My daughter has been helping to load and unload the dishwasher for a long time, and recently we’ve added to that by encouraging her to learn how to wash dishes. We use a big plastic bin filled with warm water, a clean soapy sponge, and an assortment of dirty dishes; for now we’ve been giving her plastic/metal/wood dishes and cutlery in order to avoid broken dishes she could injure herself with – and of course, no sharp objects. We talk about why it’s important to thoroughly clean all sides of the dishes because even though we only put food on the top side, when they’re stacked food bits can transfer to the underside. As she practices, she’s learning how much force to apply when scrubbing, which side of the sponge works best for what, how to rinse, and how to best place the dishes on the drying pad. These are simple skills that many of us as adults take for granted, but for a young child these simple skills help feed their sense of independence, which is so important for them.
I love that my daughter is having fun while learning and contributing as we clean up after meals. I also love that this keeps her entertained while I take care of some of the meal cleanup that she can’t assist with.
What are some of the things that your little ones like to help with in the kitchen? Tell us in the comments below.