In last month's issue of the HomeCook'n newsletter we asked, "What is your suggestion to Dan's water cup problem?" Here are the results:
One color of "tableware" for each child and a cup hook to hang it on. Rinse and return to hook when done. Wash each at end of day for tomorrow's use. Friends get a paper cup with a magic marker name on them (or if they are "regulars" match their colored cup to corresponding child; that child will return cup to sink. Worth a try!
We use bottled water which is stored in frig. after opening. Each child puts his initials on the cap of the bottled with felt tip pen.
The named cups might work, but it won't take care of friends. Try hanging a sign that says please wash your own cup! And install a dish drain on the counter.
Buy small refillable water bottles. (like ones for bikes) then they get one water bottle for the day to use. There are so many colors and patterns, it shouldn't be a problem finding a different one for everybody.
Get different color plastic cups so each child knows which one belongs to him or her
I worked in a prison and had 30 men that needed cups on a budget and irresponsible men who steal each others cups all the time and three shifts we put thirty cups in a crate and made one man respponsible for collecting 30 cups and washing them each shift they were clean for next shift and each man had to accept responsibility or have no cups for all other men. Can children be made to be responsible in this way maybe yes maybe no but make it a game even if they wash them outside with the hose and soap in the summertime
NAMES ON CUPS
Dan, my kids have a water cup that is kept in the freezer. This type of cup has the water built in so it will freeze, keeping your drink cold without using ice. my kids love it and it encourages them to put it back so they will always have a cold drink.
I use colored tumblers. Everyone has their own color, forever. They must use the same one, each day, all day. It then goes into the dishwasher at the end of the day. The glasses sit on the counter by the refrigerator so they can help themselves whenever they are thirsty. Now, if I could only get the adults to use their glass more than once.
Use different colored cups for the whole family, blue for johnny, red for dad, etc. when the cup or glass ends up sitting on the counter everybody knows who it belongs to and that person gets to use one cup or glass all day. Our kitchen is an automatic cleaning kitchen. In another words every body is required to clean up after themselves and when it comes to dishes, you'd be amazed at how many times a child will re use a glass or cup to avoid washing it every time they get a glass of water.
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