Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Little Helpers

Thanks to a grant, we've been doing some improvements in our washing and staff kitchen areas. After finally completing the floor in our wash room, the next project was to build a dishwashing table. Our kitchen has a very small sink and it was constantly overflowing with dishes from the many, many meals served each day here. This made cooking a bit tricky when it came time to drain noodles or potatoes or wash vegetables.

Now with a separate dishwashing station in our wash room which is situated just off both the kitchen and dining room, the dishes can be washed without tying up the kitchen.
Another benefit is that the kids can now start helping with dishwashing. Before we didn't let them help because the kitchen is such a dangerous place.

Here you can see the whole table. 

The first child uses a spatula to remove food scraps from the plates and bowls. These scraps can be used to feed the ducks, a pig (if we ever get one), or our compost pile.
Please ignore the cement spattered wall. That is on the list to be done.

The next child rinses the bowls, plates and silverware in plain water. This ensures that any leftover bits of food are removed.

The next bucket has soapy water so the dishes can finally be washed properly. This is also the first stop for dirty cups so they don't end up covered in food bits and grease.

After the dishes are washed, they are placed in the last bucket which contains rinsing water. If many children are sick, we'll add a bit of bleach to this water.
A nanny stands at the end of this washing line job to make sure the dishes have gotten clean; otherwise she places them back into the wash bucket.

The kids love helping out with dishes and we have to rotate them otherwise they fight over whose turn it is.

While four of the older kids are busily washing dishes, the others are in the dining room cleaning that area. 

One wipes the table....

Another straightens the chairs.....

And some of the girls fold the cloth napkins for the next meal.

All of this is repeated five times a day.

This is the perfect age to get the kids started on chores when they are enthusiastic about helping out. By the time they realise that chores are a bore, it will be second nature. It's all in the master plan! *Cackling maniacally*

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#1 Click on this link or the donate button at the top of the blog page. 
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#3 Know you've made a difference in a child's life.


  1. They all look so cute hard at work! They really do look like they're enjoying it!

  2. So cute! What a perfect maniacal plan :)

  3. Great plan! (Instituted early in our home as well.) Love your dishwashing system. Like those napkins too! How colorful!

  4. They are so adorable- I love that they help you AND actually like it :)


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