Washing the dishes can be an easy chore for young children to learn. Whether your kids are older and doing a sinkful, or smaller and helping clean the plastic dishes only, teaching them early will help to ingrain great habits. Helping to promote motor skills in little ones, and teaching older kids cleanliness and responsibility, doing the dishes can help in the development of life skills.
Preparing The Dishes
Whether you compost, have a garbage disposal or scrape your plates into the trash can, the first step is to show your little ones how to properly clear off the dishes. Explain to them how cleaning off the plate will keep big chunks of food from blocking the drain. Teaching kids how to properly prepare the dishes to be washed can save you some mess, and some plugged up drains if you don’t have a disposal.
Setting Up The Cleaning Tools
When you are getting your little one set up to do the dishes, get out all the tools necessary to do the job: dish soap, rags/sponges, cleaning wand, etc. Explain why each one is important, and what it does. For older kids, using a rag or sponge to wash the dishes shouldn’t be a problem. Using a cleaning wand with the soap already in the handle might be slightly easier for the little ones.
Now that you’re ready to wash, it’s best to start with the cleanest dishes first – ie, bowls, plates, glasses. If you are doing dishes with a smaller child, save all the plastic dishes just for them. Not only does this save you from any accidental breakage, but most of the plastic dishes will probably be the kid dishes. This gives them a sense of accomplishment when they get to wash their own.
Make doing the dishes fun. If your child is younger, bring on the bubbles! Help them out by washing and drying with them. Remember, the first few times with younger kids, you’ll probably have to re-wash the dishes. At our Austin house cleaning company, It’s Cleaning Time!, we believe that teaching habits of cleanliness is important. Teaching them young helps them get into those habits earlier, making it almost second nature.
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