It’s safe to say that laundry can really pile up — especially when you’re doing the chore for yourself and other members of your family. Teaching your kids to help with the laundry can not only relieve some of that time and energy, but can also teach your kids responsibility as they grow older.
But how do you begin teaching your kids to do laundry? And when?
It depends. But your kids can at least start learning laundry concepts and helping out when they’re toddlers. Children who are 2 or 3 years old can start learning how to sort by color, which will help them when they’re learning to sort clothes and match socks. Once they’re school-aged, they can start helping you sort dirty clothing into lights and darks, and fold dry clothes.
Once they’re a preteen, they can start doing their own loads of laundry with supervision to make sure they’ve correctly mastered the concepts. And once they’re a teenager, they can be fully in charge of their own loads of laundry.
To teach your kids to do laundry, you can start by playing games early on to teach them fun laundry concepts. For example, you can play a sock matching game to teach them how to put patterns together. Or, you could turn your laundry baskets into basketball hoops and “shoot” your dirty clothes in to score points. Though these games might seem silly, they can help give your kid a positive association with laundry and can help them learn the basic concepts.
Once your child starts to help you with the laundry, you can start to show them how to use the machines, sort clothes, and fold them once the dryer is finished running. Slowly walking your children through these steps will help them learn how to do them correctly once they start doing their own laundry.
Use Cheat Sheets
And to help them remember how to do laundry once they start doing so, providing them with cheat sheets like this printable one can help them remember the basic concepts. You can label the washing machine with the right buttons to press safety instructions and other things your child should know; it may also be helpful to include how much detergent to put in the laundry machine and a reminder to clean out the air filter.
Like most chores, you’ll be the most successful if you start slow and teach by example. Making it fun by playing games or singing songs can also help your kids be excited about doing their new chore.