As adults, we have the opportunity to practice sorting each time we empty our dishwashers! Rather than waiting for your children’s nap time to complete the chore, you may want to try including them – or if you would prefer, you can finish everything else while they are sleeping and just the silverware for your children to sort later in the day. Your child will have a rich sense of accomplishment since her work will be a real help to you (rather than a pretend one!)
It is a simple enough activity but here are a few tips to maximize its success:
- Depending on the age & height of your child, you may want to remove the silverware basket from the dishwasher and place it on a clean Montessori-style “work” rug. You will then want to remove the silverware organizer from your kitchen drawer and place it on the rug as well.
- In order to facilitate sorting, make sure there is at least one fork in the fork slot, one spoon in the spoon slot, and one knife in the knife slot so that your child will know where each utensil belongs.
- If your child is not yet ready to handle the adult sized silverware, I would recommend getting a child-sized set. After an epic multi-day hunt for a little set, I finally found one at IKEA that did not have an “heirloom” price tag and was not branded with television characters!
- Confession: I put my sharp knives in the dishwasher which Martha Stewart probably wouldn’t approve of. If you are like me, please remember to remove the sharp knives before passing the silverware off to your children for sorting!