Teach Your Child How to Do Laundry at An Early Age
Update by: zACk
Due to mamafiza’s still not fully recovered from her illness, I’ll help to post her “draft post“. Thank you.
Wish you were in the pink of health 😉
For this week updates, we would like to contribute on Homeschool Chores; doing laundry with your little ones.
Teaching your child to do laundry is a worthwhile process.
Involving toddlers in the everyday care of the home and of belongings teaches responsibility, builds self-esteem, and lightens the load for Mom and Dad *Alhamdulillah*.
The art and science of caring for clothes is not learned in one day.
Having several years to teach your child the geometry, the chemistry and the satisfaction of getting clothes ready to wear again is a good thing. Because we all wear clothes, everyone in the family needs to know how to do laundry! 😀
Some folks might think this sounds cruel. I even had a family member say, and it was said with that tone, “You mean to tell me that at 1 months old, KiruaMi-cHan does his own laundry?”
Yep. Absolutely. And I’m pretty damn proud of it *Alhamdulillah*.
Teaching toddlers responsibility is easier said than done.
And saying it doesn’t work. Hands-on participation does.
Although I have not conquered my personal laundry struggles *aha, you got me!*, I felt thankful that I have work-on the area of child involvement in laundry for quite sometime.
Believe me, you can teach them how to do the laundry in a way that is relatively painless.
With a bit of patience, you’ll soon have an extra pair of hands helping you in the laundry room. Your child will be thrilled that you’re giving them some responsibility.
Let share some of tips on “How to Teach Your Child Do Laundry at An Early Age“:
Things You’ll Need:
- A few laundry baskets that will hold approximately one wash load’s-worth of laundry
- Scoops, cups, or individual packets (zipper bags) that your child can easily manipulate to add laundry products
- Full-length “laundry apron” to help keep laundry products (such as bleach) off a younger child’s clothing
- Laundry wipe (an old washcloth or rag) to wipe up spills
- Folding drying rack
- Plastic hangers (small and standard size) and clothespins
- Detergent, bleach, dryer sheets, and whatever else you use to clean laundry
- A washing machine or washer and dryer
- A loving parent
- A lovely child
Superb helper: ReiHi-cHan~
A good place to start is with letting your child dispose of worn or soiled garments by placing them in a basket. Provide each child with their own container.
Step by step Guide:
- Step 1: Start at an early age.
At around age 2, have your children help you load the washing machine.
Explain to them what you are doing.
For instance, when you are setting the wash timer or load size, show them which button to turn on and explain what it does.
- Step 2: Create a child-friendly washing area.
Organize your laundry products where the child can reach and use them, but where they are still up and away from any younger children.
Eagerness: Lil helper, YunaFi-cHan
- Step 3: Explain what each laundry product does.
This will help the child learn the proper use for each product.
Have them add the laundry detergent to the washer and spray on spot stain removers to help them become comfortable with using these chemicals.
- Step 4: Teach them how to sort dirty laundry.
Have the child help sort out whites, darks, colors, bedding, towels, etc.
As you do so, explain that different colors and types of laundry are separated and washed in different water temperatures or require additional products to help clean them the best way.
You will likely have to repeat these instructions many times before it all starts to make sense to a younger child.
Over time, teach these additional preparation skills:
- Checking pockets for forgotten items
- Reading the care label of each unfamiliar garment before washing
- Turning printed shirts (such as t-shirts) inside out to prevent unnecessary wear on the printing
- Recognizing when they have an appropriate size load of laundry – not too little, not too much
- Recognizing items that should not go in the washing machine, such as dry-clean-only or hand-wash-only items.
- Step 5: Teach them how to use the washing machine.
Show them the various controls and explain how they work.
Washing machines can be complex, but most people only use a few of the functions on a regular basis, so start simply with a normal wash cycle.
Have the child push the buttons and turn on the machine.
They will feel empowered by their new found ability to control this big machine!
Over time, teach the following additional washing machine skills:
- When, where, and how to put in the detergent and the laundry, itself
- Loading the laundry evenly so the washer remains balanced
- When to use hot, warm, or cold water
- When to use bleach, all-fabric bleach, or other cleaning products
- How to use a stain-stick or pre-wash agent
- When, where, and how to use fabric softener in a washer
- How to make a quick wipe around the opening/top each time to remove any spilled laundry products.
