5 Steps to Less-Messy Mealtimes

Get your kids into the habit of helping with mealtime chores. Try these 5 easy tips.



  1. Create a "job chart." Have a magnet for each family member that you can put next to his job. Your child can set the table, throw away paper napkins, wipe the table, or even vacuum with your help.
  2. Make placemats. Invite everyone in your family to draw a picture, slip them in heavy-duty sheet protectors and tape the open ends closed. Use these individual placemats to define the space your child needs to set and clear.
  3. Be spill-ready. Keep a container of wipes or extra napkins handy so your child can be a self-serve "cleaner-upper."
  4. Rinse up! Your child can help you wash safe items in warm soapy water. Set up a tub on a low table, or bring a stable stool up to the sink.
  5. Empty it out! While taking dishes out of the dishwasher, ask your child to help sort them by type or where they go for great math and classifying practice.
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