Sometimes I have to put the little one in her highchair to fill the dishwasher with dirty dishes- otherwise she will pull them out or grab a knife etc... so we don't want that.
So now for the toddler-- let her help. I know, I know, your sayin'-- they don't help they hinder. Well My toddler is GREAT at dishes, she unloads for me, she puts the bowls in a pile and hands them to me or puts them on the counter, she hands me the cups one at a time to put away in high cupboards. She is awwesome, She even grabs her stool and puts all the silverware (minus the sharp objects) away all by herself.
Two hands unloading is that much faster!!
Plus it's a teaching experience.