Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Few Grains of Sanity: Rice as Kitchen Distractor

Ranger, my chief assistant, shows endless enthusiasm as kitchen help.

The problem is that, at two, he's more of a kitchen danger than a helper. I dread seeing him dragging a chair toward the sink when I'm up to the elbows in very hot water.

So, I gave him an important job at the kitchen table. He's to rearrange about 2 cups of long grain rice in a variety of containers.

He was a bit distressed when some of the rice fell on the floor, so I stopped washing dishes and got out the broom to reassure him. Once he saw the broom- it kept him entertained until all the dishes were done.

I shook the rice on the towel back into a container and labeled it "Play Rice." It's sitting on top of fridge waiting for Ranger's next burst of kitchen apprenticeship.


***This is the unsolicited, independent opinion of the geek parents at Baby Toolkit. We're definitely not experts at this so take it all with a grain of rice, er.... salt. Baby Toolkit, (c) 2008 (photos and text).

6 comments:

Kate said...

What a great idea! I'll have to remember it once the little one gets old enough to, er, help :)

Chief Family Officer said...

Very clever! I'll have to do this with Alex!

michaela said...

Here via ParentHacks, and I love this idea. We do something like this with a bag of dry beans, but I think the interest in those is wearing out. So rice will be the next tiny object for kitchen play....

Mason said...

I have done the same with cups and water and a little bit of food coloring. The boy loves to mix the colors until its all brown. Kinda on the messy side, but it lets him "help."

Julie said...

I've done similar with dried beans (black-eyes peas) and also with oatmeal. The latter I pulled out when T was 10 or 11 months old.

Since our kitchen is small T sits on the floor to have his fun, so it's fairly easy for me to clean up. However, I LOVE the idea of using a towel to keep it all collected, 'cause my now 19 month old always makes a mess.

Andrea said...

Excellent idea, it totally works and its worth the 2 minutes of sweeping up for the peace to get something done in the kitchen without your faithful "helper" getting into anything unsafe. I've used small pasta shells, beans, rice crispy cereal (which clung all over her little feet and legs - very entertaining for me)... For tools we use a mini muffin pan, measuring cups, funnels, recycled empty plastic food containers, ice cube trays... Lots of fun!