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need ideas about making food messes

482 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Lucy VanPelt
How do you get a 3yo to stop taking food out of the refridgerator and making messes all over the floor with it? He only seems to want to play with food (even though there are plenty of toys at his disposal) and the constant mess-making is tiring and annoying. Besides the fact that there is a 9mo to keep out of the messes, bugs aren't wanted.

Any ideas? Physical punishment is not an option. Looking for more pro-active ideas and ways to get child more interested in his toys.
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He sounds very tactile. Could you offer him more activities that involve hands on and exploring the senses. I know you asked for ideas to get him to play with his toys, but you could try things like play dough or clay; a bowl full of rice to dig and run his fingers through; maybe a sink full of bubbles: or some cooked spaghetti noodles. That way he could really explore but you could set it up in a way that is easier to clean up. Maybe if he knows this type of play is available he could learn to ask you for it instead of digging in the fridge.
Make a rule: No going in the fridge. Every time he heads for the fridge gently move him away with a "No going in the fridge".
If it's okay for him to have access to the fridge, maybe make one drawer that is okay for him to get items out of?

I made play-do for my girls and they now, instead of breaking all the eggs or pouring the milk in the bathroom sink, can get their play-do and have something to play with that is cold.
Are there a lot of toys around? IME, too many toys can be overwhelming, and then nothing gets played with...and the refrigerator starts looking really fun

In our fridge, the bottom few drawers only hold things that are okay to get into. I understand about the mess thing!

I love the ideas about offering tactile experiences!
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This might sound a little over the top; we have a fridge with the freezer on the left and fridge on the right. My husband drilled a hole in the metal and we put a screw and bolt in place. We didn't need it very long but it helped me keep my sanity during a trying time
We have the same kind of fridge....bungee cords were looking good there for awhile
My 18 month old can get into it, and she uses the shelves to climb. Yikes.
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Thank you, everyone.

I never thought of screwing the fridge shut. It's a rental, but maybe something can be rigged.

There def. aren't too many toys available. He's def. very tactile and likes to do what Mommy does. Sensory boxes full of rice just seemed to create more mess and didn't hold the attention as much as hoped.
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