When I made my pie crust the other day, I let Simon help. He stood on a chair beside me, and I would occasionally let him stir as I added ingredients. Jeramy and I have been making a conscious effort to include him in food preparations recently, allowing him to stir, to touch, to watch, and to taste. We think this is an important thing for him to become increasingly involved in.
After I was done measuring the flour and salt, I gave Simon the measuring cups to play with. There was a bit of flour sprinkled all over the table from when I allowed him to assist me in pouring it into the bowl (toddlers are not known for their coordination), and he went right to town playing in the flour, and pretending with the cups.
He had so much fun, and would periodically announce to us: “I cookin’! I cookin’!”
Yes, he got flour all over himself and the kitchen floor. But he also got a valuable play experience, and a chance to stretch his imagination muscles. Besides, the mess was easily remedied with the vacuum.
Flour, sugar, salt, corn starch…any of these would work with measuring cups for a fun toddler activity. You could also put everything inside a sensory bin, which would contain the spread of the mess some. We just might try this out soon, so stay tuned!