With kids, life can seem like a never-ending cycle of laundry, with dirty clothes constantly needing to be washed, and clean clothes constantly needing to be dried, folded, and returned to their proper places. Fall behind, and you may find you’re suddenly out of clean clothes for the kids (or you) to wear!
Thankfully, there are ways in which kids can actually help you with the laundry. What may seem like drudgery to you can be interesting for young children — many of them like pressing the buttons or turning the dials on the washing machine. Others are drawn to the warmth and rocking motion of the machine, or are fascinated by the different kinds of detergent to be poured, scooped, and applied to the clothing. Don’t let this curiosity go to waste! Get your kids involved in the household laundry in some small way. They’ll find it fun and educational, you’ll get help with the housework, and you’ll realise even the most mundane of tasks can lead to treasured bonding time between you and your children.
Here are some fun, creative ways your kids can help with the laundry:
Teach them about detergent — Kids can learn in a hands-on way about the different kinds of detergent and how to use them. Let them measure out the right amount of powder or liquid, and pour it into the right compartment. Or show them how to apply a stain remover to thoroughly cover a stain.
Get them to pre-sort laundry — If your kids are learning their colours, sorting laundry is a great way for them to distinguish their reds and oranges from their blacks and whites. If they’re learning to read or recognise symbols, they can check the garment care tags and sort them according to symbol (and care methods).
Hanging clothes to dry — With the right kind of drying rack, you can hang dry clothes onto the upper racks, while your kids tackle the lower racks. Kids love sharing a responsibility like this with parents, and you won’t have to bend down, either!
Matching socks — Again, a bothersome task for us can become a fun game for kids. See if they can match up clean pairs of socks for you — it’s no different to a game of snap, except that it’s much more practical!
Folding shirts — Straightforward folding jobs are great for teaching motor skills to your kids. T-shirts and sweatshirts aren’t easily wrinkled, so get them started on a lifetime of tidy laundry habits by having them fold shirts and stack them.
Role-play a delivery service for clean laundry — Once clean laundry is folded, it needs to be delivered to the right places. Your kids can have fun playing courier by delivering the correct clothes to the correct rooms or drawers. They can even fill up a toy wagon to make their delivery service more fun and realistic.
Kids are endlessly creative, so why not get creative with them while folding, sorting, and dosing detergent? Laundry doesn’t always have to be so boring.