How to Teach Kids to Clean up the Kitchen (HPC: E35)

Kids are messy in the kitchen!!!

Parents tell me this all the time, which means it must be part of the hard job of parenting to teach them to clean up. We’re still working on it in the Kids Cook Real Food household, but we have some tried-and-true after-dinner routines that we’d like to share with you today, and you’ll see me live-teach some new habits to my kids as well!

I hope this is helpful to you as you try to work yourself out of job by raising healthy, independent, responsible kids!! Pick a day this week to start creating new dinnertime habits for your kids!

No time to watch the whole video? Here are the notes!

Cleaning the Kitchen Video Time Stamps

  • 0:00: I get asked all the time if I’m going to make a video showing your kids to clean up in the kitchen. Kids make a mess when they cook! My kids don’t yet clean up after themselves, but I’m going to share the dinner time habits we have and teach some new cleaning techniques today!

As parents, we want to work ourselves out of a job. -Katie Kimball

  • 0:48: We want to gradually teach our kids how to be responsible and independent so that they can take care of themselves when they’re grown up. We don’t want to be cleaning up after our kids until they leave home.
  • 1:57: As our kids grow up they get new responsibilities based on their age. Listen for a couple examples of how that’s worked in our family.
  • 2:28: Paul (13) shares his current dinner time duties.
  •  2:45: John (7) explains the “Levi Habit.”
  • 3:04: The kids all show us their after dinner routine.
  • 3:37: We talk about washing the table. There are three steps to remember: clear everything off the table, anything that stays in the center of the table gets back in order, and then you wash the table.
  • 4:40: Leah demonstrates the table washing method we teach in our VIP class. I give some tips as we watch her.
  • 6:20: Paul shows us how he puts away the leftovers.
  • 7:10: We learn how to clear the counter. We put away things that don’t belong on the counter like dishes or food that belongs in the pantry or fridge. Anything that belongs on the counter gets put in its spot. Then we use a cloth to wash the counter using the same up and down method used on the table.
  • 8:52: My mom taught me that when you clean up the kitchen after a meal, you always wipe down the stove too. That way you don’t get anything burnt on. Leah and I demonstrate.

Teaching our kids to be independent is not easy, it doesn't always go smoothly, but I know it will be worth it in the end. -Katie Kimball

Resources We Mention

How to Teach Your Kids to Clean Up in the Kitchen

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This is our 10-minute knife skills and safety class for kids ages 2-12:

kids cooking class knife skills video

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