining the source of that nasty smell in the fridge or fishing your wedding ring out of the garbage disposal. Or, you know, cooking — I think some people use kitchens for that.
Alpert gave me this advice months ago for a piece I was working on for BabyZone, and I’ve been applying it in my own life ever since. Here’s my list of go-to kitchen items that have entertained Scrunchy Face while giving mama precious time to microwave her frozen pizza. I hope they can do the same for you!
7 Everyday Kitchen Items to Distract Your Baby 1 of 8
We're not talking Ginsu knives, but there are indeed plenty of gadgets and knick knacks in your kitchen that your baby can enjoy.
Red Solo Cup 2 of 8
You don't have to fill up this red Solo cup to have a party! Your baby will have a great time squeezing the cup and hearing its plastic sides crunch, an effect amplified, no doubt, by its megaphone-like shape. With any luck, junior will carry this joy of cup-crunching into his high school and college years so when he's inevitably offered a cup actually filled with something, he'll just shrug and say, "No thanks, man. It's more fun empty." (A mom can dream...)
Measuring Spoons 3 of 8
Who needs mommy's keys when metal measuring spoons on a ring are just as fun? Bonus: If you stop him from forming a bond with keys now, maybe he'll be less likely to come begging for yours when he gets his driver's license. Maybe he won't want to get his license at all and spend all day baking for you instead! Parenting WIN!
Toddler Plates 4 of 8
You might already have brightly-colored plastic plates in your drawers if there's an older kid in the house. But if not, no harm in investing in some early -- even if Baby is too young to eat off of them, he'll have a ball gazing at their neon shades and smacking them together like cymbals. Marching band, here he comes!
Water Bottle 5 of 8
It's the ultimate in plastic recycling: Instead of tossing your used water bottle in a bin, give to Baby. He'll be fascinated by its ridges and transparent surface, and you'll feel slightly better about breaking your promise to stop using plastic water bottles, you earth hater, you.
Egg Beater 6 of 8
Egg beaters aren't just for beating eggs. They're for beating baby boredom too!
Disposable Sippy Cups 7 of 8
You don't need expensive toy stacking cups when you have cheap, disposable sippy cups lying around. Opt for the latter and your baby won't know the difference, but your wallet will. Take the money you save and invest it in his college fund....ha, ha, just kidding! Treat yourself to a night away from the kitchen...
Straw 8 of 8
Go to a restaurant where they can provide you with even more baby entertainment, such as a straw-wrapped in plastic -- or, as you'll introduce it to your baby, a magical wand that is far more interesting than the favorite rattle you forgot to pack in his diaper bag. Relax, mama -- your work here is done. Now go eat your meal in peace...for the next five minutes.
More from Alice:
11 TV Catchphrases Your Toddler Won’t Stop Saying (BabyZone)