Wednesday, February 19, 2014

washing dishes with a toddler

Dr. Maria Montessori called them 
the humble tasks of daily living:
folding laundry
preparing a meal
scrubbing the floor
watering plants
washing dishes...
basically, any task that we adults would refer to as a "chore."

I try to include Elise in as many of these tasks as I can.
Not because it makes my life easier
(Actually, it usually makes my life more difficult - ha!)
but because it is so satisfying to her,
the little adult-to-be!

I had been struggling to find a safe way to include Elise in dish washing...
but a porcelain sink, fragile dishes and toddler hands
 just seemed like too dangerous of combination.

Then, I saw Sixtine washing dishes at her house,
and I realized Elise didn't need to use the sink
- a basin of warm, soapy water would work just as well!

(Not me, obviously(!), Sixtine's mom, Deb!)

Elise started out washing the dishes from our afternoon tea party.
It was so much fun, she washed all the dishes leftover from lunch, too!
I just stood across from her at the sink and rinsed.  Easy peasy.

It was the highlight of my week - and it's only Wednesday! ;)


  1. Way to go Mama (and Elise). I am so glad!

  2. I'm so impressed by Elise's activities! And you mentioned she's just 19 months? :-)

    Thank you for this.

    1. Thanks! It's so incredible how much even the youngest of children are capable of - Elise blows me away everyday! Sometimes, it's hard to keep up! ;)

    2. As I always say, there are real surprises everyday! I'm so excited to do things with my own little one soon!

    3. You are going to be such a great mama! I can't wait to see all the cool things you do with your little one!

  3. I would love to know which tea set use enjoy?

    1. Hi Andree!

      The tea set we are currently using is from the thrift store. It cute, but the tea pot doesn't pour very well - which is frustrating - so I am on the lookout for a new set. I am debating between the Festive Ware China Tea Set from Montessori Services (This is the tea set that was used in my classroom back when I was teaching.) OR just buying a single serving tea pot and four little espresso mugs and saucers. I'll be sure to share what I end up choosing!

    2. Thanks for the response, Anne. I think I try to find a good pouring small teapot from a local international store. I like the idea of using easy to replace espresso mugs and saucers. Keep blogging!


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