Six people live in my house. Four of those people are under the age of 10. Let me tell ya, that's a whole lot of laundry!! In fact, we wash, dry, fold, and put away 6-8 baskets of laundry a week - and that doesn't count sheets!
What's a mom to do about all that laundry?
You could do it all yourself. Nah!
You could hire someone to do it for you. Can't afford that!
Or you could teach your children to do their own laundry!! We have a winner!
|My 3 year old sorts and is learning to fold his laundry.|
How to teach children to do their own laundry:
1. Two year olds can learn to sort clean clothes.
Place the basket of clean clothes on the floor. Begin a couple of piles on your bed (shirts, socks, underwear, pants or bath towels, washcloths, kitchen towels, etc.). Then have him pull out an item and ask, "Which pile does that shirt belong in?" Encourage him as he places it in the correct stack.
2. Three year olds can sort clean clothes without help, put away underwear and match socks.
After his laundry is dry, place the basket of clean clothes beside his bed. Instruct him to sort or match his clothes into stacks. By now, he shouldn't need prompting from you. He may need you to stay in the room to keep him on task. RESIST the urge to instruct him.
After sorting the basket of clothes, he can put his neat stack of underwear away and match his socks. Make sure his clothes are in drawers he can reach. Underwear and PJs in the bottom, then shirts or pants in the next drawer and so on.
3. Four year olds can learn to fold pants and shirts neatly.
Show him step-by-step how to fold pants and shirts. Have him practice with a couple while you fold the rest. Offer plenty of praise for his efforts and RESIST the urge to refold!
|My 5 year old sorts, folds, and puts away her laundry w/o help.|
4. Five year olds can fold and put away pants and shirts.
This is when you ask yourself, "What's my goal?" Your goal is to have less work to do. The stacks of clothes in the drawer aren't going to be perfect. His shirt will probably be wrinkled. But does it really matter? The kindergarten teacher won't think worse of you because he shirt is wrinkled!!
5. Six to seven year olds can care for their clean laundry without help.
By now he has mastered the skills of sorting, folding, and putting away clean laundry. Depending on where your dryer is located he may be able to get the laundry from there and carry the full basket to his room.
6. Eight year olds can learn to sort, wash, and dry their dirty laundry.
Teach him to sort his dirty clothes into piles on the floor. We sort by heavy clothes (jeans, pants, sweatshirts) and light weight clothes (shirts, underwear, and socks). Use whatever sorting method works for your household.
At the washer, instruct him on putting clothes in the washer, how much detergent to use, temperature settings, and other settings. Also instruct him on the settings for the dryer.
You will need to perform these lessons several times before he remembers.
7. Nine year olds can do their own laundry from beginning to end.
Congratulations! You now have less housework to do! AND when your child goes off to college he'll already know how to do his laundry.
|Play and fun is still a part of laundry. - says the Lone Ranger|
This system has worked great in my house! Every week my oldest takes the basket of dirty laundry from the big boys' bedroom and starts the process of doing their laundry. I don't have to do a thing!
Do you take care of all the laundry or do you train your children to care for their own laundry?
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