Thursday, April 15, 2010

Washing dishes and other water activities

My girl loves water. LOVES it. She often gets into mischief because of it. Playing in cups of water, letting water drip from the water dispenser, washing her hands until the bathroom is flooded, dumping water on a table to make a pool for some toys, playing in dirty dishes... Wait, that last one isn't really a problem...

Because washing dishes is the perfect solution.

Ignore the Christmas pjs... it WAS early morning... in April.

After separating the sharp and the heavy, I showed Ryann how to wash things with a rag, turn on the water, rinse, turn off the water (because we don't waste water, I repeat this mantra multiple times a day) and then put the item to drain. She was fantastic at it!

Until she suddenly shouted, "I need a boat, a penguin and a bird!"

"A what??" I asked, totally taken off guard since *I* was thinking about dishes. She explained further and I got her a penguin, a bird and suggested a boat made out of a bowl.

And the fun continued. A little less structured, but a lot less dirty.

After my blog post about creating a Montessori environment at home, Grandma Honey and Grandpa Norm gave us a bench to use as a stool for the kitchen.

We've had it a week and it's made a world of difference! Ryann can reach the facet and see into mixing bowls. She really gets into cooking now. Which has lots of benefits, like she was finally willing to try some banana bread since *we* made it instead of just me.

When Ryann was done with the dishes, I threw everything into the dishwasher. It made my work that much easier and she had a great time.

Such a great time, in fact, later on she ran into the kitchen with a scrub brush and said, "I need a bowl and some soap!" She was full of declarations today.

I got her the bowl and the soap, asking all the while what the bowl and the soap were for to no avail. When she finally revealed it was for the floor, we had to talk about how you need to prepare and sweep first, but I don't think she cared much for my explaination. I swept and then we got to work on scrubbing the kitchen floor. No pictures for this one, floor cleaning keeps me too busy trying to keep the water level down enough that we don't slip all over!

I'm hoping as she masters these cleaning skills she feels the need to make a mess with water less and less. Until then, I'm always looking for a constructive outlet for her water obsession.


  1. We have great success washing dishes here too! Bryce really loves to pour things, I think it calms him somehow. So he spends a lot of time pouring water from one container to another. (All under the guise of washing dishes.) Lots of moms might gasp at a two year pouring his own milk from the gallon jug onto his cereal, and yes there have been spills, but in general he does a great job with this task and I think his dish washing for it.

  2. Wow, Bruce is awesome pouring his own milk! I would probably gasp, but realize it was my own inadequacy talking :) Ryann isn't quite there with the half gallon container (soy milk comes in half gallons, lol) so when she wants to pour her own milk I put it in a cream pitcher first. She's not a big "practicer," she doesn't repeat tasks, so it takes her awhile to get the hang of things sometimes.

  3. how great. very insightful blog. i want to learn more... i'll have to check back!