I have implemented a new rule at our house. "No Work, No Eat". I finally had had enough of me doing all the work to get food on the table. So in order for that to happen I had to make things accessible for the little buggers in the kitchen and pantry.
A friend of mine who is a single mom of now grown kids told me how she rearranged the kitchen to make it possible for her kids to be more independent. I followed her advice and I moved all the kid sized plates, cups, bowls down to a low cupboard and put my crockpot and other stuff on the cupboard above the counter. I left the regular breakable plates and glasses up high. The silverware is already in a low drawer so that wasn't a problem. In the pantry I moved the cereal, breakfast food, and snack foods down on the lowest shelves.
As a result of the above changes, my kids can now serve themselves and others drinks and food. They can get a bowl of cereal for breakfast with minimum help and they help get everything out for dinner. Doodlebug is 7 and usually pours the drinks. Ticklebug is five and usually get the napkins and silverware. Snugglebug is 2 and she gets the plates out. They can get their own snacks and help pack their own lunches.
No only can they help with meal related things, but also they can now unload the dishwasher because anything that is plastic is within their reach. No more excuses!
I don't feel like a slave anymore and they are learning how to count the correct number of items, gauge how much liquid the cup will hold, and how to work together as a team to get the job done.
I realize the above is possibly a no-brainer but you know how easy it is as a mom to miss the obvious. It's not like we don't have anything on our minds!
For other great WFMW ideas head on over to Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.