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Training a Toddler: Dish Washing & A Sink Full of Fun

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A Heart For Home: Training a Toddler: Dish Washing & A Sink Full of Fun

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Training a Toddler: Dish Washing & A Sink Full of Fun

This past week, we began teaching Emahry how to wash dishes. She's been "helping" with the dishes since she was about a year old. However, we want to make sure we take advantage of this age where she wants to help by teaching her how to wash dishes correctly.

We've started by simply filling the kitchen sink with about 2 inches of water and adding dish detergent. We them place a few unbreakable items in the sink for her to wash. These items normally consist of small metal bowls, measuring cups, and small plastic containers that need to be cleaned before put into the recycling bin.

We begin each training session by showing her how to use the dish cloth to wipe the dirty dishes. Then we show her where to place the washed dishes. For us, we place all the washed dishes in the second sink and then rinse them all at the end because we've found that we use less water this way.

Once we've demonstrated how we want her to wash the dishes, we step back and let her do it. For the first few dishes I normally stand beside her and offer verbal reminders, but after that I move on to some other work in the kitchen and just check on her every couple of minutes.

When Emahry has finished washing all of the dishes that we placed in the sink (or on the counter) we rinse them together and place them in the drying rack. We still have to help with this part because she can't reach the drying rack and she tends to get distracted wanting to play in the water.

When we are finished she is able to play in the sink water. If it's gotten pretty dirty we replace it with about an inch of new water and lots of bubbles. This is a reward for Emahry but it also allows me time to complete my kitchen tasks. This is a great time for me to work on meal preparations, take stock of the fridge, freezer, and cabinets in order to plan meals, prepare freezer meals, and complete general cleaning chores.

Here are a few more pictures for Emahry's sink time fun.

How do you involve or teach your children to help with household tasks. We're always looking for new ways to include and train our children, so please leave a comment with your input.

Here are some other posts you might enjoy:

This post contributed to I Am Blissfully Domestic.

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Blogger Staci A said...

Great idea! And very cute photos! We give our little one a spray bottle of water and a towel and he helps to wipe things down, the table, counter, fridge, etc. It's fun for him, and helps me out.

April 25, 2009 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Owen is a great sock sorter. I pile all the socks together as I'm folding the laundry and then he matches them up for me. Gavin and Maddie fold all the kitchen towels. (Emahry may be too young for that now, but they both started that job fairly young.) I have them fold them in half once and then in half again. It has led to easy training of folding other clothing, too.

April 25, 2009 at 7:56 PM  

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