The School Of Mom- Dishes By Hand

The School Of Mom- Dishes By Hand

The SchoolOf mom

We learned how to do dishes in the dishwasher in a previous lesson, but I also want my sons to know what to do if they are ever in a non-machine situation.

I knew exactly what he was going to say before he even said it. It was the exact same thing I said when I first learned how to do dishes by hand.

“The water is too hot! My hands are burning. I can’t do this, it’s too hot!”


So we were off to a running start. I let the dishes sit a while longer in the “pre-soak” cycle, so to speak.

I explained that the water has to be hot to sanitize the dishes and get them clean. And I pointed out when we open the dishwasher, steam billows out, and it does that because the dishes are washed and rinsed in really hot water.

He very gingerly lifted the dishes out of the water and wiped them with a sponge above the water. Drama.


We lost our wing man early on.

The Toddler Task for this lesson was to bring me all of his sippy cups from the living room and his bedroom, since he knows all the hiding places. But he put off his nap as long as he possibly could that day, and he ran out of gas.

I cut him a break and put him in his bed. I don’t worry about his future dish washing skills. He has pushed a chair up to the sink many times when I was washing bottles, so he’s already well-versed in how it’s done, and he loves to play with the water.


After letting the water cool down to lukewarm to lesson the torture, I showed him how to wash the dishes. I explained about which side of the sponge to use for stuck on foods, and I reminded him that we also need to wash the bottoms of the plates and bowls.

“But we don’t eat off of the bottom, why do we need to wash that part?”

He is clever and he likes to cut corners when it comes to housework. But not on my watch, folks. We did it right. You’re welcome, future spouses!

I told him that the bottoms get dirty if food spills onto the table and you scoot your plate into it, or when you stack dirty plates after dinner, food sticks to the bottom. (Especially when there are ketchup lovers in the family!)


We needed to let some of the dishes soak a little longer, so he started to rinse. And he lit up a bit when it came to the rinsing part.


I let him have fun with it, he used bottle parts to make little “obstacle courses” for the water to travel in different directions through his hands. We are on well water, so we have our own water supply, and I was fine with letting him take his time.


I showed him how to stack the dishes in the drainer but there were so many sippy cups and bottle parts and what not, it ended up being a bit of a free for all. I said to just make sure everything is pointing down so everything dries, and that was pretty much it.

He was happy to earn video game time, and I got clean dishes.

What I Learned: I learned to make note of the time when they start and finish a task. So that when they say they’ve been working for hours, you have hard evidence to the contrary. Water play is fun at all ages, and we are ready for Meemaw’s house! (She’s still holding out on getting a dishwasher.)


See all of the lessons in the School of Mom:

Teaching kids life skills by washing dishes by hand.

Sharing is caring!
Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE