Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Self Serve Always Open!

I quickly learned that to be a stay at home mom of 3 small children I would need some help . . but with a husband that travelled and grandparents that worked, that help was going to have to come from the kids themselves!! Inspired by how smart my cheeky 3 year old was at the time, I wondered if I gave them the tools (and cupboard space) to help themselves would it cause mayhem or create self serve kids?

Have a peak inside my pantry. Sturdy easy pour Ikea containers full of cereal, big & small bowls for cereal, soup, ice cream, apple slices or as many grapes as they can fit. There are milk cups, straw cups, travel cups, hot chocolate mugs and a supply of fun straws for their drinking pleasure. There is also their very own set of kids size spoons, forks and little spreaders for that morning peanut butter & toast or icing a cupcake. My kids have everything within their reach that they need to set the table, help them selves to a glass of milk, bowl of crackers or make their breakfast all on their own!

It is not only a time saver for me, but my kids learned early how to be self sufficient. . . from the age of 3 they are not only setting tables and pouring their own drink, but since it is "their" cupboard and "their" dishes, they even empty the dishwasher and put all their dishes away! The benefits just keep on coming !!

Now that the girls are older (4, 7 & 8), I can say that raising self serve kids has been a positive - even the milk poured on the floor instead of the hitting the cup has been a good learning experience for them. Next on this moms agenda is teaching them how to bake & make their own school lunches ! Any tips for me???


  1. I think it is great that this has worked for you, unfortunately it doesn't work for all families (man would I have LOVED it if it would have for me). When I did this with my children, it back fired. All they would eat then was the stuff in that cupboard that they had access to and then it was gone in the same day (my oldest has since been diagnosed adhd, and likely the others have it too, since mommy and daddy have it unofficially). And then they wouldn't be eating anything else for the day.

    But again, really happy that it's working for you, that's awesome. :)

  2. I can totally understand it wouldn't work for everyone - and I only have girls, which I have learned from friends are so very different than boys! There isn't actually any food in that pantry that they can eat aside from the cereal - its all canned food and dried pasta! Is there anything you have found that works with your kids to have them help with things like getting setting tables & emptying dishwashers? I find they can go on 'binges' of being super helpers for a few days and then wanting nothing to do with it !! Always looking for new ways to inspire them to help !!

  3. Followed this from the Kiboomu Kids thread on FB--love this! I have a cupboard that is similar, but it just has the plates, cutlery, etc. for getting and setting his own table. I'm definitely going to clear it out, reorganize and add some cereals and snacks, etc. Great post!

  4. Love the idea and it can be incorporated into a cupboard except for milk/ juice/water.