As parents, seeing a pile of laundry can make you feel overwhelmed. To add-on, babies, toddlers and kids are known to mess up their clothes quickly while eating or playing. Thus, if you are struggling with doing laundry, then teaching laundry skills to your little ones is a good life skill. Below we have listed tips on how to get your children to help you with laundry.
Tips to Get Your Kids to Help With Laundry
Teach them at a young age:If you want kids to grow into responsible adults, you have to teach them to do simple things on their own, including laundry.
- To begin with, explain to them how clothes get soiled and why they need to be clean.
- Introduce them to detergents, fabric softeners, and clothes brushes.
Once in a while, grab a couple of soiled laundry clothes and give them a demo on hand-washing. This will help them understand the basics of laundry.
Introduce them to the process:Doing laundry is a process. So, you have to guide your kids through it step-by-step.
- The first step in the laundry process is to teach them how to separate white and light coloured clothes from darker ones. Make it easier for your child by having a kids’ laundry basket.
- Teach them to check the pocket for tissues or change, match socks and do up the zippers of jackets and pants.
- Ask them to help with hanging clothes for drying too.
- You can also teach them to fold simple clothing items like washcloths and towels.
Make laundry fun:Washing your own clothes every day can get tedious, especially for children. Here, to keep kids engaged, create some fun steps to wash clothes. While doing laundry, you can ask them to collect their toys and wash them in soapy water. Or you could get them to wash their toys while drawing a bath.
- Age-wise Laundry Chores For Kids
Laundry is one of the things children should learn from a young age. Nowadays, kids are extremely quick at learning how to operate different technological tools, so they wouldn’t find it challenging to operate a simple washing machine. Below is the age-wise laundry chores that you could assign to your kids.
Toddlers:Before babies reach the age of three, they go through a learning and training period. At this stage, they might not be helpful with the actual laundry, but you could:
- Teach them to put their dirty clothes in the basket
- Teach them to perform simple things like dressing and undressing
- Ask them to do small tasks, like to hand you the clothes from the basket, and keep the folded clothes in the drawer
- Tell them not to climb into the washer or dryer or eat laundry pods or play with laundry detergent
3 - 4 years:For kids in this age group, have laundry days. Again be patient and teach them how to do their laundry tasks correctly. This age group more likely needs tons of help and motivation to complete laundry tasks. However, note, the laundry chores assigned to this age group is not intended to be performed independently.
- You can try making laundry fun by playing music or turning it into a race. Or play an audiobook as you both fold clothes.
- Some of the tasks you can teach your child are how to fold washcloths, hand towels & bath towels, pair and roll socks, and turn the clothes right side out.
Another good habit for kids is putting their shirt on hangers and placing folded pants, socks and underwear into appropriate drawers. Along with teaching them how to organize their dresser drawers, you can teach them useful tips to dress themselves.
5-7 years:Older kids can do some laundry tasks independently. By this age, they should have had plenty of practice. But, they still need to be encouraged, praised and thanked for their hard work. New tasks for this age group can be:
- Bringing laundry baskets to the laundry area
- Adding dirty clothes to the washing machine
- Cleaning the lint trap from the drawer
- Moving wet clothes from the washing machine to the dryer
You can also ask them to fold clothes using clothes folding machine and put them away by themselves.
8-10 years:Kids above 8-10 years can start doing laundry independently as by now they know:
- How much laundry detergent to use
- How to set the washer and dryer
- How to pre-treat stains
11 and above:Pre-teen kids should be fully responsible for doing their own laundry. They can even iron their own clothes under adult supervision.
Teach teenagers how to dry-clean certain clothing items, pre-treat and remove hard stains, how to fold fitted sheets correctly, and how often they should wash their towels, bedsheets and pillow covers.
Further reading: Tips on Washing Baby Clothes.
- Pre-schoolers (3 - 4 years)
- School-aged kids (5-7 years)
- Pre-teen (8-12 years)
Kids above 8-12 years can start doing laundry independently as by now they know:
- Teenagers (13 and above)
Teaching laundry is an essential life skill that ensures the child grows into an independent adult. Start with basic laundry tips and move to other methods based on the child’s age. By doing small house chores, they will feel a sense of achievement. And all these things contribute towards developing your child’s personality development.