- Step 6: Teach how to hang or lay laundry flat to dry.
An accordion-style, folding drying rack is a great tool for younger children who aren’t tall enough to reach a clothesline.
Show them how to reshape and lay out sweaters and other air-dry items so that the air can reach all sides and dry them quickly.
Our kiddies clothes drying rack~
- Step 7: Teach how to fold, and put away the clean laundry.
Even small toddlers can learn to sort and fold laundry.
Do it with them and over time teach:
- Matching and folding socks together
- Turning clothing right-side-out
- Folding shirts and pants neatly
- Hanging dresses, blouses, dress shirts and dress pants
- Folding towels and bedding
- Have younger children start with easy items such as shirts and towels. Once the items are folded, have them help you put the laundry away.
Great job bro! 😉
Well done sis! 😉
- Step 8: Repeat this process every time you do laundry.
Children learn through repetition and being active participants.
Repeat each step until your child has gotten the hang of doing his or her laundry.
Make it fun by turning it into a quiz game.
When you go to turn on the washer, ask your child to pick the appropriate button.
Let your children keep any coins they find in the pockets.
Below are some pictures of our kiddies hard-work; LittleKittle’s clothes drawer:
Big bro: KiruaMi-cHan’s drawer~
Lines of pajamas~
Big sis: ReiHi-cHan’s drawer~
Lil sis: YunaFi-cHan’s drawer~
- Believe it or not, this can be great “quality time” spent with your toddlers.
Take the child along and have fun teaching and watching them learn a new skill!
Bring a few books to read together or a card game to play while the washing machine is running.
- Offer them a special treat every time they help you with the laundry.
Think of things like playing their favorite game or going to the park.
Doing so will make them feel good about helping you with the household chores and teach them that work is rewarded.
- Don’t let your child do laundry unassisted.
Even if they tell you they can, make sure that they don’t overload the washer or get into chemicals that they shouldn’t be touching.
- Explain the dangers of a washing machine.
These are large appliances that mix water and electricity.
Show them where the outlets are and to never, under any circumstances, touch the cords or the outlets.
Teach them not to enter either appliance.
- Don’t try to teach everything at once.
Add a new skill or bit of knowledge each time you do the laundry together.
- Find a child-size, full-length apron for younger children to wear when doing laundry.
They’ll be using chemicals (bleach alert!) and possibly getting their hands wet, and the natural reaction is to wipe their hands on their clothes.
An apron could be the difference between nice new jeans and suddenly-worthless new jeans with a huge bleach stain on the front.
- Even after younger toddlers think they can do it all on their own, be a silent observer for at least a couple of weeks.
Inevitably there will be situations that you forgot to mention, and you will be grateful for the opportunity to teach those odds and ends.
- It may be easier to manage the family laundry if everyone has their own basket for dirty laundry in their bedroom.
Sometimes it is more efficient to combine all the household laundry together, but sometimes it’s easier to manage if it all stays separate.
- Some laundry chemicals, such as bleach, are too dangerous for younger children to use.
They could easily make a huge mess or worse, could burn themselves.
Be aware of your own child’s maturity level and judge for yourself when to introduce them to the machinery and chemicals used to wash laundry.
Some children may have no problem learning safely at age 5, but others will not be mature enough for even a few more years. Even detergent can be dangerous.
Consider packaging chemicals into single-use packs to minimize dangerous spills.
- Don’t expect a young child to carry a full laundry basket up or down stairs.
Even preteens can have a difficult time with this, as can adults.
They might risk falling down the stairs; safety first!
- No matter how well you teach your children, expect accidents to happen.
Expect someone’s red socks to co-mingle with the whites and turn every piece of underwear he or she owns a delicate pink.
It can be best, for your own peace of mind, to keep a close eye on any special-occasion, dry-clean-only, or sentimentally valued articles.
- Don’t nag your children to help with the laundry.
Sit down and talk with them about why you’re doing this (it’s your job to teach them, and their job to help the home run more smoothly while they live there.)
Wish ya great luck mommies 😉
May you have a happy time with your little angel this weekend.
May Allah swt blessed your sweet family. Amin~