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Switch it Up: How to Entertain Your Kids in the Dining Room

>> Jan 24, 2013

As a chef, I'm always in the kitchen trying new recipes. As a mother of twins, I'm always looking for new ways to balance my time and keep my girls entertained. Over the years we've had to get creative. Instead of always going back and forth between cooking in the kitchen and checking on the girls in the playroom, we came up with something fun (and efficient). Occasionally we turn the kitchen into the playroom.

I know what you're thinking — how's it possible to do both? Well, our kitchen and dining room are combined in an open area, so while I'm busy baking the girls are close by. I can easily come play while waiting for the yeast to rise or oven to preheat. Instead of the usual coloring and crafting, here are five fun activities we do in our dining room. 

Create a Fort
Using old quilts, heavy dictionaries and flashlights, one of our favorite activities is to transform the kitchen table into a fort. The dictionaries keep the blankets in place and hold flaps open for easy door access. Though, I prefer to take it down before dinnertime, we've been known to keep the fort up for days at a time. It turns into a reading nook for us to curl up and tell stories. 

Take Your Turn: It's a Table-Tennis Tournament
Rectangular dining room sets are better than oval-shaped ones, but we've made use of both over the years. Using simply two paddles, a small ball and something to act as a divider, turn the table into a ping-pong court. Before we had a small net we made a line using plastic cups to mark the middle of the table acting as a net. No one (besides family) would know it, but posted inside one of my kitchen cabinets is a running tally of our matches. 

Completely Devoted to Finishing a Puzzle
A few times a year we'll take a week and devote the whole kitchen table to a giant puzzle. The whole family gets involved and we'll spend hours working on it each day. We only have a week, so it keeps us motivated to finish, but not so overwhelmed that we burn out before its completed. Plus, everyone seems to like spending mealtime cross-legged in the family room — Moroccan style! 

Theater Puppet Show
One of our crafting projects in the past was to decorate a cutout-cardboard box and make it into a puppet stage. The girls will use socks, dolls and sometimes anything they find around the house to act as stars in the show. Before the box, we'd just drape a blanket across the table for them to hide behind while lifting their arms to put on the show. I often record the show so when the girls get tired they can watch their performance. 

An Outdoor-Indoor Picnic
Especially when its cold and rainy, we like to move the table, lay out a blanket and have a picnic in our dining room. This is relatively easy for us because our kitchen table is so light, but for homes with heavier furnishing you may want to find another room to play in. Equipped with all the familiar favorites, I pack a basket filled with sandwiches, chips, bite-size fruit and lemonade. We tell stories and lie on our backs pretending to find shapes in the ceiling and walls. We've made some fun memories, and the girls will play there for hours after dinner. 

Author Bio : Carolyn Briggs is a pastry chef and mother of twins, Carolyn shares her helpful tips for making healthy and delicious meals that your kids will love and that you won't stress over preparing.

1 komentar:

Britton @ Secured Loan Companies January 28, 2013 at 12:57 PM  

This tips is a useful one for every a parent those who have a hectic schedule and no time for their children.

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a home maker, a stay at home wife. I'm just an ordinary woman who has interest in reading, working at home and learning to write. We live in Bogor, Indonesia.
This blog contains articles in family topic.
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