2 bored, whiny kids
1 large bed sheet
Countless bowls, spoons, cups and pans
A large container of rice
A loose grip on your OCD tendencies
1. Spread the sheet out over as much of the floor as possible. The more area covered, the easier clean-up will be later. Dark sheets are a bonus.
2. Spread the utensils and dishes around. This will stir up the kids' curiosity and they will momentarily stop whining.
3. Allow them to explore the dishes for a minute before unveiling the secret ingredient. Place the tub of rice in the middle of the sheet and tell them to have fun.
4. Step back and watch your one year old taste uncooked rice. Watch her spit it out and commence dumping and digging rice instead.
5. When you're satisfied they won't eat much of the rice and they're otherwise entertained, sneak away to do those chores you've been trying to do all morning but weren't able to due to the kids around your ankles.
6. Check on them periodically only to discover them still gainfully occupied.
7. Repeat steps 5-6 for an HOUR AND A HALF.
8. Consider the day a success for all parties involved.
(For the record, Bean would NOT look at the camera, hence the pics of my C and none of Miss Bean)
Also, cleanup was a breeze... use the sheet to dump the rice back in the container, store away / wash the dirty utensils and vacuum up the stray grains. Piece of cake. And WELL worth it for an hour and a half of play time with no fighting, whining, begging, hitting, etc. Well worth it.