This is the first post in a ongoing series of posts on ways to incorporate fun and creativity into routine chores. If there is a “routine” topic or subject you would like to see turned into a post, please email me.
Creative Kids Dishes
Growing up, doing dishes with my sister meant a fight – guaranteed. I’d like to think we’re both a little bit older and wiser now, and in fact now as adults we bond and catch up over the kitchen sink. How times change! Here are a few creative ideas you can try, to make doing the dishes fun for your kids.
Play music while you do dishes – Turn on you kids favorite music or audio program (away from the water and wet hands!) or have a special “Dishes Only” story book on tape for them to listen to while they scrub. My mom use to let us play “dance” music while we did the dishes – and I still do this today. I actually look forward to it!
Play games while you do dishes – Dishes are a great way to teach kids that they have the power to make anything fun, even doing dishes. Whenever you find a word game/logic puzzle or other game they enjoy, place it on a sticky note above the sink so they can play and do dishes at the same time.
One Word Stories – Take turns saying one word (or sentence) at a time and build a story together.
Hum That Tune – Practice memory recall and music skills by taking turns humming a popular tune or song and have the others try to guess.
This Could Be Used For – Choose an object and list as many different uses for the item as you can think of in 5 minutes. For example: a brick could be used for – a paperweight, a doorstop, an exercise weight, a foot stool, a planter pot, a meat mallet, a sandwich press (if wrapped in tinfoil) or a piece of art if decorated with chalk or paint. Be on the lookout for good ideas – many inventions are just finding a new and unique use for something that already exists.
While you are doing dishes you may find creative alternate uses for the dishes and kitchen utensils are are washing!
Creative conversations – Doing dishes is a great opportunity to bond. Occasionally, my mom or dad would help with the dishes, giving my sister a night off. This was a great chance for some precious one-on-one time, and we hardly seemed to notice we were doing dishes.
Alternately, put some random conversation topics on sticky notes above the sink to get your kids conversing while they wash dishes.
Hidden surprises – If you have an automatic dishwasher, you can make putting dishes away fun too. Find some small colorful dishwasher safe spoons and wash them with your dishes. As your kids put away the spoons, allow them to hide them in the kitchen. Go over which places are and are not suitable to hide the spoons (No ovens!).
They may turn up in the flour canister or the vegetable crisper, part of the fun is you don’t know where they will turn up or who will find them. If no one finds them before the next load of dishes needs to be done, have your kids retrieve their spoons so they can be hid again.
Make washing and drying fun – Help your kids customize their very own dish washing equipment. You can add googly eyes to scrubby pads, decorate the handles of dish brushes with colorful plastic lanyard, and each child can have their own dish towel with their name, favorite character, or whatever else they’d like on it.
Doing dishes are a routine part of life, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be creative. How do you inspire your kids to help with dishes? Please leave a comment below!