Laundry for Kids


Before I was married, I didn't really mind doing laundry. Then, I got married to a man who was 6' 4" and wears XXL tall-sized shirts. His clothes were like four-times the size of mine. The laundry increased and I didn't like it so much anymore.
Then, I had a baby. And I had another baby. And then I had another baby. The laundry has increased to astronomical amounts. Now, I loathe doing laundry. It overtakes me several times a month. I tell people that if I ever go missing, to look in the basement near the washer because I've probably been eaten alive my the pile of clothes waiting to be laundered.

I seriously think if you throw a dirty shirt and a dirty towel in dark corner of my house it breeds dirty socks, pants and undies.
I've tried all kinds of systems to keep it under control...selecting one day a week to wash (way too much to do), trying to do one or two loads each morning (works OK, unless I have to get out of the house right away).

But one thing that does seem to be helping is getting my kids more involved in the laundering process. And it's teaching them to be a little more responsible for taking care of themselves and the gifts (clothing) God gives us.
Enter signage. When working with preschoolers, pictures are key. At the end of the hall (before entering the bath right next door) they are sorting laundry by darks and lights. This has made it so much easier for me to see which type of load needs to be done most immediately. Are they learning their colors? Here's a great practical application...purple is a dark.

Next stop: putting away laundry. Teaching your kids how to properly put away their clothes does take instruction and time on your part, but it pays off in the long run. I put a basket or pile in their rooms and they are responsible to put them in the right drawers.

Jack (4 yrs.) has lockers in his room, so I used magnetic clips with picture labels (laminated) to help him remember where things go. Initially, he crammed them all in one space. But after making him re-do and re-do, we are making progress.

Wanna make your own laundry labels? It's simple and you don't have to be an artist.
  1. On heavy-weight paper, draw pictures, using a permanent marker/pen. You could also get cute images or clip art off the web.
  2. Color in the items with watercolor or colored-pencil. (Make it pretty.)
  3. Laminated your labels. This is optional, but adds longevity.
So that's what's been helping me. The laundry hasn't let up, but I feel like many hands (even little hands) are helping me manage it better.
If you having an laundering tips, ladies, I am ALL ears.

8 comments:

  1. i so ne3ed to teach my three girls this. Laundry is ridiculous at our house. I am so behind, that my husband does his own.

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  2. I love the lockers!! I am going to have to find some! I have also started including my boys in the putting away of Laundry and it really does speed up the process.

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  3. Love this! I think something as simple as labeling the drawers can really help. We assume so much sometimes as parents, thinking they know exactly where everything goes. We forget how visual they are! Thanks for the inspiration!

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  4. The thing that drives me the most crazy with laundry is sorting socks and folding underwear. It was especially frustrating when my boys would just toss them haphazardly in a drawer anyway. My solution was a canvas bag for each member of the family. You can see them at http://www.vanessacovington.blogspot.com/2011/02/open-247.html

    Now, as socks and undies come out of the dryer, they just go right into the bags. My husband and I carry ours upstairs, fold and put away. My boys carry theirs upstairs and dump the contents into a drawer. Works for me!

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  5. The age of 10 is the right of passage at our house. When they turn ten, they GET to do their own laundry. Granted, sometimes they need a nudge to actually get it in the wash. I always know when my youngest needs to do laundry... He shows up in his fire flame swim trunks that are way too small:) This has worked well for us, and all my friends can't wait till their kids turn ten!

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  6. Thanks for this suggestion! Sometimes I forget how we really need to spell it out for our kids to understand what we expect from them. Especially since we (as moms) usually don't ask for help. I read this post and immediately went to work making my labels for my two boys (4 and 5), and they were excited to see them put in the right place. Now, on to that laundry...

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