16 TV Free Ways to Entertain The Kids While You Cook

After a long shift at the office, you come home to hungry kiddos and a million chores you need to do. In order to get dinner on the table, many frazzled moms and dads park the little ones in front of the TV while they cook. If you add in the time they watch TV in the morning while you run around getting ready, the time they may watch it during the day, and weekend TV time, you could be looking at a whopping 28 hours per week!

The average child watches television 4 hours a day!

Yes you do have to make dinner, but there are other TV free ways to keep the little ones entertained:

1.    Give them a clipboard and crayons.

2.       Ask them to draw a picture of you making dinner.

3.       Ask them to draw a picture a picture to mail to grandma.

4.       Ask for a list of all the things they see that start with the letter S.

5.       Ask for a list of yellow things they see in the kitchen.

6.       Keep a basket of children’s books handy. Switch them out weekly at the library.

7.       Have your kiddos find Waldo!

8.       Give them blocks and let them build.

9.       Stack dominoes and knock them down.

10.   Give them a “quiet bin.” This is a small plastic tub filled with toys, books, or puzzles that they only get during this special time. Switch out the goodies inside weekly.

11.   Let them “help” make dinner or set the table.

12.   Give your preschoolers a pan and a spoon and let them whop up imaginary dinner or play the drums.

13.   Play some music and have a dance party while you cook.

14.   Give the kiddos your Tupperware stash and let them match them up by size and find the right lids. They’re entertained and you finally have a few matches, a win all around!

15.   Give them a kid safe flashlight. Even in the daytime kids have a blast with flashlights.

16.   Try this Foil and Toys Fine Motor Activity. Just make sure they don’t try to eat the foil.

If your child watches 4 hours of TV per day, it adds up to two months of watching per year!

What other ways do you entertain your little one while cooking, getting ready for work or folding laundry? If you have something GREAT that we missed, leave a comment and let us know. We LOVE comments! Also be sure to check out our post 3 Family Fun Date Night Ideas for the Sandwich Generation for some great family night ideas.

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