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Monkey Boy really and truly loves to help out around the house. It’s such a blessing to me in so many ways. I love that he’s learning all of these necessary and important life skills at such an early age, but I’m also grateful for the little bit of help it is to keeping the house more clean, tidy, and orderly.

To see his face light up and how he runs through the house just to help with a task. Or to listen to him saying, “wait Momma” or “I want to help” or “Let me do it”, brings a certain smile to my heart, even if I’m in a rush and maybe would prefer he not ‘help’ so much.

Nonetheless, Hun and I both let him help as much as he can. Sometimes, we even just allow him to do tasks on his own or with minimal direct supervision.

I do have to admit that in the last few weeks, I haven’t let Monkey Boy help so much with washing dishes, as I’ve been taking that time to just be alone for a few minutes. Thankfully, Hun has been able to keep him pretty well occupied outside while I wash dishes and watch them play together through the window.

But, when Monkey Boy does help, it really is interesting. Sometimes we get water all over the floor. Sometimes I have to repeat myself about not playing in the water, but mostly he rinses the dishes and puts them on the drying mats without much of an issue.

And when my guys are washing dishes together, it really brings a smile to my heart. When my guys wash the dishes, I actually get a chance to sit down and relax for a few minutes.  I see this as a real act of caring and really is priceless.  Besides, who doesn’t love to see their husband doing something domestic?  This is yet another life lesson Monkey Boy is learning – showing love and care to another is important in relationships.

life skills, toddlers, washing dishes, learning

The guys doing dishes!

life skills, toddlers, washing dishes, learning

Washing dishes is one of those lessons that we didn’t set out to teach so young. In fact, I’m not sure it ever really crossed either of our mind.  Monkey Boy learning seems to have happened more organically, but I’m not complaining!  It seems only natural, when I think about it, because Monkey Boy has always loved water and water play.

summer, sun, water, park, play, family, fun,

This fascination and joy with water is what got Monkey Boy started in helping to wash dishes. Thankfully, it became a more structured, focused, and helpful task instead of simply a water mess to be cleaned.

life skills, toddlers, washing dishes, learning

Here are some tips we have used with Monkey Boy when washing dishes:

1) Designate one basin for washing and one for rinsing.
2) Wash the sharps (knives, etc.) first and place them in your drying area.
3) Keep the water temperature between cold and warm, whichever you prefer, for the rinsing.
4) Wash the smaller things first (silverware, cooking utensils, etc.) and allow those to be placed in the drying area.
5) Continuously remind your child to rinse and place. If not, you’ll end up with a distracted toddler who will just keep “washing” (as Monkey Boy says) the same few items over and over because it’s fun to fill and pour, fill and pour!
6) Help your child to place the heavier or more breakable pieces (i.e. plates, pots, etc.)
7) Have Patience! Try to remember this is learning and is likely to get a bit messy!
8) Have fun!

Do you remember learning to wash dishes? Did you ever help wash dishes when you were a toddler? Do you allow your children to help with dishes?

Life Skills with Toddlers: Washing Dishes
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14 thoughts on “Life Skills with Toddlers: Washing Dishes

    • August 24, 2015 at 4:30 pm
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      Exactly! I love that Baby Boy has so much fun while learning to do tasks around the house! 🙂

      Reply
  • August 25, 2015 at 12:59 am
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    My young kids love helping out in the kitchen too – emptying the dishwasher is another one they help with and my 5-year-old has been helping with stuff like stirring and such for cooking since she was 3. It can be messy, but I like that it teaches them to help out.
    Louise recently posted…Bribery and ParenthoodMy Profile

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    • August 25, 2015 at 2:33 am
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      Baby Boy likes to help with cooking, as well. It’s so fun to see him learn all the things and help out, even amidst the messiness! 🙂

      Reply
    • August 25, 2015 at 10:36 am
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      Thanks, Jen! Whatever we can do to keep the boy happy and entertained. Adding some learning in with that and we’re good to go! 🙂

      Reply
    • August 28, 2015 at 12:55 pm
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      In the end, it’s kind of fun for me too, even if it does get a bit messier sometimes or take longer lol 🙂

      Reply
  • August 28, 2015 at 7:23 pm
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    This is so cute. My youngest loves helping me out too. If I do something without him he gets upset. We don’t hand wash dishes, but he loves helping unload the dishwasher, pushing the trays in and out, and closing the dishwashing liquid tab and the door. #MeandeingMondays
    Victoria recently posted…How to Afford College as a Single MomMy Profile

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    • August 28, 2015 at 11:59 pm
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      Yes, Baby Boy gets pretty upset if he doesn’t get to help me do things either. Especially when it comes to cooking…:)

      Reply
  • August 31, 2015 at 2:20 pm
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    It is great children love to help. Nice to see your little one helping and enjoying it. My children love washing the dishes too.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsbeKids
    Let kids be kids recently posted…Culture fest, NewburyMy Profile

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*This post may contain affiliate links. If you click through, I may earn a small commission. Your price will never be affected by my affiliate link. On occasion, I also write sponsored posts, which help to run the blog as well. I thank you for supporting this space, so I can continue to share my journey and our family adventures. For more information, please visit the full disclosure here*


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