A Space in the Kitchen for Your Little One

When we moved into our new house, just a couple months ago, I knew I had to figure out how I was going to keep the kitchen area safe for Lucas, who is know crawling (almost walking, but still not that interested!) and into everything. The layout of my house is really nice and perfect for kids, in that he can be in the family room playing with his toys and I can see him from the kitchen. But, when I’m in the kitchen, chances are he wants to be in there too “helping”me cook or clean.

Instead of locking up every drawer and putting everything off limits, I decided to give him one drawer. Inside I keep a few random things that he pulls out and plays with. He knows this drawer is for him and has his stuff in it. He goes to this drawer every time, and I hardly ever have to ask him to stay out of another drawer.

I added his favorite things; a spatula, tupperware, a measuring cup and other random kitchen things. What else could I add that he might like? I thought I was being creative adding cherrios to an old pop bottle but he doesn’t seem too interested.

I also have magnetic letters on the fridge which he will occasionally play with. I think as he gets older they will be more exciting to him.

What ideas do you have for creating a specific space in a room for your kids?

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

18 thoughts on “A Space in the Kitchen for Your Little One

  1. My kids have both loved bottles of colored water with glitter or other floating objects that they can shake, etc. I did an Examiner.com article on how to make…

    http://www.examiner.com/x-10843-Sacramento-Working-Moms-Examiner~y2009m6d27-The-simplest-toy-can-give-you-a-few-extra-minutes-and-a-great-time-for-your-toddler

    It may drive you nuts, but if you can find a small pan for him to bang the spoons against… much better sound quality than against the plastic 🙂

    Stacking cups are fun.

    Even if you just put some of his regular toys in there, it is like they are brand new to them.

    We have all of our toys in our family room (looks like we run a daycare), but something they always gravitate towards is my wedding album that sits on the coffee table in the living room, with our candid shots. That is their room.

  2. Try taking about half the cheerios out of the old pop bottle. If they make a better shaking sound (more room to move around), they may be far more interesting to him. I keep a small plastic container of cheerios and rice crispies in the diaper bag, and it's great for distracting Pixie during diaper changes. She loves to make it rattle.

  3. neat lisa! i just applied to write for the examiner!

    i have an entire small bookshelf in the living room that is all jordan's stuff, and a little grocery cart with fake food for him to play with in the kitchen. He still likes to pull everything out that he's not supposed to get into, though.

  4. We moved all the plastic containers to the cabinet under the sink, and I made sure anything down on Ingrid's level was okay for her to play with, including things in the pantry (which she can open the door to) She loves going in there and playing with the soup cans!

    I think this is key to living with a baby/toddler–make things in your house available for exploring. Cutting down on things they can't have cuts down on having to say no to them.

  5. This is too funny because we have a very similar drawer in our kitchen. It kinda happened by accident, but my son knows it's his drawer and doesn't even try to get into the other ones anymore. I have a couple plastic baby bottles in there because he loves to try to screw the top on them:)

  6. My oldest was so used to having her own cupboard at our apartment, that she made a beeline for that same cupboard in anyone else's kitchen!!!!

    You son is adorable, and I love your idea of his own drawer!

  7. Mine likes anything she can open, put stuff in and dump out. The empty Happy Baby puffs canister was fun cause the lid is easy to pop on and off. Even empty oatmeal canisters, or granola bar boxes are fun for her.

    She also likes playing drums w/large plastic spoons and spatulas on my aluminum baking pans.

    Lucas is such a good boy to go right to HIS own little drawer!

  8. Great ideas! I see some moms with the perfect home and all these trinkets, im like – my kids would destroy those. They need their space too, plus I just don't have the energy to be saying no to everything they get into all day. Any shelves that are within reach of my kids is the Tupperware. And they LOVE taking it all out and stacking it.

  9. I'm so glad to hear of someone else doing this too! We gave our son one cupboard under the counter at 10 months, and at 19 months he is still loving it! It's the one place that houses all of his toys, dishes-whatever. Makes him feel like a “big boy”:) We also purchased a card table and I sewed a cloth cover to drape over it, so it is like his “house”-complete with a door and windows. At night when it is clean up time, we just stick the toys in there, which makes for a nice toy hide-a-way as well.

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