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Teaching Kids How to Do the Laundry

By Emily Mall

Posted on October 16, 2023

Man standing over kids doing laundry
Man standing over kids doing laundry
Man standing over kids doing laundry

Teaching kids how to do the laundry is an essential life skill that not only promotes independence but also instills responsibility and self-sufficiency.

Why bother teaching my kids how to do their own laundry?

  1. Life Readiness: Learning to do the laundry is a fundamental life skill that prepares children for independent living, whether they're heading off to college or living on their own as adults.

  2. Responsibility: Doing laundry requires responsibility and accountability. Children learn the importance of completing tasks and caring for their belongings.

  3. Resourcefulness: Laundry can be a problem-solving exercise, teaching kids to manage their time, resources, and even troubleshoot issues like stains or machine malfunctions.

  4. Self-Esteem: Achieving tasks like laundry boosts a child's self-esteem and confidence in their ability to handle practical matters.

What is age-appropriate to teach them? 

  1. Start Early: Begin teaching laundry skills when your child shows an interest, usually around age 7 or 8. Younger children can help sort and fold laundry.

  2. Safety First: Emphasize safety when working with laundry chemicals. Teach your child to avoid contact with detergents and chemicals and to wash their hands after handling dirty laundry.

  3. Sorting Clothes: Explain the importance of sorting clothes by color and fabric type. Provide examples and practice sessions to help them recognize different categories.

  4. Reading Labels: Teach your child to read clothing labels for washing instructions. Discuss what different symbols mean and why it's crucial to follow them.

  5. Loading the Machine: Show them how to load the washing machine, balancing the load to ensure efficient cleaning.

  6. Detergent Measurement: Teach your child how to measure and add the appropriate amount of detergent based on the load size and level of dirtiness.

  7. Setting the Machine: Walk them through setting the washing machine's cycle, water temperature, and any additional options (e.g., pre-soak or extra rinse).

  8. Drying Clothes: Explain the difference between machine drying and air drying. Teach them to check care labels to determine the appropriate method.

  9. Folding and Ironing: Demonstrate how to fold clothes neatly and discuss when ironing may be necessary. Show them how to use an iron safely if applicable.

Practical Tips for Teaching Kids Laundry Skills

  1. Supervise Initially: Start by doing laundry together, guiding your child through each step. As they gain confidence, gradually give them more responsibility.

  2. Create a Laundry Routine: Establish a regular laundry day or schedule that your child can follow. Consistency helps reinforce the habit.

  3. Label Charts: Create simple charts or labels to remind your child of each step in the laundry process, from sorting to folding.

  4. Use Visual Aids: Visual aids like infographics or videos can be helpful in explaining concepts and techniques.

  5. Positive Reinforcement: Praise and reward your child for their efforts. Positive reinforcement encourages them to take ownership of the task.

  6. Problem-Solving Practice: Encourage your child to handle common laundry challenges, such as stains, on their own. Offer guidance as needed.

  7. Laundry Safety: Reinforce safety rules, such as keeping laundry chemicals out of reach and never climbing into the washing machine.

Teaching kids how to do the laundry is more than just a household chore; it's a valuable life skill that empowers them to become responsible, self-sufficient individuals. It also creates a sense of belonging and accountability as members of the household. So, roll up your sleeves, gather the laundry, and embark on this essential journey of teaching your kids how to conquer the laundry room with confidence. Your future self-reliant adults will thank you!

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Helping parents & caregivers design their own handbook for raising amazing kids.

© 2023–2024 Great job. All rights reserved.