Saturday Simple Playtime: Having Fun With Dinner

Going back to work, I notice that I don’t have as much time to play with Beanie as I would like. I try to fit in activities (at least 20 minutes worth a day) from each of her therapies: fine motor, gross motor, speech, and sensory. That could potentially leave me with little time to do the housework, cook the meals, spend time with Rob, and relax.

But it’s really just a matter of working smarter, not harder. Play can be mixed in with daily routines quite easily. Here are some ways to make dinner a fun and educational part of you day:

–Have your little one set the table. This is a great exercise in following directions (eventually multi-step–I hand Beanie all the spoons and tell her to put them where they go).

–Involve your little one in the cooking, as much as you can. This is a great time for direction following, fine motor practice, and even some sensory input (baking bread is a great sensory activity!). I have Beanie pour ingredients in and stir. Basically, she helps with anything that doesn’t use the stove.

–If you don’t eat together, you should! It’s a great opportunity for conversation, direction following (table manners), and just a great chance to catch up.

–When you eat Asian food, use chopsticks for some fine motor fun!

–Go outside and have a picnic sometimes. It can be out on the deck, or at the park.

–In the winter, have a picnic on the floor!

The possibilities are really as endless as your creativity. Bon appetit!

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