As parents, we have the responsibility of teaching our kids many important life skills and lessons, including how to take care of a home. While teaching kids about plumbing might not seem obvious at first, when your preschooler tries to send Elmo to another dimension by flushing him down the toilet, it becomes abundantly clear that every child needs lessons about their home’s plumbing.
Here are some simple lessons you can teach your kids about your home’s plumbing according to your kids’ ages. Keep in mind: these are just general recommendations. You know your child best.
What Preschoolers Can Learn
What Can Go in the Toilet
For whatever reason, children love to see what they can flush down the toilet: toys, keys, your phone–you name it. It’s important to teach your little ones that they are only allowed to flush toilet paper, “number one,” and “number two” because anything else can clog the toilet.
It’s also important to teach your kids that toilets have lots of germs and that putting things into the toilet can make those things germy too. (That’s why we always wash our hands!)
Why We Don’t Leave the Water Running
Since your kids aren’t paying the water bill, they have no idea why it’s bad to let the water run when no one is using it. Teach your kids to always turn the faucet off while they’re brushing their teeth so that they can help save water. Not only will it help your family, but it will also help the planet.
What Kids 6 Years and Older Can Learn
What Can Go in the Garbage Disposal
At this age, your kids might be helping you wash the dishes, so they will need to know what’s okay to put down the garbage disposal. They should also be taught never to reach into the garbage disposal if something falls in. Tell them to get help from an adult.
Only small food remnants should go down your garbage disposal. Fats, oils, and grease should never go down your drains because they solidify farther down in your home’s plumbing and cause clogs. These foods should also be kept out of garbage disposals:
- Hard things like bones, seeds, or stems
- Fibrous, stringy veggies
- Coffee grounds
What Kids 12 Years and Older Can Learn
How to Use a Plunger
Clogged toilets are a common issue, particularly in older homes. It only makes sense to ensure that your older kids know the proper way to plunge a toilet. For younger kids who might not be strong enough to use a plunger effectively, make sure that they know not to flush again after clogging a toilet because that could cause the toilet to flood.