10 WAYS TO DISTRACT A TODDLER SO YOU CAN MAKE A CUP OF TEA

10 WAYS TO DISTRACT A TODDLER SO YOU CAN MAKE A CUP OF TEA

My toddler is so curious. She wants to know how everything works and that’s great. The only downside, is that as soon as I step into the kitchen, she comes running in pointing to all of the devices: the microwave, the washing machine, the kettle, the fridge and shouts ‘dadadadada’ all excited, then clambers to be picked up so that she can watch whatever incredibly interesting (to her) thing I’m going to do next. 

Now; I have mastered the art of making a cup of tea one armed with Evie clung to me excitedly pointing. But it isn’t easy draining out the tea bag, I don’t like carrying a hot cup with her in my arms and sometimes it’s just nice to have a few minutes peace to drink it while it’s still warm.

Here are 10 ways to distract a toddler so you can make a cup of tea. I am guilty to say I have used all of these.

10 WAYS TO DISTRACT A TODDLER1. Throw a ball. Shout ‘look here’s your ball!’ and throw it in the opposite direction of the kettle. Yes I know my child isn’t a dog. Her dad has told me off for doing this. But she does love her ball and she does love chasing it. It’s a win/win!

2. Pretend your a ninja. Attempt to master the art of sneaking out of the room without her noticing. My 1st attempt at this was successful. My 2nd attempt I forgot to push the door too. She heard the kettle click and sure enough was at my feet in seconds!

3. Check the times of her favourite TV programme and perhaps record it for future desperate occasions – our TV doesn’t do this unfortunately.

4. Introduce a new toy or book. Luckily Evie loves books. We go to the library every couple of weeks and one time I did keep a book she hadn’t seen yet in my bag, for a time when I’d really need a distraction. 

5. Give her a snack. I sometimes try and time having a cup of tea with Evie’s snack times.

6. Set her up with some colouring in. I don’t know if all toddlers are the same, but Evie loves crayons. This activity lasts at least ten minutes.

8. Fill a box with paper & hide her toys in it. I had some spare shredded paper this week and hid Evie’s toys amongst it. She loved this game. A fun sensory activity that keeps them occupied.

9. Give her a designated kitchen cupboard to play with. We’re childproofing the cupboards this week but leaving one for Evie so that we can teach her boundaries and gradually open them all back up again. It’s also a great distraction. 

10. Give her some household items you don’t mind her playing with. Like a saucepan and a spoon. But remember they’ll probably always want these from now on.

10 WAYS TO DISTRACT A TODDLER

All mamas need a five minute break to refresh. It’s also good to encourage solo play. I have even used these methods so that I can: put away washing, eat some food without her chasing me for some, go to the toilet alone and make a cup of tea. I can’t promise these methods will work for you. Good luck.

What do you do to get five minutes of quiet?

If you loved this then you’ll also love my post ‘10 Disgusting Things New Parents Do‘.

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76 Comments

  1. Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
    June 27, 2015 / 1:46 am

    We’ve gotten to the stage where both the dog and baby fetch the same ball and play happily together for a few minutes. It’s a tea drinking godsend 🙂

  2. June 27, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    Love the throwing the ball in the opposite direction technique! Genious idea, if that doesn’t work I could combine it with a snack and throw a biscuit instead? It might buy an extra 5 minutes! What we have to do for a cuppa!!! Haha.

  3. June 29, 2015 / 8:47 am

    One son loved to put things in the bin so I would save things for him so that when I needed to get on I could keep handing him bits of cardboard to put in one at a time of course (amazing how many pieces a cereal box will make). The other son loved putting coins into a money box so I would always have one ready so he could post away. Great post. Brings back memories.

  4. June 29, 2015 / 8:59 am

    Once my little lad hears the kettle boil he’s in like a shot of lightening… good tips though!

  5. June 29, 2015 / 1:00 pm

    I love the throw the ball one!! haha brilliant. I’m quite bad and have a stairgate still by the kitchen door so worse case scenario I can lock her out!!! oops x #mummymondays

    • June 30, 2015 / 7:33 am

      haha thank you. We don’t have any stair gates in the doorways, but I bet that comes in handy when you need to cook. xx

  6. June 29, 2015 / 4:33 pm

    Brilliant! I must try the box of shredded paper! 🙂

    • June 30, 2015 / 7:36 am

      It’s actually quite a fun thing to play with together too! 😀 x

  7. June 29, 2015 / 8:28 pm

    Great tips. I got a travel cup that I could drink the tea from so if it got knocked over, I’d didn’t have to distract them while I mopped up. #mummymondays

  8. June 29, 2015 / 8:48 pm

    Great tips. I have been known to put Boo in the washing basket with spoons so she can sail across the kitchen haha. You do what you have to do 😉

