Little children find mundane tasks like emptying the dishwasher exciting and fun. So, as the adults who care for them, we are fools not to take advantage of their enthusiasm. ;)
Everyday, Coco loves to help me empty the dishwasher. We started with just silverware. She would hand me one piece at a time, then I'd say thank you, put it away and she'd hand me another one. Sure, it took forever but it's worth it. I can tell that when she helps me, she feels involved and she also learns the processes that make up daily life at home.
We may have some broken dishes in our future because now she's branching out. She's graduated to handing me plates and coffee mugs, too. ;) Good thing they're all from IKEA and easily and inexpensively replaced!
All together too often, we hesitate to allow children to do things like emptying the dishwasher when they want to. Then fast forward a few years and we expect them to do it when they're no longer interested! If you start out at the beginning fostering that interest, it will translate naturally into genuine involvement and help with chores and household tasks. That involvement means a sense of responsibility and accomplishment that is so healthy for building confidence in young children.
Do you let your toddler help with household tasks? Will you?