Kitchen Clean-up

By Activity Bank on Jul 10, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Susan N. Edwards and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

Whether for job training or to help out at school or home, learning the ins and outs of kitchen clean-up is important and helpful. It can be added to the student’s regular schedule, after cooking class, lunch and snack preparation. This vocationally oriented activity teaches organization, sorting, matching and stacking. Lessons include Independent Living and Social Skills.


Any dishes, plates, utensils, cooking ingredients, etc. found in the kitchen after a meal

  • Aprons
  • Trash can and bags
  • Cleaning materials (bottled cleaners, sponge, gloves, etc.)


  • Assign jobs according to the student’s individual needs and abilities.
  • Utilize various teaching techniques, as appropriate for each student, such as demonstration, verbal instruction, verbal cues, physical prompts, and hand-over-hand assistance. Encourage independence.
  • Jobs can include:
    • Throw trash in the trash can. To encourage organization and efficiency, students can carry a trash bag around the kitchen and place the bag in the trash can when finished.
    • Put cups, dishes and utensils in the dishwasher.
    • Wash, dry and put the dishes away. This can be a cooperative job involving three students.
    • Stack the cups and plates and put them away.
    • Put cooking ingredients and leftover food away. Have ingredients and cabinets clearly marked in bold print and braille.
    • Wipe down the table and counters with a sponge or cloth. Teach students to do this in an organized manner. For example: “Wipe left to right, then down. Left to right, then down, etc.” This is especially important for students with visual impairments who cannot see where they have already cleaned.
    • Sweep and/or mop the floor.


  • Students can clean up the school cafeteria or dining room after meals.
  • Include recycling as part of the clean-up process.
  • Parents can have students help clean up the kitchen at home after meals.

Hints: Use plastic cups and plates – to prevent breakage – as needed. Use cleaning supplies with caution. Always have poisons clearly marked (use bold print, braille, and a texture such as sandpaper) and stored away from food.


Collage of kitchen prep for students who are blind or visually impaired