    • June 30, 2015 / 7:37 am

      Thank you. Haha what a brilliant idea! I bet she had fun too. x

    • June 30, 2015 / 7:39 am

      Thank you. It’s actually quite a fun thing to play with together too! 😀 x

  9. Mummaknows
    June 30, 2015 / 2:19 am

    Love this. My toddler (now 2 and a half) loves being RIGHT in there when I’m cooking. She now pulls up a chair to the stove so she can stir and want to touch absolutely everything. I have to remember she is learning and try let her help as much as I can despite my inner self being like “can’t I just cook the food!!”. Haha
    By the way, I love the name Evie!! My second baby was unnamed for two weeks because I couldn’t decide between Evie and Makenna….We finally settled with Makenna but it was close!! #Mommymonday

    • June 30, 2015 / 7:40 am

      Oh wow Makenna is such a beautiful name! 😀

      Haha it is so hard to be patient and teach them everything when you’re so used to rushing about and getting things like cooking done quickly. We’re gradually getting used to slowing things down a bit so Evie can learn but still have those days when we’re like ‘I’m so hungry! Please play with your toys!’ xx

  10. June 30, 2015 / 7:58 am

    Brilliant! Although I read ‘Fill a box with paper & hide her toys in it’, but didn’t read the ‘toys’ part – a much better I think, to ‘Fill a box with paper & hide her in it.’. I’m going to try this one 😉 #twinklytuesday

  11. June 30, 2015 / 8:07 am

    Great post! I normally opt for number 10 and give Baby Z a spoon and bowl to play with! #twinklytuesday

  12. June 30, 2015 / 8:33 am

    Haha. I do 1 & I do always feel a bit guilty that I am treating them like dogs! But they do like to chase balls! I try 5, but my Toddler still thinks she should get some of whatever I have along with her snack! #twinklytuesday

    • July 16, 2015 / 8:52 am

      Evie loves chasing balls so I think it’s ok. They seem to love other peoples food don’t they. x

    • June 30, 2015 / 1:05 pm

      Haha the things we do for 6 minutes of peace! 🙂 x

  13. June 30, 2015 / 4:02 pm

    hilarious! this gave me a good laugh 🙂 no children here, but they sound like fun ♥

    • July 2, 2015 / 7:44 am

      Haha it sounds cruel but she actually loves playing ball so it’s a win/win! 🙂 x

  14. July 1, 2015 / 8:45 am

    Haha, love this! Got to admit, I’ve done the ninja one on more than one occasion 🙂

    • July 2, 2015 / 7:45 am

      😀 it’s so frustrating when you reach your destination and accidentally make a loud noise then hear a pattering of quick footsteps. x

  15. July 1, 2015 / 11:20 am

    If I want a nice peaceful cup of tea I always give my girls the ipad or a snack. or something on tv 🙂

    • July 2, 2015 / 7:46 am

      The things we do for five minutes to refresh! 😀 x

  16. July 1, 2015 / 11:54 am

    Some great ideas here. To be honest I am guilty of the throwing a ball thing too. Yep I know as you say hes not a dog, but its a distraction that he enjoys!

    • July 2, 2015 / 7:47 am

      I’m glad I’m not the only one that’s done this haha.x

  17. July 1, 2015 / 12:54 pm

    Love the idea of being a Ninja! I find that sneaking away only works for only 2 minutes. I have this random magic box full of weird odds and ends that I whip out in the kitchen whenever I want to sneak a tea (or chocolate haha)! #MMWBH

    • July 3, 2015 / 5:41 pm

      Haha the things wedo. A box is such a great idea! xx

  18. Jen
    July 1, 2015 / 1:34 pm

    This made me smile…I’m drinking a peppermint tea as I read it, really appreciating a minute to rest while 2.5 plays solo in his room! In a moment he’ll want me to join in but right now he’s enjoying some quiet time after a busy play date. I might even get to enjoy 5 mins of Escape to the Country. Thanks for the tips, I’ll try some!

    • Jen
      July 1, 2015 / 1:35 pm

      (That should say ‘Mr 2.5’)

    • July 3, 2015 / 5:43 pm

      I am so jealous. I haven’t been able to watch Escape To The Country in full since Evie has been born. It’s good that he’ll solo play My friends son won’t, I really feel for her. X

  19. July 1, 2015 / 7:01 pm

    Throw the ball! I think that’s a great idea. Doesn’t do any harm does it?? #MMWBH

  20. July 1, 2015 / 11:11 pm

    Very funny! For my 10 months old a box full of toys works wonders although she really hates me being in the kitchen! And for my 5 years old an ipad is the best distraction. x #MaternityMondays

    • July 4, 2015 / 6:45 am

      Evie hates me being in the kitchen too. Hoping it’s just an age thing for both of them, perhaps they’re just a bit clingy because they’re small. 🙂 x

