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Toddlers and washing up - when and how?

(9 Posts)
Tangle Mon 31-Aug-09 16:11:16

DD is 2.5 and loves helping with the housework (something I'm generally keen to encourage ). However, her lastest fixation is on helping me with the washing up and I'm struggling to come up with a way that I feel happy for her to join in.

She has a chair she can stand on and reach into the kitchen sink. The kitchen is very small and there isn't really enough room for us both to use the sink effectively. I'm usually only washing the stuff that doesn't go in the dishwasher (tall glasses, very sharp knives) although at the moment the dishwasher's broken so I'm doing the lot.

My biggest concern is that she's going to get hurt - either by breaking a glass, on one of the knives or slipping off her chair once she's slopped water all over it... That said, she is fairly well co-ordinated.

So what do other people do? Am I being ludicrously PFB about it all or are toddlers and washing up just not a good combination?

xxxxBAMBOOxxxx Mon 31-Aug-09 16:12:55

Put a towel on the kitchen floor, place bowl of soapy water on it, put lpastic plates and cuterly inside and let her wash up to her hearts content

purepurple Mon 31-Aug-09 16:14:32

Is there any way you can put a little bowl on a small table for her?
That way you can give her a few non-breakables and leave her to it.
How about putting it on a chair, if you haven't got a child sized table?

FlamingoBingo Mon 31-Aug-09 16:15:07

Yes, let her do her 'own stuff' while you do the dangerous stuff.

GentleOtter Mon 31-Aug-09 16:15:24

I put a basin of water on a low table beside the sink and ds helps wash his own cutlery, dishes and cups which are mostly plastic.
Usually the floor/cat/slippers get washed too.

Tangle Mon 31-Aug-09 16:17:48

That's way too obvious blush. I didnt' really consider it as I used to give her a bowl of water to play with - 5 seconds later she'd be sitting in it and within a minute it would be upside down... That was last summer, though, so maybe she's gone off the idea!

Thanks - I'll give it a try

xxxxBAMBOOxxxx Mon 31-Aug-09 16:32:56

If she's anything like my dd she probably still sit in it!

GentleOtter Mon 31-Aug-09 18:07:37

Yes, paddling is inevitable!

UniS Mon 31-Aug-09 22:00:33

go for it, but not with teh knives and glasses. mugs, bowls, plastic or sturdy pottery will all cope with a toddler washing them.
Boy likes having his "own" washing up bowl on teh counter next to me at the sink, he has a cut down sponge and will spend AGES lovingly washing a mug till it squeaks with clean-ness while I whip through glasses or whatever. A tea towel under his bowl reduces teh flood potential.

Alternative version 1. boy stands on chair next to dh or I and passes items when asked to. This version required more training.

Alternative version 2. boy stands on chair AT sink, half full of luke warm water and potters about with plastic stuff and a sponge while I get on with cooking tea. This one tends to result in a fair bit of splashing, I strip off his shirt and put a rolled up tea towel in front of sink.

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