I Never Have to Do Dishes Again

, , 16 comments

I recently discovered a way to entertain and delight my children, while also getting some help in the kitchen. 

I let them wash dishes in the sink by hand. 

IMG_2909

I don’t give them anything fragile.   But at almost 3 and almost 5, they are quite capable of scrubbing pots and pans or large bowls…things I can’t squeeze into the dishwasher. 

They beg me for the opportunity and it keeps them content for up an hour. I figure I gotta take advantage of this while I can…having my kids beg for the chance to do the dishes is not something I anticipate lasting forever.  

I’ve learned a few tricks to keep this successful.

  • One child is on dish duty at a time.  (2 preschoolers at the sink is recipe for trouble). 
  • Be prepared to go through more than your usual amount of soap.  Seems the kids think you need a LOT of soap to clean those pots.
  • I limit them to two or three dishes.  I don’t want them to be overwhelmed or to get bored…bored kids armed with the spray house is another hazard.
  • Remove any important papers at least 3 feet away from the sink…splashing is par for the course.
  • Sometimes you gotta spot check them b/c even though they scrub that pot for 30 minutes, they can still miss quite a few spots.  (I typically sit them on the counter to dry and to a quick touch up later when they aren’t around)  They are still getting most of the hard work out of the way with all that soaking. 

IMG_2912 My son told me last week, “Mom, you never have to do dishes again.”  …If I could just get that in writing.

Check out Rocks in My Dryer for more helpful hints.

16 comments:

  1. I love that idea! I just may have to give it a try around here. I bet my girls, especially EA would jump at the chance to wash some dishes!! Thanks for the tip!

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  2. Such cute pics! I haven't tried this in a while. I like that you said to limit them to 2 or 3 dishes. This will make the opportunity more scarce for them- and they will love it even more. They will think I'm the best mommy in the world! hehehe thanks!

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  3. I know what you mean! We were without a dishwasher for about 2 months. My 7 year old and 9 year old weren't all that enthusiastic about the experience. But my 3 year old took to it in a big way!

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  4. I really like the idea of letting my 4-year-old tackle the pots and pans. It is my least favorite chore and I know she would absolutely love it. Why didn't I think of this? Thanks!

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  5. Seriously, just yesterday my 5 year old told me that what he really wanted to do was wash the dishes! They love doing that. I haven't let them in a while. I appreciated your practical tips. This is great because they have fun and they are learning to work!

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  6. That's the way to do it Mom! You are teaching your kids well!

    My sweetie is the best because he does dishes everywhere. My friends want to borrow him and we are always invited to people's house for dinner because he does dishes!

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  7. Nice work, Mrs. Tom Sawyer!

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  8. Yeah, the OCD isn't having any of this post. She says the kids will make a bigger mess than the dirty dishes were to begin with and she'll spend more time cleaning that mess (while twitching) just to let them have fun in some water.... LOL!

    They have plenty of fun in the bath tub with water...trust me. My bathroom turns into Lake Erie in 2.7 seconds on bath nights.

    Cute pictures....

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  9. Guess what you can talk them into dishes IT sure is a big help. I still have help when my family is around.

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  10. You are so smart to have the 1 at a time rule. I know from experience that 2 preschoolers at the sink is a recipe for chaos! Although if you do that you will end up with mopped floor, thoroughly rinsed counters and clean cabinets due to the water, water, everywhere!

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