Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Kitchen Help

Awhile back I read Tammy's post about having her little boys help her wash dishes and wondered to myself how that would work out with my 13 month old little guy. Well after awhile curiosity took over and I tried it out!

Let me tell you Luke LOVES "helping" Mom wash the dishes. He knows the dishes are supposed to go in the dish drainer and claps for himself when he does manage to put something in the drainer. Often a few items end up on the floor or being rewashed many times but as long as it's a plastic item or a spoon who cares?!

I thought I would give a few suggestions for those of you interested in trying this out as the idea perplexed me for a little while!

- Make sure any knives or breakable items are completely out of your toddler's reach!

- Gather all the dishes you will be washing and have them ready to go. With a baby or toddler standing on the chair you must be by their side constantly!

- Put a chair on the side of the sink where you want baby. Turn the chair sideways so the back of the chair supports one side of the toddler and you block the other side. This way the toddler can fall only in one direction (backwards.) If your baby is younger and not very secure on the chair then you can put one leg up behind the baby (see the picture) to provide a little more support so they don't fall backwards. I feel more comfortable having my leg there just in case he would loose his balance!

- Set your baby on the chair and give him a few plastic items or spoons to "wash." Turn the water on once in awhile for fun!

Believe me it will take longer to do the dishes this way but it is also a ton of fun! Luke loves "helping" Mom do dishes and I love that he is learning to be a "helper" at an early age. Though this is a bit time consuming, it is also easier to do this than to try to load the dishwasher with a 13 month old trying to take every dirty and breakable item you put into the dishwasher back out!

For more kitchen tips visit Tammy's Recipes.


Mrs. Mordecai said...

Thanks for this tip! I love hearing ways that the little ones can "help" us out instead of yelling on the sidelines.

Sonshine said...

Thanks for tips! I have a 16 mo. that loves to help me dust. :)

*carrie* said...


I hadn't thought to try this. Nathan likes getting his hands washed in the big sink, and playing with Tupperware, but I haven't tried having him wash dishes!

Jamie said...

Thanks for the comments all! Let me know how it works out if you try it!

Martie said...

I love the pictures. My little guys are all getting old enough to do the dishes without me even in the house. It brought back memoris for me thought. Thanks for the tips.

Mary said...

I love this idea! I'm going to have to try this with my 18 mo old. I recently put his dishes in the bottom shelf of our kitchen island so he could reach it. He loves being able to get it by himself. It'll be great to get him involved in washing them too!

Abbi said...

My little ones have always loved helping me do dishes. I have had a dishwasher with my fourth child and I almost feel bad because I don't have to wash dishes as often and she misses out. She is quick to jump up to help when I do have to wash dishes however.
My kids also love to pull over a a chair and help stir (and sample) the bread or cookier dough. Anything in the kitchen brings the young ones running. They do grow out of the love of doing dishes so do enjoy it while it lasts!