One day my father-in-law stopped by the house around lunch time. I think he was surprised not only by the number of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches it took to feed our family, but how capable I was of making them one handed (baby in arm). From the youngest of ages, our children have been active in the kitchen. Whether perched on my hip or standing on a stool touching everything in sight, they have always tried to find a way to “help”.
Although it may feel more like a culinary war zone than training for Martha Stewart’s Kitchen, no doubt, they are learning. A bit of work and a lot of patience prepares the way for your future assiduous workers!
That being said, here is a little tip for the youngest students in training:
– Since little ones love to stand at an open dishwasher anyway, it is a perfect time to begin to teach them to unload it. We bought a set of plastic plates that were light and easy to grab on to. As soon as a toddler is old enough to walk, he can learn to carry a plate and put it in a low cupboard.
-Usually the silverware basket can be lifted out of the dishwasher and set in a convenient place for a three year old to sort and put away.
-One of the best parts is for the child is to overhear you singing praises of their incredible help. Let them know they are needed, an integral part of the family.
It may seem insignificant now, but after almost 28 years of raising dishwasher help, I am thankful we started early!
Thank you to all of my faithful kids that are always eager to help out in the kitchen!