The following is a guest post from regular contributor, Rachel at Useful Beautiful Home.
Long ago, one of the first drawers I organized in the kitchen was for children. I wanted a drawer or cabinet to be functional for the younger crowd in our household. My original goal was to train independence of our eldest daughter. I wanted her to be able to grab a bowl for snack time or find a cup without breaking my glassware – or worse, her arm.
My kitchen is full of lower level, deep drawers. I wasn’t thrilled about donating a drawer to my training efforts, but I had no choice. In the end; drawer, cupboard, or shelf, it doesn’t matter, I simply needed a defined space. The goal can be accomplished regardless of the kitchen design. Pick a low place and set up a kid-friendly kitchen service station.
Like I said, my girls’ space is a single, deep drawer close to the kitchen table. I loaded it with colorful melamine and plastic dishes of all sizes. I included fun embellishments too, like drink stirrers and holiday themed plates. Really, whatever fits and is age-appropriate gets added. The contents change from time to time, depending on *ahem* what may accidentally get chewed-up in the garbage disposal, for example. But, overall the general contents remain the same, which are the basic tools for eating, drinking, and mealtime fun.
Here’s the thing I really want you to notice, it ain’t a perfect drawer! Look closely. Not everything matches. I don’t make my girls throw away their Disney cups because they don’t match the set from Ikea. We like heart-shaped plates at Valentine’s Day and Minnie Mouse mugs given as birthday gifts. Often I find Pinterest-worthy pictures of children’s spaces that lack personalization.
This may not be the most uniformed and organized drawer in my kitchen, but I simply don’t care. The point of this space is not to make it on a magazine cover but to train and grow my girls in life skills while also letting them be kids, with all their kiddie stuff.
One surprise I discovered was that my original goal for this drawer blossomed into an unexpected training ground. Teaching my daughter simple kitchen independence has naturally grown into service and kindness. Having access to bowls, plates, and cups began formative efforts in hostessing. She’s comfortable jumping up and serving her friends a drink of water or a snack cup without my prompting.
While she may not craft a formal 15 piece place setting, she is developing characteristics in the art of hostessing and that makes my momma heart happy. FYI, here is a creative and quick read about helping children learn place setting rules.
So, what began as a place to organize children’s dishes and kitchen gear, turned into training my daughter in her kitchen independence, and ultimately ended by surprising me with her self-taught hostessing skills. I’m not saying she’s a perfect hostess. When it comes to who gets the pink cup, my daughter or her guest, there is serious hesitation, lol. Instead, I offer this organizing suggestion so you can be surprised, like me, at how basic organizing on your part can foster life skills at a pace comfortable for each child. Oh, and this works just as effectively in a Grandparent’s kitchen too! 😉
Happy weekend, Friends!
In the professional world, I’m a nurse by trade. But, around our house, I’m known as Mommy to our young daughters. My two worlds collided and began shaping into a blog. Useful Beautiful Home represents the hours I’ve dedicated to managing my household as efficiently as possible. I offer you motivation to keep your home healthy, organized, and welcoming. My goal is to share what I’ve implemented in my home to inspire you with fresh ideas and to encourage you to keep up the good work in yours! Learn more about me HERE or visit me at UsefulBeautifulHome.com.