At Clean Laundry, we know how everyday life at home can be a wonderful time to teach our kids. Since they are naturally curious and doing laundry is one sure thing, why not start early and use this method to give them skills that will carry them into adulthood.
Age 5, 6 & 7
Start with the basics, since they are just now learning about colors and numbers, what a great time to teach them how to sort the laundry by colors, soil and like fabrics before it goes into the wash! They will enjoy feeling important by tossing their newly sorted laundry into the washer and dryer.
Show them how to check pockets for forgotten items and explain how something as simple as lip balm can damage an entire load of laundry.
The art of folding clothing can be a challenge at this age, but a good time to introduce.
Give them a head start to reading when pointing out the labels on the bottles of detergents, softeners and additional products such as bleach. It is also helpful to stress the importance of all the dangers of hazardous materials such as bleach and other cleaning products.
Age 8, 9 & 10
Most kids in this age range feel thrilled that you are giving them responsibility, after mastering the sorting process, along with a progression in reading ability, teach them about measurements based on the amount of laundry. This will strengthen math skills.
You may need to supervise this process while they get the hang of it.
Preteen and up
Introduce the various controls of the washing machine and dryer. Explain how they work. Start with a normal cycle and allow them to push the buttons to begin a cycle. They will feel empowered by their new found ability to control such a big machine!
Help instruct them with these following steps:
- Where and how to put the detergent, fabric softener and bleach.
- When to use hot, warm or cold water.
- How to pre-treat a stain using a stain-stick or pre-wash agent.
- How to read clothing care labels of unfamiliar garments before washing.
- Turning printed shirts inside out to prevent unnecessary wear on the printing.
Over time, you can show them when it is necessary to use a mesh laundry bag for intimates, delicates or keeping socks together.
With patience, doing laundry with kids can bring great teaching moments along with a wonderful way to spend quality time together.
It’s About Time,