Kids love to be independent, and as a parent, one of our jobs is to support our children while they learn the life skills necessary to become functional adults. What is one thing all adults will have to do at some point in their life? Laundry! Keep reading and I will help you learn how to teach kids to do laundry while they are young.
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Basic Laundry Tips for Kids
When you begin to teach kids to do laundry, you need to start with the basics. The basics are empty pockets (hello tissue fragments all over the clothes!), turn your clothes one way, and pull any underwear or socks out of your pants. There isn’t much worse than picking up a pair of jeans with one leg in, the other leg out, socks trapped in the legs and dirty underwear tangled in the mess. Save yourself one more hassle and get your kids in the routine of doing these pre-washing checks.
Teach Kids to Sort Laundry
The next step is to teach your kids to put their dirty clothes in the laundry hamper. Your family members may have clothes hampers in their rooms, or you may have a hamper in the laundry room. (Here’s why we only have hampers in the laundry room.) If you have a clothes sorter in your laundry area, show your children which compartment to sort their clothes into. Explain why you sort your laundry. Sorting laundry is a skill your kids are learning. Understanding is part of solidifying their knowledge. Keep explanations age-appropriate.
Teach Kids to Wash Laundry
When you teach kids to do laundry, you should teach them to use the washing machine if they are old enough. My younger children all know how to work our washing machine. They take turns helping mom in the laundry room. We put the clothes in the machine together, I pour in detergent, and they start the machine. They have learned the towels use a different machine setting and water temperature and know how to adjust the settings accordingly.
Teach Kids to Dry Laundry
Keep your kids involved in your laundry routine. When it’s time to dry the clothes, show your children how. Let them help put clothes in the dryer and start it. If you use a clothesline, ask them to be your helper by handing you clothespins or the next piece to hang. These are all simple ways to teach your kids how laundry is dried. It also gives them an appreciation for what you do to keep them in clean clothes!
Teach Kids to Fold Laundry
When you are teaching laundry skills to children, you cannot exclude folding laundry. The Type A part of me cringes when The Baby folds my hand towels and face cloths. However, the mother in me beams with pride because she worked so hard to learn and do it herself. Grin and bear it mamas. This is a life long skill they are learning, AND it will pay off in the long run once they are older and able to do more.
Do you have socks that need matching? Give your younger ones the socks and let them match up socks. Kid’s clothes are easy to teach younger ones to fold, too. Underwear folded in half, shorts folded in half. There are creative ways you can fold things that make it simple for the youngest to do on their own.
Teach Kids to Put Away Laundry…NEATLY!
Perhaps the most important thing is to make sure your children learn to put their clothes away neatly! Nobody wants to have to refold and straighten clothes every time a load of laundry is done. Show your children the proper drawers and how to put their clothes in the right way. Teach them how to put clothes on a hanger and help them put their clothes in the closet.
You can teach kids to do laundry with a little creativity. Start building habits now, find ways to foster their independence in the clothes washing process and include them every time there is a load of clothes to wash.
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