Have you ever thought that laundry is a great teaching tool for you? It’s something you have to do, so why not include your kids and make it a learning experience for them.
At my house, I try to do a load of laundry every day. If I can do that, it doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming on the weekend. When my daughter was 11, she started complaining about some of her clothes not being washed when she wanted to wear them. That was not a good complaint for me. One, I don’t like doing laundry and two, I hadn’t taught my girls to help with the laundry. My response was that she would do her own laundry from then on. If it wasn’t washed, then it was her fault. She actually took on the job and I had to rethink why I had made it only my job to get the laundry done. There were a lot of skills that I could have taught her at a young age by having her get involved with the laundry.
Do you know there are a lot of college students who ruin their clothes by not sorting correctly? They were never taught how to do their laundry and they learned it the hard way during their freshman year at college. Even your preschoolers can sort the clothes by color. It gives you a time to discuss the colors and fabric types. The sorting at my house includes: reds, blacks, lights, darks, jeans, delicates (hand wash), towels/sheets, and underwear.
Folding and Hanging up
Learning to take the clothes out of the dryer as soon as it’s finished is a huge wrinkle time saver. You can teach your young kids to run to the dryer when it buzzes and put the items in a laundry basket. We tend to get busy with other things and forget to listen for the dryer, but the kids will think it’s fun to let you know when it’s finished. Depending on the ages, they can fold or hang up some of the items. At my house, everything is sorted by who it belongs to and laid on their individual beds for them to finish folding and putting away. I lay the clothes out flat to keep the wrinkles down, but they must fold it or hang it up. Even the little ones can put away their socks and underwear.
Discuss measuring terms: Look at 3 loads that you have sorted out and determine: small, medium, large. If they’re old enough, let them use a measuring cup to pour the right amount of detergent based on the size load that you have and adjust the dials on the washer for the correct size load.
Despite my inadequacies at teaching laundry skills to my kids at a younger age, I was able to get them trained. They can still learn as preteens and teenagers. It’s just easier when they start out at a younger age. If you expect them to do things around the house at younger ages, they don’t fight it as much when they become teenagers. They just know that they help out around the house as being part of a family.
How do you use laundry as a teaching tool?