I was at a friend’s house for brunch and after our dirty dishes were cleared, she set out stacks of simple white side plates and black permanent markers. We were directed to grab a plate and start doodling. Even those claiming zero artistic ability got into this surprise art project inspired by designer James Victore’s Dirty Dishes series that he created for Design Within Reach.
Since adults got into it, I thought that kids would really love scrawling for their supper. It could be a fun way to keep little hands busy and out from underfoot in the kitchen. Pick up small plates in various shapes and sizes from places like Fishs Eddy, Ikea or Crate&Barrel and add pop with permanent colored marker. Get fancy with stencils or tracing patterns. Label “hand wash only” on the back of the plates and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 300° so the marker can set.
Kids will have one-of-a-kind plates for special occasions. They could even add pieces each year until they’re old enough to host everyone at their house someday.
Laura House is the author of the blog Good House Guest.