washin' dishes

Jen over at The Mama Years posted this amazing Semi-Montessori Dish Washing Activity and I couldn't wait to it with Ethan. I had planned to make a Goodwill or dollar store trip for some small dishes and perhaps a caddy for his soap and tools, but I ended up just needing to do this activity today with whatever tools we happened to have on hand. I've been so super sick and today's the first day I'm feeling mostly human again, aside from this lingering wheeze-hack-cough-bronchial nightmare, so I'm not sure who is dying for the fresh air and outdoors more, myself or Ethan. As luck -- or a typical Floridian summer -- would have it, today has been nothing but thunder, lightning and humid, steamy storms. Finally deciding enough is enough and we just needed to do something a little outdoorsy, a little summerish, we went for this today.

I had some containers on hand and shoved some smaller plates and kitchen utensils and accessories into it for Ethan to wash. I also set up a "sink" in a large tub I had laying around in our tot school classroom, filling it up with some water and a couple squirts of our My True Nature bath bubbles for suds. I cut a sponge into a smaller piece to better fit Ethan's hand and included one of his favorite little scrubbers leftover from our color bins back in the day and set up everything on our front doorstep stoop. Our house is weird in that our front door is around the side of the house, which has come to be really awesome in that we can sit out there in a little private space on the side of our house, covered by the roof over the little doorstep stoop. That way, even if it's drizzling, we can still manage to breathe in some fresh air, stay dry and do something outdoors, which is nice because our backyard doesn't have any coverage. (Also, yes, that was an unnecessarily long description of why we like our front doorstep area and how our house is constructed, brought to you by the fact it's been ages since it hasn't hurt to talk and since I've had any adult interaction. Sorry. Carry on.)

Ethan was immediately really excited about washing the dishes in the soapy water. He had also hid a couple of matchbox cars in his pocket which he deemed perfect for this activity, so our dish washing station turned into a car wash, too.

He had a blast washing the dishes but not so much drying them. I had given him a small hand towel to dry the dishes and a clean tray to lay the dry dishes on. He had no interest in either of them and if I tried to dry a dish and lay it to dry, he'd get all cranky and put it back into the water. Eventually, he tossed the hand towel out into the rainstorm to make sure I fully got the picture. Toddlers.

I'll have to try this again with the adequate tools to make it as cute and fun as Jen's, but it was still a perfect rainy day activity to fit in before dinnertime! Thanks, Jen and Henry!


  1. Awesome Linds - I will do this tomorrow!!

  2. I was originally reading this huddled under the covers at my parent's house this weekend while Henry was sleeping in the same room and I was trying to steal a few minutes to myself - had to keep myself from saying "Yay!" out loud ;) Glad you had fun with Ethan doing this! Gotta love the simple things right??

  3. I love this idea Lindsay! What a clever way to get the littles involved :)

    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

  4. I just found your blog via Bloglovin. I love your About Me section, I think there are literally a few sentences in my About Me that are exactly the same! I'm glad I found you! Your son is adorable and I love your love story.


    1. Hi! Thank you so much for stopping by! I'm following your blog, too -- and I already got sucked into your home renovation post! I'm so jealous of people who can pull together a renovation and make a house look pretty...I totally can't! I'm excited to read more!

  5. Washing dishes is one of Kale's favourite chores! We like to encourage him to do the real deal - but it can get very, very messy :)

    1. Do you guys have a stepstool you use? We have one for Ethan, but it's not tall enough/he's not tall enough to still reach the actual kitchen counters! When we cook together, I end up moving everything to the kitchen table so he can step on the stool and help.


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