Laundry: How to get the kids involved!

When you’ve got a few children around the house (and maybe a big kid to look after too!) laundry
can become a major chore. No one wants to spend all day sorting the coloured sheets from whites
and checking pockets, but sometimes it can feel like it’s eating up all your spare time.
The trick is to get more hands on deck to help out – and if that means getting your kids involved,
then it’s time to get them on board. Doing your own laundry is an important part of growing up, and
helps children appreciate the work you do keeping them supplied with fresh clothes.
Remember to be vigilant around cleaning products that could do harm if consumed, and to take care
of delicate, special clothing yourself to prevent damage – consult laundry resources online if
necessary. Apart from that, there’s no reason not get your children helping out a bit: here’s a step-
by-step guide.

1. The best way to get them involved is to make each child responsible for bringing and sorting
their own clothes before and after a wash. To start with, make sure they have all got their
own personalised laundry baskets in each room.
You could make this fun by buying plain baskets and jazzing them up with fabrics and paints.
Have a think about their favourite character from a movie or band. You could get them
involved in this too, as it’s a fun craft activity for a rainy afternoon.

2. Now they’ve got their own space for dirty clothes, explain to them that it’s their
responsibility to bring baskets to the washing machine when they are full. This gives them
some responsibility at an early age and shows you trust them to watch out for when the
basket starts to overflow.

3. Make sure to get a few large baskets and place them in a handy space near to the washing
machine. Label them as ‘whites’ ‘colours’ ‘delicates’ ‘wool’ and other categories as required.
Talk your children through the distinctions and give them a quick quiz to check they can
properly tell the difference. When they bring their personal baskets to the washing machine,
it’s their job to sort them into the right sections. This will make it so much easier for you
when you come to put things into the wash (although definitely double check, especially if
you have young ones!).

4. Once you’ve done the wash and the clothes have dried off, get the children to help sort out
whose clothes are whose. If they’re all home at the same time, try dumping the clothes into
a pile and having a race to find all your items. Detract points for boisterous behaviour! You
can have mini-races, like who can pair up the most socks in a minute, or who can fold their
trousers the neatest.

5. Finally, ask the children to take the finished laundry back to their bedrooms and put it neatly
in the cupboards. You could make a chart and award gold stars for the best-organised
drawers. This will get them into the routine of looking after their own clothes – definitely a
good habit to get into before the teenage years kick in or they head off to college.

Once everything’s complete, you’re ready to start the laundry all over again!

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