  21. July 2, 2015 / 3:07 pm

    Haha it’s so true, Tyler is always hanging around my feet when I want to make a cuppa. I stick on train videos on youtube to distract him! #MMWBH
    Sabrina xx

    • July 3, 2015 / 5:39 pm

      The things we do haha. I must admit I’ve used Disney’s ‘Let It Go’ too x

  22. Love this – such an important subject matter to cover in a blog post! Ninja antics rarely work for me either. He got his own toy tea set for his 2nd birthday and that has helped – we both make tea together – though he insists on having proper tea bags for his!! #TheList

    • July 4, 2015 / 6:41 am

      Haha thank you. We bought Evie a tea set for the same reasons but she’s only 1 so it definitely doesn’t work as well. 🙂 xx

  23. July 3, 2015 / 7:45 am

    Eep I also throw a ball for my boy sometimes, I know he’s not a dog but it works haha. I also rely on peppa pig quite a lot, 5 whole minutes to myself..woo!xx great list #TheList

    • July 4, 2015 / 6:41 am

      Haha the things we do! So many people seem to be ball throwers. x

  24. July 3, 2015 / 8:40 am

    I love these ideas, we have recently taken the baby gate down between our dining room and kitchen! He has done quite well but always seems to want my tea or coffee. I have even gone so far as to say “where is the ball Nate?” to make him run the opposite way!

    • July 4, 2015 / 6:42 am

      🙂 That’s great that you’ve got to the stage where you can take down the boundaries. I can’t wait for that day. x

  25. July 3, 2015 / 11:51 am

    lol lol lol – we play hide and seek, I count whilst making a drink and he hides #TheList

  26. July 3, 2015 / 11:57 am

    My toddler loves a ball – I don’t let him have them all the time so when they do come out he gets very excited. Snacks work wonders – sometimes I can even answer the phone if I give him a biscuit! #TheList

  27. Mummy's Blog
    July 4, 2015 / 3:56 pm

    haha, I’m totally going to try throwing a ball! My daughter has a toy dog called Woof Woof and I always say ‘Go Find Woof Woof!’ and off she scuttles…except, I’ve kinda hidden Woof Woof! Bad mummy! At least I get five min to go to the toilet in peace though, lol!
    #thelist

    • July 7, 2015 / 7:17 pm

      haha I hope it worked for you. That’s so cute! 🙂 Definitely bad mummy haha. x

  28. July 6, 2015 / 5:02 pm

    I used to give my girls their own “tea” to make by giving them a cup of water and an empty cup. Sure, I had to wipe up the water they spilled, but it was worth it. Thanks for linking with #TwinklyTuesday.

    • July 7, 2015 / 7:29 pm

      Oh that’s a brilliant idea. I’m going to try that. x

  29. July 7, 2015 / 6:46 pm

    Ha! What a great post and I am ALWAYS pulling the ninja card! Although she’s so perceptive that she always knows where to find me, lol!! Thanks for linking up to #MMWBH

    • July 7, 2015 / 7:43 pm

      haha the ninja definitely sometimes works. The things we do for a little time out. x

  30. You Baby Me Mummy
    July 8, 2015 / 7:56 pm

    Ah yes, stealthy tea making! They are a joy aren’t they, especially when you are gasping for a brew. Thanks for linking up to #TheList x

    • July 9, 2015 / 9:52 am

      Haha it definitely is stealthy tea making. 🙂 Thank you for hosting.x

  31. July 8, 2015 / 8:08 pm

    Throw a ball – genius! I might try that tomorrow. Tin Box Tot has a step in the kitchen. We bought it so she could reach the work top when we were baking. Unfortunately she now pushes it over whenever she realises I’m doing anything in the kitchen. I can’t do anything without her supervising. It takes forever to do anything! #sharewithme

    • July 9, 2015 / 9:53 am

      I can’t help but coo over how cute that is. I bet it is frustrating, but it’s so sweet that she just toddles on over with it. 🙂 x

  32. July 9, 2015 / 7:00 am

    Great list. Love the distraction of a snack! That always works a treat for me! #ShareWithMe x

    • July 9, 2015 / 9:54 am

      Especially if it’s a generous portion or their favourite snack haha. x

  33. July 13, 2015 / 2:47 am

    Love this I am in the habit of reheating my coffee about ten times a day at the moment just to get one down in a day. lol 🙂 Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

  34. November 13, 2015 / 8:58 am

    Some great tips i shall use in the future. At the moment i use peek aboo gradually increasing the time between boo’s. Horrible leaving the room for literally a few seconds to hear crying ive read its a stage of learning object perminance but frustrating all the same

    • November 13, 2015 / 7:26 pm

      Haha I love the increasing time between boos. Luckily the older they get, the easier it is to get a warm cup! ;-D x

  35. Maria
    August 20, 2016 / 7:28 pm

    I think #1 is pure gold! This works about 80% of the time for Lacie haha I might try the others next time. Thanks x

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