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It’s no secret that raising a family comes with certain responsibilities, including laundry. And as any busy mom knows, cleaning can be tedious and sometimes seemingly endless. Laundry can seem overwhelming! A few years ago we renovated our laundry room (check out our before & after laundry renovation here) and came up with a few solid plans for laundry.
We now have specific days that each person does their laundry, and they each keep a laundry basket in their bedroom for their dirty clothes.
However, doing laundry as a family is a wonderful way to turn a chore into a convivial activity and educational opportunity that can lessen some of that cleaning burden for you. You can even make a fun game of it (literally!)
No matter what age you start at, teaching your kiddos to do laundry is a great way to instill responsibility and self-sustaining behaviors. While your child may be too young to do laundry fully on their own at first, assigning different tasks based on their ages can help keep everybody engaged in the process.
The typical age breakdown:
- Age 2-3: Help with sorting by color
- Age 4-9: Assist in folding, loading and putting away
- Age 10-11: Do laundry for themselves with parental supervision
- Ages 12+: Ready to do laundry on their own
- Check out the full AGE APPROPRIATE Chore List Here.
Make It a Game
While there’s nothing wrong with a good ole’ fashion watch and learn approach, teaching laundry in a fun and interactive way makes the process go from being a monotonous chore into a healthy collaboration.
Download this SOCKS MATCHING GAME to play with your kids & then head off to do the real thing!
One way you can start teaching toddlers how to sort is with this match the sock game, where you essentially incentivize them to match all the corresponding pieces of clothing.
This allows them to develop fundamental cognitive skills, while simultaneously engaging in the overall process.
Keep Them Safe
When it comes to safety measures, having your little ones understand when and what to avoid contact with is also key to their safety and success. So make sure you teach them not to go inside the laundry machine, nor to play with the door or soap detergent.
Seeing as laundry detergent may be highly toxic if consumed, make sure to distinguish which products not to touch or ever consume. One method we developed to do this is by adding a danger sticker on all strong products to avoid.
Give Them Pointers
Learning how to fold clothes, load machines, and measure out detergent can be difficult. Once your child has started to learn how to complete these tasks, they could benefit from a few cheat sheets, like this folding cheat sheet (download it below).
You can leave the cheat sheet on your folding table so they can reference it as needed. And in the laundry room, you can leave pointers on which buttons to hit, and a reminder to always clean out the air filter.
The great thing about teaching your kids to do laundry is that it’s never too early to start. Even toddlers can help out, sorting clothes based on color schemes, such as light or dark.
Older children can help with folding, loading, and putting away. Preteens can start doing their own laundry with parental supervision. The goal is that by the time your child reaches high school, they should be ready to do their own laundry and not depend on you.
Teaching your kids to do laundry on their own can help them become more responsible, while also taking a little bit of the pressure off the parent. Teach your kids to do their laundry sooner rather than later, so you can take a load off.
If you need a little help, print out this Laundry Folding Cheat Sheet & hang it in the laundry room.